1993 LOPC After second ww.jpg

OUR CLUB HISTORY

PaddlePlus was set up by a handful of like-minded people who wanted to provide a place where anybody could try canoeing, create an avenue for aspiring coaches to practice, apply training and qualifications gained through British Canoeing (Originally British Canoe Union), and also to have somewhere to socialise - exactly what we are today.

From there we’ve grown into a canoe, kayak and outdoor club with over 270 active members and an enviable track record in the midlands for our governance, intake of new members and varied interests from touring, freestyle, white water, racing and paddleboarding.

We pride ourselves on being a provider of paddlesport for everyone, a welcoming club run by volunteers, who, over 40 years-on, are still meeting every Thursday at the Leicester Outdoor Pursuits Centre.

Below is a rough guide to our club history.

 
Niamh takes silver June 22_edited.jpg

NIAMH MACKEN BRINGS HOME A SILVER MEDAL

July 2022

Our Niamh, smashed out the most epic rides of her life, winning herself a Silver medal in the Junior Ladies category in the ICF Freestyle World Championships! This was Niamh's first ever big comp, so a massive congratulations to her.

BC QC Logo.png

PADDLEPLUS BECOMES A 'QUALITY CLUB'

2022

In February 2022 our hard work was acknowledged by our national governing body, British Canoeing, and we were awarded Quality Club status.

This demonstrates our excellent delivery and high standard of governance and safeguarding.

kit (1).jpg

SHINY KIT FOR OUR MEMBERS

2021

Over this year and last, the club has acquired lots of 'new' kit for our members: 7 Kayaks (4 Fusions, 1 Approach and 2 Ethos10s), 4 Canoes (2 Hou 14s, Hou 16 and an Interlude), 6 Paddleboards, paddles and pumps, a set of canoe paddles, kayak paddles, 40 BAs, and a second BBQ. We've also been lucky enough to be given litter picking equipment by LCC and Surfers Against Sewage. We've managed this through grants, selling old equipment and club subs.

2021 Kilby new site.jpg

KILBY BRIDGE, OUR SECOND SITE

2021

PaddlePlus is growing!
In April 2021, we ‘moved-in’ to a brand new PP off-shoot site (The CRT owned Kilby Bridge maintenance yard).

2021 April CRT Affiliation.png

AFFILIATION WITH CANAL & RIVER TRUST

2021

Affiliation with CRT (Canal & River Trust). We are affiliated supporters of the Trust in its stewardship of the waterways (and related heritage, environment and infrastructure). The beginning of this partnership see’s the Kilby Bridge pilot scheme - our second base.

2020 Oct Shaun in Yorkshire.jpg

SHAUN MONKMAN CHAIR (CURRENT)

2020

From Shaun’s legendary first taste of white water at Matlock with a record 10 swims(!), Nathan McDonagh took him under his wing and he now enjoys a whole host of different rivers across the UK and abroad with friends. He’s moved the club along greatly with British Canoeing and helped the club reach the ‘Quality Club’ status.

2020 April Lockdown socials.jpg

COVID-19 PANDEMIC

2020

A challenging year for all, but we kept people paddling! We developed a suite of risk assessments and processes to manage the new risks, upgraded our online booking system, got creative with our locally based trips, kept connected with online committee meetings, engaged with members through Facebook, repaired 11 canoes, sold boats, bought new boats and received grants from River Legacy for new canoe paddles and Sport England for Covid supplies.

2020 Kayak Launch initial drwg colour.jpg

NEW DISABILITY FRIENDLY KAYAK LAUNCH INSTALLED

2020

PaddlePlus, as well as many other companies and individuals contributed financially to this important upgrade to benefit all user groups and individuals using the launch point.

2019GopaddlingAward.jpg

RECEIVED GO PADDLING AWARD (BRITISH CANOEING VOLUNTEER & RECOGNITION AWARDS)

2019

“In recognition of our dedication and commitment to paddlesport” through our work at the annual Riverside Festival. In 2019 we introduced 139 people to paddlesport in just 4 days.

2019 Filbert Fox Alex Shaun X Mitch Vicki Nath Nath X.jpg

FILBERT FOX (LEICESTER CITY FC’S MASCOT) GOES OUT FOR A PADDLE!

2019

Filbert Fox and his team took a trip on our bellboat at the Riverside Festival and we made it into the local newspaper.

2019 Challenge badges logo.jpg

LAUNCHED THE FAMILY CHALLENGE BADGES

2019

Aimed at members who wish to progress in certain skill areas, with the reward of a badge and a certificate at the end of each challenge. They include the I Got Wet badge - Every Craft - Safe Paddler - Trip Challenge - Volunteer Challenge - Weir Challenge - Spraydeck test - Eskimo Roll.

18089071117190568.jpg

PUTTING THE ‘PLUS’ BACK INTO PADDLEPLUS

2018

The ‘Plus’ side of PaddlePlus started to re-emerge with monthly high ropes/climbing sessions through the winter, walking, caving, ice skating, summer night BBQs, Rutland aqua park, tobogganing and the christmas party/talent show.

2019 HPP Nath Niamh freestyle.jpg

GB FREESTYLE

2018

Nathan Hefford and Niamh Macken both make the Junior GB Freestyle squad. They both train hard every chance they get and help to create a great social scene at the club, often paddling tandem on flat water tours.

2018 Backbarrow Fay.jpg

FAY HEFFORD CHAIR (2 YEARS)

2017

Fay was once a 'sit in the club-room knitting' mum, until she decided to see for herself what the fuss was all about. She now enjoys white water and touring. The new committee created a more robust procedural club to suit the new demands of British Canoeing.

2017 Ryan Torrence ww training group.jpg

WHITE WATER TRAINING PROGRAMME

2018

Ryan Torrence started a training program for beginners who had expressed an interest in moving on to white water, with joining the annual Easter trip as an end-goal (a non-club group including Dave Troop, Ian Sargent, Anton Magrath, Nathan McDonagh and Sam Burdett).
This same group of paddlers are now coaching on white water themselves, bringing through the next generation of ww paddlers.

2016 BC Awards Orlando.jpg

BRITISH CANOEING VOLUNTEER RECOGNITION AWARDS

2018

PaddlePlus swept the board at the BC Volunteer Awards: Orlando Sarabia-Hill for Young Volunteer, Richard Oldham for Volunteer Coach and Laura Pope for Outstanding Contribution. 

We also held our own small ceremony for members of the club to include: King of Faff - Should Stick to the Wet Stuff - Coach of the Year - Flapjack Tales - Outstanding Contribution - and, Most Developed Paddler. 

2017-duncan-richard-racing-ts.jpg

COMPETITION - MARATHON, SPRINT & WWR AGAIN

2016

Racing had lain dormant for a number of years until Richard Oldham (club member since the 90's) and Duncan Jack took to the old boats in the shed and started attending the Barrow Series Races held by Soar Valley. As a team, with Josh & Daniel Oldham, Ethan Jack and Cameron Bannatyne they trained on the Soar and earned many medals. They hold racing intro nights on a Thursday to encourage new people.

2012 Mark Barfield.jpg

THE MARK BARFIELD AWARD

2015

Sadly Mark passed away while enjoying his favourite sport, his passing affected many people at the club but together we have come through it. The annual Mark Barfield trophy is awarded to members for their services to the club, and we paddle the Barfield Bash every year on his birthday.

2017 Soar Tour signage.jpg

THE SOAR TOUR CANOE TRAIL

2015

This project was led by Andy Oughton and fully supported by BC, CRT, EMPaddlers, Soar Grand Union Partnership and Tourism Leicester. It creates an official trail from Narborough to Trent Lock (32 miles) with dedicated canoe portage points along the whole route for any paddler to enjoy.

2003 Anton_s always been up to something (1).jpg

ANTON MAGRATH CHAIR (2 YEARS)

2015

Anton has been in the club since he was 15 years old, he’s been on all the trips, his favourites being Scotland and Wye Camp. If a lanky man suddenly boards your canoe, it’s most likely Anton!

2014 Jon Cooke.jpg

JON COOKE CHAIR (6 MONTHS)

2014

Jon has such an enthusiasm for paddling and took the helm as chair, he remains an avid whitewater paddler and you can often see his smiling face at HPP.

2013 Dean W etc.jpg

A GROUP OF PP MEMBERS STARTED UP BARROW BOATHOUSE PADDLERS

2013

We are friends of Waterside Canoe Club (relocated to Mountsorrel and renamed) and often join up on events such as the Soar Tour.

2011-2002 LOPC from abseil tower (1).png

KAYAK CAGE BUILT

2011

The abseil (scaffold) tower and stage were only temporary structures erected for an open day shortly after the LOPC was saved, but they ended up staying for 5 years - finally they were dismantled and the kayak cage built in their place.

2008x Minibus fire.jpeg

‘ARSONISTS HIT CANOE CLUB ACTIVITIES’

2010

Our poor minibus... With support from the community  Andy managed to raise enough club funds for a new one.

2010 sit on tops.jpg

10 SIT-ON-TOP KAYAKS BOUGHT IN MEMORY OF ANGIE HAMPTON

2010

Angie wanted to get less able/less confident people paddling, 10 boats were jointly funded by PP, the Hamptons, LOPC and Scouts.

2008 Andy Oughton.jpg

ANDY OUGHTON CHAIR

2008

Andy is still an invaluable PP member and a wealth of knowledge. He has strong connections with BC, EMPaddlers (the East Mids Regional Development Team), Canal & River Trust and Hou Canoes. Andy delivers courses throughout the UK and has a passion for multi-day trips - his highlights include the annual Open Canoe Festival in France, his 2011 Rannoch Moor Crossing (with John Liquorice, Stu Malcolmson, Pete Montandon, Jon Tilly and Ian Dennis) and in 2017, the Bliss Canoe Trail, the largest circumnavigation of the inland waterways of the UK, covering 862 miles, (paddled only once before in 1993 by Dave Halsall & Steve Murgatroyd).

2008 June Newsletter.jpg

MEMBERS MONTHLY NEWSLETTER

2007

A resurrection of the club newsletter.

2007 Sean OBrien Nene.jpg

SEAN O'BRIEN CHAIR (1 YEAR)

January 10, 2010

Sean was a white water kayaker and very well organised, spending many years as club Treasurer. He changed jobs and moved away from Leicester - one of his regrets was not being able to find another 'PaddlePlus' close to his new home.

Kayakers

PAST EVENT

January 10, 2010

This is your Past Event description. Consider sharing a brief overview of the event, including special moments that took place or any other colorful details. Recreate the full experience for your readers by adding photos, videos or other visual components.

2007 Mikey Connelly.jpg

COMPETITION - MARATHON & SPRINT AGAIN

2007

The flat water racing group (run by John Liquorice) grew into the LCTG (Leicester Competition & Training Group) and Keith Hampton re-joined the club, coaching Mark Hampton, Ryan Liquorice, Mikey Connelly, Bryn Bolton-Waugh and others until 2010.
Mikey and Mark were junior marathon national champions in 2007, and silver medalists in 2005 and 2006. They also won their first international marathon in 2005. Mikey’s best results internationally were 4th over the 1000m sprint at the Youth Olympics in 2008.

2000 Burrs Jo Evans Hughes.png

JO EVANS-HUGHES CHAIR (1 YEAR)

2006

Jo was the non-paddling wife and mother of four boys, always willing to take on the catering or booking in. She famously did have a go in a tandem kayak at the Burrs, including the big weir at the top.

2003 BCU_Top_Club_Gold.jpg

FIRST ACHIEVED THE BC TOPCLUB AND CLUBMARK STATUS

2003

TopClub was British Canoeing's Kitemark for canoe clubs. The achievement of this standard also meets the criteria specified in Club Mark, Sport England's cross sport accreditation scheme. This demonstrates best practice in the running and management of sports clubs and is recognised throughout England.
This was replaced by BC’s Affiliated, Quality Club and Champion Club status in 2018.

2017 Riverside.jpg

OUR FIRST RIVERSIDE FESTIVAL

2002

Originally providing the council with safety cover for this busy city event by the canal, we are now a big part of the timetable, hosting trial sessions and encouraging new people into our sport. Riverside also provides a good income for the club towards new boats etc.

1996-birstall-weir-breathing-john-tousaints-gaz-likko.jpg

BIRSTALL WEIR-BREATHING STOPPED

2001

Birstall Weir has always been a source of local adventure and, up until this point, an unusual activity there was 'weir breathing', where you stood at the bottom and poke your head behind the fall of water to the air gap behind. Unfortunately someone on a summer scheme pushed their head in too fast and took out their teeth, the activity was sadly banned.

2001 WWR Ica on podium GB flags.png

COMPETITION - WILD WATER RACING

2001

Teaming up with Soar Valley CC and coached by Jes Oughton - 3 PP members, Jamie Oughton, Jessica Oughton and Anneka Brewster (Jones) trained regularly on the Soar and went on to represent England and Great Britain. 
Ica (as she was known) became 3 times Sprint World Champion.

1999 Cutting anneka Junior Champs.jpg

COMPETITION - SLALOM

1999

Anneka Brewster (Jones) started with PaddlePlus at 8 years old, and enjoyed all paddlesport disciplines with her dad - touring (canoe and kayak), racing, white water play, surf and then went on to slalom and later WWR (Wild Water Racing). She competed for England in many Pan Celtic cup races, trained in Roudnice Germany and Liptovsky Slovakia and raced for the GB team at Troja Prague in the 1999 Czech Cup, age 14. 


Today, Anneka is an active member of the committee and enjoys paddling with her daughter and white water with friends. 

PP Logo - blue no words (2).png

NAME CHANGED TO ‘PADDLEPLUS’

1998

A new club name and our own logo!
Advertising as a club for the outdoors gave us licence to run different trips and experiences for everyone. Creating a stronger identity for the club separated us from LOPC and allowed us more opportunity for grants and funding.

2001-wwr-intro-training-matlock-adam-gary-angela-jamie-anneka-matty-ryan-likko (1).jpg

OUR ANNUAL CALENDAR OF EVENTS - TOURING BEING CENTRAL

1998

Many new club events were created/attended, including the Burrs Bunkhouse weekend, Mablethorpe and Gower surf trips, the Easter Scotland trip, Full Moon, Hot Potato and Cold Turkey Paddles and groups attending nationally recognised events like the Tyne Tour, Tay Descent and Avon Descent. We also got involved in the Boys Clubs 100 Mile Canoe Test - which we now run ourselves.

2005 Adam _ Meg Regatta lake.jpg

ADAM BREWSTER CHAIR (3 YEARS)

1997

Adam, aka The Beard, believed in encouraging families/young paddlers into the sport. He sadly passed away in 2006 and the Solstice Paddle began in his name - If you visit the big tree at Wye Camp you will see his memorial plaque, there’s also one at Capel Curig (the lunch stop on the first day), and an apple tree planted in the environmental area at LOPC. 
He won a Silver medal at the Liffey Descent (2005) and enjoyed solo canoe expeditions, including Leicester to London, Leicester to the Humber and the length of the Shannon in Ireland. He also climbed to Everest Basecamp with Karl Donaghey and sea kayaked in Mexico.

1990s K Tonks Soar Bottoms dragon boat team.jpg

KEITH TONKS CHAIR (6 YEARS)

1995

Keith was an inspiration to anyone who knew him. Sadly he passed away in 2015 and the LOPC’s Centre of The Year award was dedicated to him for his unwavering commitment, support and enthusiasm for the LOPC (including leading his Dragon Boat team, the LCOPC Soar Bottoms)

1990 DW Halsall _ Murg.jpg

BLISS CHALLENGE

1993

Steve Murgatroyd and Dave Halsall paddled the ‘Bliss Challenge’ - Nottingham to Nottingham via the Trent, Severn and Thames in 25 days. First ever to do it - the next to succeed was Andy Oughton (Chair in 2008)

1993 LOPC After second ww.jpg

LOPC FACES CLOSURE BY THE COUNCIL

1992

A small group of dedicated users built a new business plan and the centre continued to run (just after the dry ski slope was demolished due to funding cuts). In 1999 it became a registered charity. 
The relationship we have with the LOPC is unusual for a club/venue arrangement. We jointly buy and use all the kit we have (along with the Leicestershire Scouts) and meet with them regularly to keep our connection strong.

1988 Dragon Boat.jpg

THE SOAR BOTTOMS MAKE INTERNATIONAL RACE

1991

‘Soar Bottoms’ Dragon Boat team got to the National Finals in Cardiff and were selected to paddle for GB in Malmo, Sweden - placing 3rd.

1985 DW Keith Hampton Neil Coates.jpg

DEVIZES TO WESTMINSTER MEDALISTS

1990

Steve Murgatroyd & Dave Halsall win the 1990 DW Open Canoe Class. The first time the club competed was in 1985, the Hamptons set indoor fitness circuit training and aerobics sessions.

1995-christmas-talent-anton-bernard-angie (1).jpg

ANGIE HAMPTON CHAIR

1981

Angie competed in slalom and marathons and led fitness sessions for our racing teams. She was also critical in saving the centre from closure in the 90’s and got the charity going as a working entity. Sadly she passed away in 2010 following a battle with cancer.

1988 BCU Affiliation old logo.jpg

AFFILIATION WITH BRITISH CANOEING (FORMERLY KNOWN AS BCU, BRITISH CANOE UNION)

1998

British Canoeing is our national governing body for paddlesport. They promote paddlesport in the UK, develop our coaching and personal development awards and qualifications, provide our waterways licences and insurances and offer paddle clubs support by providing help and advice. We have always had a solid connection with British Canoeing through Regional Reps.

1987 Matlock Slalom.jpg

COMPETITION - SLALOM

1987

We hosted mini slalom competitions at LOPC (complete with a bonfire and fireworks) and coached some of Team GB: Tom Paterson, Wetzig brothers and Stuart Bowman (2000 and 2004 Olympics)

1980s Canoe racing LOPC.jpg

COMPETITION - MARATHONS, SPRINTS & WWR

1986

The club had a really strong racing interest. They competed in marathons, sprint races and hosted the family friendly New Year Resolution Race at the LOPC. 
Keith Hampton competed for Team GB in Marathon, Rafting and WWR, and teams won medals in the DW, Hasler, Frank Lunzmore and Liffey Descent.

1980s C1 DHalsall.jpg

DAVE HALSALL CHAIR (3 YEARS)

1986

Dave was a keen racer. He wrote much of the newsletters and went on to write for Canoe Focus, Canoeist and Paddler magazine. He used to put on winter lectures/slide shows on a club night and managed the paperwork for the racing team. Dave moved to Yorkshire in 1994 and ran a caving trip for the club.

1984 Colin Broadway.jpg

NEW FLEET OF CANOES

1984

Our connection with Colin Broadway and his Mobile Adventure canoes (now made by Hoes Canoes) helped us broaden our fleet. The Minuette, Symphony and Interlude are still in use today!

1984 LCOPC Newsletter.png

NAME CHANGED TO ‘LEICESTER CANOE & OUTDOOR PURSUITS CLUB’

1982

Gradually a full committee was formed by a solid group of volunteers with a strong commitment to the club. The newsletters they produced were legendary! (read these in the trip reports section of our website)

1994 Wye mudslide.jpg

FIRST EVER WYE CAMP

1982

Run every year in the same field on the banks of the River Wye. Before Aug b/h it was run as a winter trip on the upper Wye but this changed to a summer holiday to encourage people, especially non-paddlers, simply to enjoy the location. 
It’s now part and parcel of the club’s identity and our biggest event of the year.

1998 Wye camp Steve Johnston.jpg

STEVE JOHNSON CHAIR (5 YEARS)

1983

Gradually a full committee was formed by a solid group of volunteers with a strong commitment to the club. The newsletters they produced were legendary! (read these in the trip reports section of our website)

1980s-alps-trip-hammie-twaddle.jpg

A FAST DEVELOPING CLUB

1981

Regular white water training trips to the French Alps, Austria, Sweden, Scotland and more locally Swarkstone bridge, Kings Mill, the Swale, Matlock, the Tees, bandit runs on the river Wreake, Cardington ww course and Holme Pierrepont 'pont'. 


Other activity weekends were always happening, we had keen walkers, mountain bikers, dragon boat racers, orienteers and cavers.

1980s-murgatroyds-tonks-johnsons.jpg

THE ‘THURSDAY NIGHT CLUB’ WAS BORN

1981

Founded by a small group fronted by Bernard O’Connor, the 'Thursday Night Club' began - within 2-3 weeks there were 30 paddlers on the water - beginners and the experienced. 


Sadly, Bernard passed away in 2004.

 
BC QC Logo.png

PADDLEPLUS BECOMES A 'QUALITY CLUB'

2022

In February 2022 our hard work was acknowledged by our national governing body, British Canoeing, and we were awarded Quality Club status.

This demonstrates our excellent delivery and high standard of governance and safeguarding.

kit (1).jpg

SHINY KIT FOR OUR MEMBERS

2021

Over this year and last, the club has acquired lots of 'new' kit for our members: 7 Kayaks (4 Fusions, 1 Approach and 2 Ethos10s), 4 Canoes (2 Hou 14s, Hou 16 and an Interlude), 6 Paddleboards, paddles and pumps, a set of canoe paddles, kayak paddles, 40 BAs, and a second BBQ. We've also been lucky enough to be given litter picking equipment by LCC and Surfers Against Sewage. We've managed this through grants, selling old equipment and club subs.

2021 Kilby new site.jpg

KILBY BRIDGE, OUR SECOND SITE

2021

PaddlePlus is growing!
In April 2021, we ‘moved-in’ to a brand new PP off-shoot site (The CRT owned Kilby Bridge maintenance yard).

2021 April CRT Affiliation.png

AFFILIATION WITH CANAL & RIVER TRUST

2021

Affiliation with CRT (Canal & River Trust). We are affiliated supporters of the Trust in its stewardship of the waterways (and related heritage, environment and infrastructure). The beginning of this partnership see’s the Kilby Bridge pilot scheme - our second base.

2020 Oct Shaun in Yorkshire.jpg

SHAUN MONKMAN CHAIR (CURRENT)

2020

From Shaun’s legendary first taste of white water at Matlock with a record 10 swims(!), Nathan McDonagh took him under his wing and he now enjoys a whole host of different rivers across the UK and abroad with friends. He’s moved the club along greatly with British Canoeing and helped the club reach the ‘Quality Club’ status.

2020 April Lockdown socials.jpg

COVID-19 PANDEMIC

2020

A challenging year for all, but we kept people paddling! We developed a suite of risk assessments and processes to manage the new risks, upgraded our online booking system, got creative with our locally based trips, kept connected with online committee meetings, engaged with members through Facebook, repaired 11 canoes, sold boats, bought new boats and received grants from River Legacy for new canoe paddles and Sport England for Covid supplies.

2020 Kayak Launch initial drwg colour.jpg

NEW DISABILITY FRIENDLY KAYAK LAUNCH INSTALLED

2020

PaddlePlus, as well as many other companies and individuals contributed financially to this important upgrade to benefit all user groups and individuals using the launch point.

2019GopaddlingAward.jpg

RECEIVED GO PADDLING AWARD (BRITISH CANOEING VOLUNTEER & RECOGNITION AWARDS)

2019

“In recognition of our dedication and commitment to paddlesport” through our work at the annual Riverside Festival. In 2019 we introduced 139 people to paddlesport in just 4 days.

2019 Filbert Fox Alex Shaun X Mitch Vicki Nath Nath X.jpg

FILBERT FOX (LEICESTER CITY FC’S MASCOT) GOES OUT FOR A PADDLE!

2019

Filbert Fox and his team took a trip on our bellboat at the Riverside Festival and we made it into the local newspaper.

2019 Challenge badges logo.jpg

LAUNCHED THE FAMILY CHALLENGE BADGES

2019

Aimed at members who wish to progress in certain skill areas, with the reward of a badge and a certificate at the end of each challenge. They include the I Got Wet badge - Every Craft - Safe Paddler - Trip Challenge - Volunteer Challenge - Weir Challenge - Spraydeck test - Eskimo Roll.

18089071117190568.jpg

PUTTING THE ‘PLUS’ BACK INTO PADDLEPLUS

2018

The ‘Plus’ side of PaddlePlus started to re-emerge with monthly high ropes/climbing sessions through the winter, walking, caving, ice skating, summer night BBQs, Rutland aqua park, tobogganing and the christmas party/talent show.

2019 HPP Nath Niamh freestyle.jpg

GB FREESTYLE

2018

Nathan Hefford and Niamh Macken both make the Junior GB Freestyle squad. They both train hard every chance they get and help to create a great social scene at the club, often paddling tandem on flat water tours.

2018 Backbarrow Fay.jpg

FAY HEFFORD CHAIR (2 YEARS)

2017

Fay was once a 'sit in the club-room knitting' mum, until she decided to see for herself what the fuss was all about. She now enjoys white water and touring. The new committee created a more robust procedural club to suit the new demands of British Canoeing.

2017 Ryan Torrence ww training group.jpg

WHITE WATER TRAINING PROGRAMME

2018

Ryan Torrence started a training program for beginners who had expressed an interest in moving on to white water, with joining the annual Easter trip as an end-goal (a non-club group including Dave Troop, Ian Sargent, Anton Magrath, Nathan McDonagh and Sam Burdett).
This same group of paddlers are now coaching on white water themselves, bringing through the next generation of ww paddlers.

2016 BC Awards Orlando.jpg

BRITISH CANOEING VOLUNTEER RECOGNITION AWARDS

2018

PaddlePlus swept the board at the BC Volunteer Awards: Orlando Sarabia-Hill for Young Volunteer, Richard Oldham for Volunteer Coach and Laura Pope for Outstanding Contribution. 

We also held our own small ceremony for members of the club to include: King of Faff - Should Stick to the Wet Stuff - Coach of the Year - Flapjack Tales - Outstanding Contribution - and, Most Developed Paddler. 

2017-duncan-richard-racing-ts.jpg

COMPETITION - MARATHON, SPRINT & WWR AGAIN

2016

Racing had lain dormant for a number of years until Richard Oldham (club member since the 90's) and Duncan Jack took to the old boats in the shed and started attending the Barrow Series Races held by Soar Valley. As a team, with Josh & Daniel Oldham, Ethan Jack and Cameron Bannatyne they trained on the Soar and earned many medals. They hold racing intro nights on a Thursday to encourage new people.

2012 Mark Barfield.jpg

THE MARK BARFIELD AWARD

2015

Sadly Mark passed away while enjoying his favourite sport, his passing affected many people at the club but together we have come through it. The annual Mark Barfield trophy is awarded to members for their services to the club, and we paddle the Barfield Bash every year on his birthday.

2017 Soar Tour signage.jpg

THE SOAR TOUR CANOE TRAIL

2015

This project was led by Andy Oughton and fully supported by BC, CRT, EMPaddlers, Soar Grand Union Partnership and Tourism Leicester. It creates an official trail from Narborough to Trent Lock (32 miles) with dedicated canoe portage points along the whole route for any paddler to enjoy.

2003 Anton_s always been up to something (1).jpg

ANTON MAGRATH CHAIR (2 YEARS)

2015

Anton has been in the club since he was 15 years old, he’s been on all the trips, his favourites being Scotland and Wye Camp. If a lanky man suddenly boards your canoe, it’s most likely Anton!

2014 Jon Cooke.jpg

JON COOKE CHAIR (6 MONTHS)

2014

Jon has such an enthusiasm for paddling and took the helm as chair, he remains an avid whitewater paddler and you can often see his smiling face at HPP.

2013 Dean W etc.jpg

A GROUP OF PP MEMBERS STARTED UP BARROW BOATHOUSE PADDLERS

2013

We are friends of Waterside Canoe Club (relocated to Mountsorrel and renamed) and often join up on events such as the Soar Tour.

2011-2002 LOPC from abseil tower (1).png

KAYAK CAGE BUILT

2011

The abseil (scaffold) tower and stage were only temporary structures erected for an open day shortly after the LOPC was saved, but they ended up staying for 5 years - finally they were dismantled and the kayak cage built in their place.

2008x Minibus fire.jpeg

‘ARSONISTS HIT CANOE CLUB ACTIVITIES’

2010

This is your Event Description. Use this space to provide more details about your event. This is your Event Description. Use this space to provide more details about your event.This is your Event Description. Use this space to provide more details about your event.

2010 sit on tops.jpg

10 SIT-ON-TOP KAYAKS BOUGHT IN MEMORY OF ANGIE HAMPTON

2010

Angie wanted to get less able/less confident people paddling, 10 boats were jointly funded by PP, the Hamptons, LOPC and Scouts.

2008 Andy Oughton.jpg

ANDY OUGHTON CHAIR

2008

Andy is still an invaluable PP member and a wealth of knowledge. He has strong connections with BC, EMPaddlers (the East Mids Regional Development Team), Canal & River Trust and Hou Canoes. Andy delivers courses throughout the UK and has a passion for multi-day trips - his highlights include the annual Open Canoe Festival in France, his 2011 Rannoch Moor Crossing (with John Liquorice, Stu Malcolmson, Pete Montandon, Jon Tilly and Ian Dennis) and in 2017, the Bliss Canoe Trail, the largest circumnavigation of the inland waterways of the UK, covering 862 miles, (paddled only once before in 1993 by Dave Halsall & Steve Murgatroyd).

2008 June Newsletter.jpg

MEMBERS MONTHLY NEWSLETTER

2007

A resurrection of the club newsletter.

2007 Sean OBrien Nene.jpg

SEAN O'BRIEN CHAIR (1 YEAR)

January 10, 2010

Sean was a white water kayaker and very well organised, spending many years as club Treasurer. He changed jobs and moved away from Leicester - one of his regrets was not being able to find another 'PaddlePlus' close to his new home.

2007 Mikey Connelly.jpg

COMPETITION - MARATHON & SPRINT AGAIN

2007

The flat water racing group (run by John Liquorice) grew into the LCTG (Leicester Competition & Training Group) and Keith Hampton re-joined the club, coaching Mark Hampton, Ryan Liquorice, Mikey Connelly, Bryn Bolton-Waugh and others until 2010.
Mikey and Mark were junior marathon national champions in 2007, and silver medalists in 2005 and 2006. They also won their first international marathon in 2005. Mikey’s best results internationally were 4th over the 1000m sprint at the Youth Olympics in 2008.

2000 Burrs Jo Evans Hughes.png

JO EVANS-HUGHES CHAIR (1 YEAR)

2006

Jo was the non-paddling wife and mother of four boys, always willing to take on the catering or booking in. She famously did have a go in a tandem kayak at the Burrs, including the big weir at the top.

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FIRST ACHIEVED THE BC TOPCLUB AND CLUBMARK STATUS

2003

TopClub was British Canoeing's Kitemark for canoe clubs. The achievement of this standard also meets the criteria specified in Club Mark, Sport England's cross sport accreditation scheme. This demonstrates best practice in the running and management of sports clubs and is recognised throughout England.
This was replaced by BC’s Affiliated, Quality Club and Champion Club status in 2018.

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OUR FIRST RIVERSIDE FESTIVAL

2002

Originally providing the council with safety cover for this busy city event by the canal, we are now a big part of the timetable, hosting trial sessions and encouraging new people into our sport. Riverside also provides a good income for the club towards new boats etc.

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BIRSTALL WEIR-BREATHING STOPPED

2001

Birstall Weir has always been a source of local adventure and, up until this point, an unusual activity there was 'weir breathing', where you stood at the bottom and poke your head behind the fall of water to the air gap behind. Unfortunately someone on a summer scheme pushed their head in too fast and took out their teeth, the activity was sadly banned.

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COMPETITION - WILD WATER RACING

2001

Teaming up with Soar Valley CC and coached by Jes Oughton - 3 PP members, Jamie Oughton, Jessica Oughton and Anneka Brewster (Jones) trained regularly on the Soar and went on to represent England and Great Britain. 
Ica (as she was known) became 3 times Sprint World Champion.

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COMPETITION - SLALOM

1999

Anneka Brewster (Jones) started with PaddlePlus at 8 years old, and enjoyed all paddlesport disciplines with her dad - touring (canoe and kayak), racing, white water play, surf and then went on to slalom and later WWR (Wild Water Racing). She competed for England in many Pan Celtic cup races, trained in Roudnice Germany and Liptovsky Slovakia and raced for the GB team at Troja Prague in the 1999 Czech Cup, age 14. 


Today, Anneka is an active member of the committee and enjoys paddling with her daughter and white water with friends. 

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NAME CHANGED TO ‘PADDLEPLUS’

1998

A new club name and our own logo!
Advertising as a club for the outdoors gave us licence to run different trips and experiences for everyone. Creating a stronger identity for the club separated us from LOPC and allowed us more opportunity for grants and funding.

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OUR ANNUAL CALENDAR OF EVENTS - TOURING BEING CENTRAL

1998

Many new club events were created/attended, including the Burrs Bunkhouse weekend, Mablethorpe and Gower surf trips, the Easter Scotland trip, Full Moon, Hot Potato and Cold Turkey Paddles and groups attending nationally recognised events like the Tyne Tour, Tay Descent and Avon Descent. We also got involved in the Boys Clubs 100 Mile Canoe Test - which we now run ourselves.

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ADAM BREWSTER CHAIR (3 YEARS)

1997

Adam, aka The Beard, believed in encouraging families/young paddlers into the sport. He sadly passed away in 2006 and the Solstice Paddle began in his name - If you visit the big tree at Wye Camp you will see his memorial plaque, there’s also one at Capel Curig (the lunch stop on the first day), and an apple tree planted in the environmental area at LOPC. 
He won a Silver medal at the Liffey Descent (2005) and enjoyed solo canoe expeditions, including Leicester to London, Leicester to the Humber and the length of the Shannon in Ireland. He also climbed to Everest Basecamp with Karl Donaghey and sea kayaked in Mexico.

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KEITH TONKS CHAIR (6 YEARS)

1995

Keith was an inspiration to anyone who knew him. Sadly he passed away in 2015 and the LOPC’s Centre of The Year award was dedicated to him for his unwavering commitment, support and enthusiasm for the LOPC (including leading his Dragon Boat team, the LCOPC Soar Bottoms)

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BLISS CHALLENGE

1993

Steve Murgatroyd and Dave Halsall paddled the ‘Bliss Challenge’ - Nottingham to Nottingham via the Trent, Severn and Thames in 25 days. First ever to do it - the next to succeed was Andy Oughton (Chair in 2008)

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LOPC FACES CLOSURE BY THE COUNCIL

1992

A small group of dedicated users built a new business plan and the centre continued to run (just after the dry ski slope was demolished due to funding cuts). In 1999 it became a registered charity. 
The relationship we have with the LOPC is unusual for a club/venue arrangement. We jointly buy and use all the kit we have (along with the Leicestershire Scouts) and meet with them regularly to keep our connection strong.

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THE SOAR BOTTOMS MAKE INTERNATIONAL RACE

1991

‘Soar Bottoms’ Dragon Boat team got to the National Finals in Cardiff and were selected to paddle for GB in Malmo, Sweden - placing 3rd.

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DEVIZES TO WESTMINSTER MEDALISTS

1990

Steve Murgatroyd & Dave Halsall win the 1990 DW Open Canoe Class. The first time the club competed was in 1985, the Hamptons set indoor fitness circuit training and aerobics sessions.

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ANGIE HAMPTON CHAIR

1981

Angie competed in slalom and marathons and led fitness sessions for our racing teams. She was also critical in saving the centre from closure in the 90’s and got the charity going as a working entity. Sadly she passed away in 2010 following a battle with cancer.

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AFFILIATION WITH BRITISH CANOEING (FORMERLY KNOWN AS BCU, BRITISH CANOE UNION)

1998

British Canoeing is our national governing body for paddlesport. They promote paddlesport in the UK, develop our coaching and personal development awards and qualifications, provide our waterways licences and insurances and offer paddle clubs support by providing help and advice. We have always had a solid connection with British Canoeing through Regional Reps.

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COMPETITION - SLALOM

1987

We hosted mini slalom competitions at LOPC (complete with a bonfire and fireworks) and coached some of Team GB: Tom Paterson, Wetzig brothers and Stuart Bowman (2000 and 2004 Olympics)

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COMPETITION - MARATHONS, SPRINTS & WWR

1986

The club had a really strong racing interest. They competed in marathons, sprint races and hosted the family friendly New Year Resolution Race at the LOPC. 
Keith Hampton competed for Team GB in Marathon, Rafting and WWR, and teams won medals in the DW, Hasler, Frank Lunzmore and Liffey Descent.

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DAVE HALSALL CHAIR (3 YEARS)

1986

Dave was a keen racer. He wrote much of the newsletters and went on to write for Canoe Focus, Canoeist and Paddler magazine. He used to put on winter lectures/slide shows on a club night and managed the paperwork for the racing team. Dave moved to Yorkshire in 1994 and ran a caving trip for the club.

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NEW FLEET OF CANOES

1984

Our connection with Colin Broadway and his Mobile Adventure canoes (now made by Hoes Canoes) helped us broaden our fleet. The Minuette, Symphony and Interlude are still in use today!

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NAME CHANGED TO ‘LEICESTER CANOE & OUTDOOR PURSUITS CLUB’

1982

Gradually a full committee was formed by a solid group of volunteers with a strong commitment to the club. The newsletters they produced were legendary! (read these in the trip reports section of our website)

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FIRST EVER WYE CAMP

1982

Run every year in the same field on the banks of the River Wye. Before Aug b/h it was run as a winter trip on the upper Wye but this changed to a summer holiday to encourage people, especially non-paddlers, simply to enjoy the location. 
It’s now part and parcel of the club’s identity and our biggest event of the year.

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STEVE JOHNSON CHAIR (5 YEARS)

1983

Gradually a full committee was formed by a solid group of volunteers with a strong commitment to the club. The newsletters they produced were legendary! (read these in the trip reports section of our website)

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A FAST DEVELOPING CLUB

1981

Regular white water training trips to the French Alps, Austria, Sweden, Scotland and more locally Swarkstone bridge, Kings Mill, the Swale, Matlock, the Tees, bandit runs on the river Wreake, Cardington ww course and Holme Pierrepont 'pont'. 


Other activity weekends were always happening, we had keen walkers, mountain bikers, dragon boat racers, orienteers and cavers.

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THE ‘THURSDAY NIGHT CLUB’ WAS BORN

1981

Founded by a small group fronted by Bernard O’Connor, the 'Thursday Night Club' began - within 2-3 weeks there were 30 paddlers on the water - beginners and the experienced. 


Sadly, Bernard passed away in 2004.

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