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  • Writer's pictureDean Macken

Introduction to Paddling Session - May 2021

Thursday, 13th May 2021

Intro to Paddling Session

Written by Heather Burns On Thursday 13th May after a torrential downpour, eight new paddlers and their leaders looked to the sky with relief when the clouds cleared, and the sun came out. This welcome weather change reduced their chances of getting a soaking and meant they could focus their attentions on enjoying the PaddlePlus Introduction to Paddling session on the River Soar.

In the calm that came between the lively Family Paddle participants and the Racing Kayaks departing, and the more confident (and some might say more competent) Adult Session paddlers arriving, the new paddlers, with support from the leaders, chose and fitted their boats and buoyancy aids and got on the water. Kayaks were clearly the favourite tonight!

The session started with a few spirited games that stopped the paddlers from worrying about how the kayaks moved, to using their paddles to take control and move where they wanted to go (which was mostly away from the infamous 'PaddlePlus Sharks').

With their confidence high, the group chose to put their new-found skills to good use and paddle upstream to Swans Nest weir with the lure of a challenge to really build their paddling skills.

The journey saw the group negotiate a couple of bridges and navigate through the TS Tigers Sea Cadet team to arrive safely at Swans Nest. For those satisfied with all they'd achieved there was the chance to relax, do a spot of bird watching and enjoy a ring side seat for the group challenge.

For those looking to make the very most of their new skills, there was the opportunity to pass through the lock which would take them to the top of a fun little weir, which they could then shoot back down to meet the rest of the group. As it happened, the group from the Adult Session arrived at the same time and showed how shooting the weir could be done in a kayak or canoe.

One successful descent even had the addition of a large metal industrial container, that had been found floating in the water and was on its way back to the centre for safe disposal.

After some top tips and advice, the new paddlers all successfully shot the weir accompanied by whoops of joy and smiles all round. The group were pleased when they realised the paddle back downstream would be a little easier and a little quicker than the one upstream, with the gentle flow of the river helping them back to base.

It was an enjoyable night and a successful paddle for the group, with many saying they are looking forward to coming back for more - we must have done something right!

See you next week.. Heather

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