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  • Writer's pictureDean Macken

PaddlePlus and Kilby Bridge from a parent’s perspective

Tuesday, 27th April 2021

PaddlePlus and Kilby Bridge from a parent’s perspective Written by Kelly Barber On Tuesday night, I came along with my daughter Avelinn (age 6), for the first time, to watch my son George (8), and husband, Scott, paddle. They have been members for almost 2 years. We had booked Avelinn on the session to paddle as well, but she decided against it. As the group got together for their first briefing at the new site, I walked across to the tow path with Avelinn who kept her buoyancy aid on just in case she changed her mind again!!

They all excitedly launched their boats onto the water and set off. It was fantastic being able to walk right along the side of the canal in the countryside and watch them paddle along, especially watching George paddle with everyone else. He has additional needs and has really grown in confidence and come out of himself - he has built relationships with the coaches, peers and adults who paddle in the family session with him.

As for Avelinn, she had several attempts to get in a canoe with Vicki, getting in and sitting down but then jumping out again, not quite sure. But along came the canoe with Whistler (the dog) and Nathan. That was the trick, she jumped straight in, sat down and off she went.

She clung onto the sides at first, with the dog moving side to side, she was a little unsure but then she relaxed and started to giggle away. Eventually she began to relax and let go of the sides and fuss the dog. Nathan then had her doing all sorts from standing up and doing “head shoulder knees and toes” to moving about the boat. He even had her creeping up behind her dad in his canoe and reaching over to slap his head! By the end all her worries had gone and she loved it.

The new site at Kilby Bridge looks like it’s going to be great, with the ability to walk along the towpath alongside the group, surrounded by fields for the most part. I’ve even been persuaded to try a kayak for the very first time on Thursday!

The club really has been fantastic for my son - everyone is so welcoming and helpful, it’s more of a big family than a club. Kelly Barber

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