A very Happy New-Year to you and I hope you are looking forwards to some fantastic paddling in 2017. I hope that you have had a great Christmas and that some paddling goodies were on your Christmas list. I’m looking to getting out and paddling my new boat as soon as possible!
As a reminder there are still plenty of spaces on the New-Year Paddle on the 7th of January, please do drop Kirston an email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to attend. It is a great paddle and suitable for all paddlers who can paddle the 14km, and an ideal way to burn off those extra Christmas Calories.
If you don’t think that you could paddle the whole trip then arrangements can be made for you to pick your car up at just after the half way point, please let Kirston know when you book with him.
In the new year the NWSC will be introducing some new rules to improve their knowledge of the paddlers going on the water, and to improve bank side safety so if you are involved in using the course at all, or want to be this year, please make sure that you understand the impact of the new rules.
NWSC Membership will required for all course users, including those using the back channels.
Over the last few months the National Watersports Centre has been introducing a sign on system for paddlers, which involves exchanging a plastic membership card (which they issue) for your bib, which you wear on the course.
This will in the new-year, also apply to those paddlers undertaking a coached session on the back channels, so it is important that if you use the course in any way that you make sure that you have registered at WW reception. This is particularly important for juniors as the form needs to be signed by a parent or someone with legal responsibility. The form is attached to this email, so you can fill it out at home if you haven’t already done so. If you have a season ticket then you are already covered.
Therefore in the future it will not be possible to take people on to the course if they just turn up.
Because of the complications involved in this, a new signing on system will be required on a Saturday morning, Thursday evening, or for a slalom session for anyone who has not got a paid season pass to the course, and requires coaching.
After having signed on in the compound and having checked that there is a back-channels or main course session running please collect a ticket from the coach that will be running your session. This will either be a “Coached Session” card or a “Back-Channels Coached Session Card”, you should then take this card to the NWSC reception point with your NWSC membership card where for the main course you will be charged at the Coached rate and given your bib, and for the backchannels you will receive your bib.
At the end of the session you should return your bib and you will receive your NWSC membership card back.
For those who provide safety support on the bank the NWSC are now insisting that these people have either of the following qualifications, WW Safety and Rescue (WWSR) or Foundation Safety and Rescue (FSR) and they will want to see evidence of this before you can provide safety cover.
Alternatively you must have undertaken a safety course run by the NWSC and they will record the details of those who have undertaken these courses.
We are aware that this may affect a number of people, especially parents who support their children whist they are paddling on the course and therefore we have arranged with the Centre that they will recognise site specific training that the club will offer to parents and paddlers, where this is provided by a recognized FSR provider.
We are fortunate that as a club we have two nationally accredited FSR providers, and a third in training, so we are able to offer this training at a minimal cost to club members.
We are currently developing a syllabus for an in-house course that will be approved by the centre, and once this is approved then we will be able to roll out courses to anyone who needs this training. This training will be accompanied by a certificate of attendance which can be presented to the centre.
As a club we welcome this development by the centre as there have been a few nasty incidents over the last few years where people trying to help have either become an accident statistic themselves or have suffered injuries through incorrect use of throwlines.
All those offering bank support will be required to wear a BA and a helmet, and will be required to check in at reception before starting the session.
If you would like to attend one of these courses please let your appropriate representative know and we will compile a list.
So what’s on the horizon?
Well there will be some exciting news shortly about our club website which is about to undergo a complete overhaul, there is a full list of trips that will be published, and we are looking at getting courses sorted out for those that want them.
However, there is one great opportunity for some paddlers who want to work towards their 2 star skills for some intensive coaching. On the 18th and 19th of February Christina and Tracy will be planning a weekend of intensive skills training at the club. This is not a normal 2 star training weekend covering the whole syllabus as the skills will be based around progressive sessions, but is a great opportunity for paddlers to get intensive coaching on their skills. The cost per paddler is just £10 for the whole weekend (you need to attend for both days and numbers will be limited to just 8 paddlers). To book please speak to Christina or reply to this email and I will pass your details on.
One other date for the diary is a 3 star touring assessment for either Canoe or Kayak on Sunday the 12th of February, again please contact me for more details.
So all in all, an exciting time ahead for 2017.