In 2019, Gilbert created an opportunity for adult paddlers to “Learn to Paddle a Racing Kayak”. A wide assortment of people joined forces to begin this journey together. A steady start saw some taking to it very easily, whilst others spent a little more time in the water than on top of it! However, perseverance paid off, and we now have a very enthusiastic group who arrange to meet and paddle regularly each week. We’ve even had a trip to paddle on Loch Lomond, which was awesome! Several of the group participate in gym sessions, to improve overall fitness and conditioning. Others run together at Beecraigs when conditions aren’t conducive to paddling. And it has to be said, that there has also been a fair amount of fun, friendship and social adventuring amongst this new group of training buddies. The great thing is, there’s plenty room for newcomers – so give us a shout if you want to join in!
More recently, the “Beginners – Towards Racing” lessons began in 2021, introducing another cohort of completely new people to the joys of paddling. Many had never been in a kayak before, let alone a rather unstable, racing boat! The first group of 7 paddlers have now completed their block of 6 lessons and have achieved their British Canoeing Paddle Discover Awards, which gives both LKR and the paddlers confidence that they have gained the necessary skills to safely and competently paddle independently, adding further enthusiasm and joy to our existing adult paddling groups. Here are a few pictures of their recent journey (have a look at the videos here to see how brilliant they were at manoeuvring and getting in and out of difficulties!) :
In their own words:
“From day one, I was hooked despite being immersed in the canal on a number of occasions! The sport and the whole experience has enabled me to combine my love of the outdoors, fuelled my drive to increase my fitness and given me the opportunity to spend amazing times with some old friends and lots of new ones too. Here’s to many more years ahead! “