We’re very lucky to have such a dedicated and passionate team of coaches at the club.
Andy joined Stafford & Stone Canoe Club in 1983 whilst employed as a Maths teacher at Alleyne’s High School. At the time the club had about 50 competing slalom paddlers including reigning World Champions Richard Fox and Liz Sharman. Of the competing members only 15 were juniors (1 girl). At the start of the 2019 season S&SCC has over 80 competitors of which about half are juniors (17 girls). Andy quickly began to introduce Alleyne’s pupils to the club and to the sport of canoe slalom. This was the start of his involvement in coaching juniors which has continued to this day. His career took him to Shugborough Outdoor Education Centre in 1987 breaking the direct link with Alleyne’s.
“Whilst a majority of young paddlers are not destined to reach the very top of the sport, large numbers do engage for many years and make excellent progress. History has shown that even to reach the top, it is necessary to be paddling and competing by the age of 12, hence for many years the club’s target age group for Taster Sessions has been school years 5 & 6.”
“There is no doubt that Canoe Slalom remains an exciting, dynamic and challenging sport which provides enjoyment, disappointments, life skills and great social opportunities for all.”
The links established with local schools have been invaluable in bringing forwards the next generation of junior slalom paddlers.
Andy has coached across all abilities from Beginner to International level and travelled all over Britain and Europe as a coach and supporter.
Andy has recently become a Slalom Coach Award tutor to help train and develop the next generation of slalom coaches.
His personal coaching philosophy is,
“To create and support an environment that enables achievement for all.”
With a very firm belief that,
“If it is to be, it is up to me!”
Jess has been paddling with S&SCC since 2011 and I began to get involved with coaching around 2016, becoming more heavily involved when reaching the Premier Division. She is currently working towards assessment as a canoe slalom coach and has already completed Core and two Discipline Specific Training courses in slalom and sheltered water.
“I am beginning to branch out into private coaching as a part-time job to take forward to my time at university. In the future I hope to advance further my coaching qualifications and provide coaching for club paddlers to give back to the club.”
Rufus started canoeing at school aged 13, he then joined Cheltenham Canoe Club and started Slalom. He competed until about 1996, then due to work and Motorsport took a rest until about 2000. He did his first Slalom coaching course in 1987 and has been doing approximately 1 course per year since to improve his skills and knowledge of the sport. Rufus joined Stafford and Stone Canoe Club in 2011 and started coaching at the club in 2013.
“I like slalom and canoeing and would like others to enjoy it as well and if they want to go into slalom competitions then all the better. Training alone is is difficult and it can take a long time to progress, to train with others makes it more enjoyable and we progress faster, especially if we train with the best (Stafford and Stone Canoe club).”