What to Expect

Once you have had your Taster Session day, you will then be invited to join a ten week introduction program, where you will learn the basics of canoeing and be introduced to canoe slalom. After this introduction period you can then decide to become a full member of the club and join one of the training groups.

“Fin joined the club in spring 2018, he could already paddle and loved canoeing but had never done any slalom. He immediately made friends and really enjoyed training and being a valued member of the club. Fin loves his training so much, he is upset when we are not able to get to training now! In his first season, despite missing the first few events we managed to get to 12 races. We love the friendliness of the weekends away and social side slalom brings. He has also really enjoyed the extra training and activities in the holidays, especially the trips to the white water centre in Nottingham. As he was having so much fun his sister has now joined too and we start competing this year with both of them”. Louise Croome (Mum)

The club is a competitive club and with that brings a expectation of commitment. Once you are a full member we like to have 75% attendance to training and encourage all paddlers to compete in at least 10 races a year. This isn’t as hard as it sounds as a weekends racing counts as 2 races, one race a day. We hold three race weekends at Stone making up 6 races. Obviously external and personal factors are always taken into account.

Kate taking the beginners group out for a 3 mile paddle down the canal.

In addition to the weekly session, coaches regularly offer extra sessions on the weekend or over school holidays. These are always very popular as they allow for longer sessions and more can be taught.

Particularly popular days are the trips to Jackfields rapids at Ironbridge, to learn on some faster moving water.

Jack at Jackfields
George and Isaac getting used to the faster water at HPP.

Then for those who are ready the introduction to the White Water Course at Holme Pierrepont (HPP) in Nottingham is always fun.

Learning to swim safely in white water at HPP. The hardest part of this task was getting them to stop!

Once you are competing and enjoying slalom the world is your oyster! Many of our members train, compete and get involved in the running of races or even help coach. They enjoy paddling, the friendships they have made and the health benefits of the exercise. But each year we always have a several members who push themselves and get onto one of the British Canoeing Talent Squads. Getting onto a squad means you have had to meet certain targets for that year. You will then do extra training, mainly at HPP in Nottingham and around the country. The squads aim is ultimately to develop paddlers for the British Team and we are very proud of the high number of paddlers who have gone through the squads and onto the world stage.

We also are very fortunate that each year our GB Team paddlers come back to Stone for Christmas and run a Fun day between Christmas and New Year. This is a popular day and gets the club together for some sill game and a bit of exercise in the Christmas period. We are so lucky that Olympian Adam Burgess has run this day for the last few years. See what we got up to in 2019.

We also have the annual New Years Day race to kick start the year. This is a bit of fun for everyone, with a handicap system being in place so anyone could win. To add to the excitement, it fancy dress and this is chosen each year by the previous years winner.

2019 Cops and Robbers NYD Race.
Parents helping at the bar pack.

But being a member of the club isn’t just for the paddlers. The club is voluntary and can only survive with the support of the dedicated coaches and backroom staff. We run several races, from the Mini Slaloms to Div3/4 race meets. These all raise much needed funds for the club, which help to keep membership fees low and facilities high. These races can only happen with the support of the parents, setting up the course, race registration, judging and the most important catering team, making the teas and keeping the oatcakes coming. All of this can sound a little daunting, but we encourage everyone to get involved and learn the ropes.

We also have social events and a big fundraiser is the “bag pack” at the Stone Morrisons. All again needing the support and help of the parents.