Canoe Club - Semester 1 Report 2016-17
Saturday 28 January 2017
This year the Canoe Club has continued to go from strength to strength. Reaching our highest ever membership of 95 people, kayaking has taken off in St Andrews. We started this year with several aims; to attract more members, increase inclusivity and develop the kayaking ability of every individual and I believe we have achieved and will continue to perfect these goals next semester.
In September, the club worked together to pull out all the stops to attract new members. By putting up banners and flyers all over the town, creating a Snapchat geofilter and pulling kayaks around the Sports Fayre - we tried to make ourselves as known as possible. This evidently worked when all of our give-it-a-go sessions were jam packed with 50 people wanting to give kayaking a try. Normally this number of people can drop quite dramatically as the semester continues; however, our retention of Freshers was huge with our new members holding an extraordinary keenness for kayaking. This undoubtedly has had a lasting impact on the club, as their dedication to the sport has seen them progress quickly allowing them to join older and more experienced paddlers to kayak more challenging and exciting rivers.
So far we have had a fantastic start to our competitive season, beginning with BUCS Wild Water Racing. This year we sent down a record number of 30 competitors to Yorkshire to camp and compete in sub-zero temperatures. However the snowy conditions failed to deter us from singing ‘Oh Flower of Scotland’ and putting our megaphone to good use. Overall we achieved 7th place with the highlight of Rebecca Smith coming 6th in C1 category. In November we also travelled to Edinburgh to play kayak polo against Edinburgh University in preparation for canoe polo tournaments in the Scottish Student Sport (SSS) league and the Scottish league next year.
This year our social secretaries put an incredible amount of effort into all of our events and weekly pub sessions, which was evident through our sell out annual ball. Furthermore, due to larger numbers attending our weekly pub sessions, we have recently been able to secure club sponsorship.
This year has been incredibly busy with our weekly sessions. Each week we have two pool sessions and every Wednesday come rain, hail, sleet or snow we are out on the sea. Furthermore we have at least one river trip each weekend catering for all abilities. These resources are absolutely essential for getting fundamental skills in place, as well as establishing confidence and mutual trust on the water. We have also bought new wetsuits and four new boats as well as maintenance equipment. This is vital for our growing club and more will be replenished over the coming months.
Charities and Outreach
At the beginning of the year we picked three charities to support; Scottish Association for Mental Health, Teenage Cancer Trust and Families First. To date we have raised £590 for these charities from our Naked Calendar and profits from the Adrenaline Ball. In addition, just before Christmas we had a huge effort to collect food for Storehouse, a food drive in St Andrews. Finally, our work with BASE Fife (Blind Activities Support and Events) continues to be successful, with a couple of key members participating regularly.
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