The University of St Andrews Canoe & Kayak Club are one of the most active and friendly clubs in St Andrews, and have something to offer everyone. The Club caters for all levels of experience and skill, welcoming both complete beginners and experienced paddlers. SCA qualified coaches are on hand to help you get started with the basics and help you feel more confident, before progressing onto harder skills. Many different types of kayaking and canoeing are catered for; from disciplines including surf to whitewater and most things between. The Club participates in various competitions across the disciplines, usually against other universities in Scottish Student Sport (SSS) and British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) championships and competitions. The Club also offers many courses and qualifications. These are available to all members, and are suitable for varying levels of experience and skill.
|Mon||8:15 - 9:15 pm||Madras School Pool|
|Tues||8:15 - 9:15 pm||Madras School Pool|
|Wed||2:00 - 5:00 pm||East Sands|
Whilst the club doesn't have a regular external coach, many of the members are highly qualified (including a UKCC level 3 trainee) and volunteer their time to coach others in the club. Alongside this, the club runs many coaching days with external coaches, which are subsidised by the club so everyone can enjoy some of the best kayak coaching in the UK. There are also opportunities for students to take up coaching whilst at university, giving them a better understanding of the skills used, the ability to contribute to the coaching within the club and open access to summer jobs at outdoor centres.
Teams and Competitions
Canoeing competitions can involve Slalom (as seen in the Olympics), White Water Racing (times race down a rapid) and Kayak Polo (water polo in kayaks) and the club has both a beginner and advanced team that compete all year round.
Most of the club sessions are recreational, with members given the choice of learning some new skills from a coach, improving some old ones or having a friendly game of kayak polo. All members are then given the opportunity to test out their skills on the river led by a group of experienced kayakers to coach everyone down the UK's best white water.
Outreach & Charity
The Canoe Club is one of the most active sports clubs for volunteering, having assisted at BASE (blind activities support events) every week over the last year. The club also organised a three day expedition along the Caledonia Canal helping to raise £4000 for Cancer Research in aid of a friend who had completed the expedition a few years previously but has unfortunately passed away. Other work has been with Nepal Schools Trust, run by kayakers aiming to improve education in Nepal, but more recently assisting with the earthquake recovery in the most rural areas of Nepal.
The club helps offset their carbon contribution and counteract their trips around Scotland by annually arranging tree planting in the local area. Alongside this are beach litter-sweeps and conservation work at Cambo Estate, removing invasive plants and returning the habitat to what it once was. A new project for this year saw the club introduce litter-sweeping of the Kinnessburn through St Andrews, yielding many kilograms of waste. The clubs efforts this year have contributed to them winning both the Volunteer and Green Club of the Year at the Saints Sport end of year awards.