On the weekend of 15 and 16 October, 20 children converged on Champion Lakes Regatta Centre for a fun filled weekend, designed to introduce guppy aged children to as many forms of kayaking as possible, to encourage and establish a passion for paddling.
On Saturday three young slalom coaches , Nina, Cameron and Alexandra gave the children an experience not far from what slalom really is like, with winds of 25kph plus whipping up white horses on the lake! While one group was learning about turns and strokes, the other group was engaging in action filled canoe polo. Again that was tough work too as the kids were pushed up against the pontoons trying to score goals but there were lots of screams of delight so it seemed they were enjoying it! In the afternoon Atti Kaplan filmed each child and took individual sessions with them analysing their stroke technique. Saturday nights yummy meal was catered for by a friend of Tait’s. The kids set up their sleeping bags in the two CLBC boatsheds, had some quiet time with board games and finished off the day with a movie night.
The weather changed for the better on Sunday, the sun came out and the wind subsided. Action on the water started again with K1 200m time trials. This was followed by a talk from Caleb Bushby and Tyler Armenti, who as former guppies, acted as role models for the children and could tell them about the commitment and rewards of paddling, culminating with their recent experience of being selected in the Olympic Hopefuls team to paddle in Europe. Guy Power also visited to assist with some sprint training and technique correction. There were sessions on the kayak ergos and also a nutrition talk from Tait with a fun, “let your hair down” session on the gizmos in the afternoon.
These events are only made possible by wonderful volunteers such as Agnes Pajor, Tait Brown, Gabor Neveri and Jim Stevens who gave up their entire weekend to supervise the children. Britt Good Gerne, from CLBC also did this, along with taking photos, supervising and arranging meal breaks and keeping an eye on three children.
Many thank to our visiting coaches who also gave their time to help make it such a wonderful weekend.