A team to be proud of

A team to be proud of

Congratulations to all of our volunteer members who received awards at British Canoeing’s Southern Region (Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Hampshire) award ceremony on Tuesday 20th November, held in Pangbourne.

Attended by various clubs throughout the region, our members received awards for long service, impact and volunteering.

Club Impact Award for 2018
Jointly to Ian Blatchley and John Bethell

Young Volunteer Coach of the Year
Ellie Hatchett

15 Years Service Award for Services to the Southern Region

Kevin Dennis

Outstanding Contribution and 25 Years Service

Adrian Moon
Alan Brown
Cliff Coombes
Ed Edwards
Ian Blatchley
Ian Flanders
John Bethell
Ken Tomkins
Maggie Dennis
Sue Harris
Vicky Metcalfe

15 years service
Andrew Middleton
Bill Whitaker
Claire Hardwick
Colin Greaves
Mark Edwards
Ian Palmer
Kevin Dennis
Lizzy Feuillade
Paul Atherton
Penny Tomkins
Steve McCluskey
Tim Metcalfe

Well done to everyone

Adventure Dolphin launches new Paddlesport Section

Jack Hulse, one of the Paddlesport Team Leaders said: “We are keen to create new opportunities for our younger members to come together and try something new. The sessions will be split into two groups, and following Adventure Dolphin tradition, they have been named “The Penguins” for our 11-14 year olds and “The Dolphins” for those aged 15-18 years.

Each session will enable participants to develop their skills as we prepare for a special Halloween Spooktacular event on Saturday 27 October 2018, where Paddlesport members will compete against each other to win prizes.”

Session times
The sessions will run fortnightly on Sunday mornings. Sign-in is from 9.30am, to be on the water for 10am, with a 12noon finish.

Don’t forget, the Sunday morning paddle is on at the same time, so Paddlesport members could leave their adults (1 star holders +) with Nick, Chris and Don for a paddle too!

How to become a Paddlesport member
To be eligible you must:
– Be aged 11-18 years old from 1 September 2018
– Be a current member of Adventure Dolphin
– And have attended at least a Paddlesport Fun course or above

If you meet all of the above criteria, please register your interest by emailing: paddlesport@adventuredolphin.co.uk

Paddlesport Spooktacular event
To enter the Spooktacular event, you must be a Paddlesport member (or an associated family member). So, don’t forget to put the date in the diary and further details will follow nearer the time.

Paddle boarding comes to AD

It was a warm Sunday afternoon. The ducks quacked and the swans preened.

The sun was out and 13 people turned up to our inaugural Stand Up Paddle Boarding sessions. We had a fully booked session. We had both families and individuals participate.

We toured around the Mill Pond, Lock Cut and went up to the islands. We covered how to paddle stroke, reverse paddle turn, and the tricky step back turn.

All participants did very well. We had a 100% success rate where everyone stood up on their paddle board; and this includes some who previously had not been able to do that.

We had a great day paddling amongst the ducks and the swans.

Thanks to The Outdoor Academy for the SUP loan and to Claire and Penny for their support.

We are set to hold another session on 30th September. Visit our online calendar for further information.

Abingdon Round and Swift Ditch

On Sunday 1st July a group of 21 Adventure Dolphin members met at the paddler friendly Abingdon Marina to sample the Thames, the River Ock and – a perennial favourite of the club – Swift Ditch (this latter always known as Swift Ditch by paddlers but more boringly identified as merely “Back Water” by the Ordnance Survey on their maps).

The group met with a typical mixed bag of craft – kayak, OC solo and OC tandem – and the paddle was ably lead by Ed Edwards assisted by Claire Hardwick, Ian Flanders and Adrian Moon. Ed doubled as our tour guide for the day with enlightening snippets about the buildings and entertainment opportunities of Abingdon appearing to know a great deal about Abingdon jail and which pubs were best to impress girlfriends.

After the obligatory faffing, and Claire’s comprehensive “A to G” briefing, we left Abingdon Marina and set off upstream on the Thames but soon left the major river by passing under the old iron bridge at the entrance to the River Ock. The name Ock apparently originates from a Celtic word meaning salmon – a useless piece of information from Adrian.

The Ock was at a better level than might have been expected after the dry spell of weather and after a few hundred metres paddling and wading upstream we reached the spot at which a portage took us over onto the Wilts and Berks Canal and our return via a small shoot back onto the lower Ock. Back on the Thames Ed put on his tour guide hat and took us on a small diversion into the mill stream requiring some undergrowth removal by Claire (quicker on the draw with the pruning saw than Ian on this occasion).
Having passed up through Abingdon Lock (far too hot for all that portaging business) we headed across the top of the weir into the upper mill stream (more pruning work) and on to a suitably shady spot in the Abbey Gardens that happened to be in striking distance of toilets and an ice cream van – what more could we want.

Our numbers swelled (by 1) after lunch with the arrival of Jane Edwards who hadn’t been able to join us earlier as she had been otherwise occupied with the latest addition to the Edwards clan, one Quinn Alexander, born to son Ash and partner Kate in the early hours of that morning.

Lunch having been duly consumed we headed back across the top of the weir and on up the Thames towards the highlight of the day, Swift Ditch. The entrance to this gem, and the original course of the Thames, involves a 2 metre high drop over a weir at the former flash lock. A number of our group entertained us here by taking a cooling swim – their maiden swim in some cases, no names mentioned. Having restored all parties to their respective boats the paddle down Swift Ditch went without further incident and provided some welcome shady trees and respite from the sun and high temperatures that we have become accustomed to in recent weeks. Unusually for Swift Ditch no pruning work was needed.

Just a few hundred metres below Abingdon Marina Swift Ditch re-joins the Thames and the circuit was completed – a varied trip just a little different than the conventional downstream paddles we are more used to taking. Thanks to Ed who manged to stay awake all day despite having been involved, like Jane, in the early morning run out for that Edwards family addition.

 

To see all the pics click here.

Leadership Training Workshops

Claire Hardwick and Ian Flanders are currently running a series of Leader Training Workshops aimed at three star paddlers (Kayak/Open Canoe), who are considering taking their coaching or leadership awards, or just want to increase their paddling knowledge and confidence. These sessions are also open to younger members aged 14 and up, or anyone interested in the Paddlesport Activity Assistant Award.

The next sessions are:-

Sunday 29th July – Sea Kayak Skills, rescues and rolling.

Sunday August 12th – Foundation Safety Rescue Training Skills

We will be continuing on from the session on the 17th June. However, you do not need to have attended in June to attend this session.
To book your place click here.

Paddlesport Activity Assistant

Many club members are not coaches or qualified leaders, yet they do perform the role of assisting within groups and in running sessions. There is now a British Canoeing award available which recognises these skills. It is open to anyone 14 years and above and is ideal for young paddlers. In some ways this award replaces the old Cadet Leader scheme.

There are more details on the British Canoeing website.
https://www.britishcanoeing.org.uk/courses/paddlesport-activity-assistant
Don’t let the paperwork put you off. There are no requirements to attend a formal training course.

Many of our helpers already have sufficient skills to qualify for the award. Some may want some short training sessions and assistance in completing the log book.

We hope to offer training sessions for anyone interested in gaining this award.
For further information, or to show interest in this scheme please contact Claire Hardwick via tripsplanning@adventuredolphin.co.uk

CPD Updates for coaches

There has been some delay, but all coaches who attended our Standards Day event earlier in the year (25th March) should now have received an email from British Canoeing (BC) to confirm that they have an 18 month CPD update in their coach record.
Please check your coaching file on the BC website to ensure that your CPD points have registered.

Top tip: Sign onto BC website- Look at the Top right – Sign In, (Use BC number or your email address if you can’t remember log in details) – My profile – Credentials – You will find a list of your credentials – active and expired Awards, courses etc.
Remember – the club can only deploy coaches that maintain their “Update” status. Coaches who have allowed their qualifications to lapse can still coach with us, but have to be supervised by a qualified coach and do not count as a coach when we calculate coach to participant ratios.
For further information regarding the update requirements visit: https://www.britishcanoeing.org.uk/coaching-leadership/support-recognition/coach-update-scheme

A classic paddle – St Patrick’s Stream, 6th May, report by Ed Edwards

Once again we were lucky to have a blue skies paddle on the Thames. Starting at the Wokingham Waterside Centre at Dreadnought Reach we made our way towards Sonning where of course we were obliged to pull up at the pub where ice creams were being sold by the riverside.

By now the temperature had risen and we were pleased to enter the quiet sheltered waters of St Patrick’s Stream, a backwater of the Thames. What makes this a classic paddle of course is the drop in height of the river which creates a twisting gentle moving water paddle on St Pat’s. It was idyllic floating past the large houses and garden and seeing wildlife. We had received a warning from local paddlers that there was a tree down causing a passable obstruction. Any excuse for getting the pruning saw out!

Exiting St Pat’s brought us to Wargrave Boat Club where we were warmly greeted and offered tea. We couldn’t stay long though as the club doesn’t admit dogs onto its site so we moved down river and had lunch on the bank outside the George and Dragon.

The final leg of the journey took as down another backwater, this time Hennerton Water. Again lots of house with enormous riverside gardens, wildlife and by now very welcome shade from the sun.

As it was bank holiday weekend there were many boats on the river which meant queueing at the locks but everyone was in good humour. We arrived at the Eyot Centre in Henley to the sounds of a brass band playing in the park. We felt we were being welcomed to the town. All agreed it was a lovely paddle and it was great seeing so many enjoying the river either on it – in a variety of boats – or on the river banks.

Open Day 2018

Open Day 2018 – An unexpected success!

Despite that fact that this year’s Open Day plans were blown apart by the weather and hindered by red boards declaring it too dangerous to take beginners out on the water, members rallied and delivered one of the most successful events we have ever staged as volunteers secured 15 course bookings and took memberships on the day.

Adventure Dolphin, Open Day Organiser, Ed Edwards said: “The odds were against us. The weather forecast for the week predicted yet more rain and we were faced with the prospect of cancelling. Our marketing had attracted over 200 bookings (a first!) and while we didn’t want to lose those people’s support, we felt that it would be unfair to encourage them to come along, only to be disappointed.

“Discussions amongst the operations team (Seneschal) resulted in a compromise, so we emailed all visitors to inform them that we were unable to facilitate water-based activities, but that we still had plenty to see and do. Much to our delight 90 people joined us and a very productive and enjoyable day was had by all.

“So, I would like to thank all the volunteers who helped on the day and made our visitors feel so welcome. A range of activities including climbing, conversations about different boats, paddling machines, play boating and moving water skills demos, videos, books, backwoods fire lighting, use of Kelly kettles (with marshmallows and hot chocolate) were provided and our catering team did a brilliant job at keeping everyone going.”

Ed added: “There were lots of highlights on the day, but the way our volunteers interacted with visitors and the booking-in system really stood out, and the best picture goes to the children in the open canoe in the puddle just outside the building – it created the biggest smiles! Thank you to everyone involved.”

Snow Sunday

Well even with the snow falling 6 of us hardy paddlers took to the water on Sunday for a paddle down river. Fantastic views of the snow covered hills around us.