Peak Paddle kayak pool training help youngsters take to the river

Peak Paddle kayak pool training help youngsters take to the river

By Col Stocker

We enhance kayak skills and safety in youths through pool sessions before progressing to Cromford Canal and River Derwent kayaking.

Over at Paddle Peak one of their projects is working with groups of local youngsters attending regular kayaking sessions on the Cromford Canal and River Derwent, to inspire and engage them within the Derwent valley through paddlesport. The sessions are structured by highly qualified coaches to introduce and then build on the youngster's skills through a 3-level award system.

Pete Astles is chair at Paddle Peak Charity & Club and he let us know why they were after further support and explained what they've been getting up to.

“To enhance and further develop their confidence and skills we wanted to run pool sessions, which is an ideal warm and safe learning environment to practice vital safety and rescue skills, including eskimo rolling. One of our primary aims is to negate any initial financial burden of experiencing paddlesport, so being able to make all sessions in the initial three levels free to participants is a massive help.”

kayaker teaching skills in swimming pool

Twenty local youngsters from Matlock, Matlock Bath, Cromford and Wirsksworth have been taking part in the weekly outdoor kayak sessions run by volunteer coaches and through support from Peak UK and British Canoeing Stronger Together Fund. We were delighted to add some further support with a £350 grant to help towards the cost of hiring Bakewell Swimming Pool.

“Thanks to help from the the Alpkit Foundation it has meant that they all get a monthly session in the pool as well, to practice those essential skills which really helps develop their experience and boost confidence to paddle on moving water in a safe and well-managed manner. Combined together, it all helps to enable more coaching and resource development for paddlesports.”

Paddle Peak do loads of great work on promoting responsible paddle sports within the Derwent Valley, from access to caring for the river and its wildlife. Check out their work over on the Paddle Peak website.

So it’s been great to hear how these sessions have helped towards getting more youngsters inspired and involved in kayaking and building that passion for getting outdoors and enjoying the sport as well as the places they play within.

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