Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Canoe and Kayak Training!

A couple of weeks ago some of the team went some canoe and kayaking training. Some have been on their Level 1 course and some on their Level 2 course. Here is what Tom and Marc have to say about their training!

Tom-Level 1:

Recently we (the DisTIL team) completed our Level 1 Canoe and Kayak coaching course. There were six of us altogether and two other groups from some other Christian outdoor centres, so we were able to make lots of new friends. We travelled down to Ashburnham Place (half an hour from Hastings) where we were greeted by the friendly staff there.

On day one of Level 1 we were thrown straight into the deep end …  literally! We started with exercises of all types varying from deep water rescues which involves getting out of the boat and getting back into it, to self-rescues and T-rescues where you fully capsize pull yourself back upright with the aid of another kayak. Most of us remained warm and dry as we used dry suits.



On day two we were taught about lessons and how to structure them by the three instructors. We all managed to learn something even though this was the coldest of the days. On the last two days we had lots of fun carrying out the lessons. A few people fell in and got quite cold but all in all many laughs were had.

Till next time, Tom Garry.








Marc- Level 2

The Second Years and Ben B had an exciting four days on our Level 2 paddle sport training at Ashburnham recently.

We left A+ the day before the course was due to happen and met up with our fellow trainees from Rock UK, The Caldecotte Xperience and an excellent freelance instructor called Stuart. Our course was mainly theory-based but we spent a couple of hours each day on the lake.



The course was primarily about learning the responsibilities and protocol needed to make the big step up from a Level 1 to a Level 2 coach. It was all pretty fascinating, but on the Thursday we took a break from all of that and headed down to Hastings beach to do some paddling in the English Channel.
Despite my frustrating thumb injury, I was excited to get one of the sea kayaks for the day, which was (in my opinion) better than the open canoeing. Five of us in single-manned sea boats headed a couple of kilometres out to sea to discuss navigating and group management skills on such open and wavy water.
The day was filled with networking with the canoeists, paddling around Hastings Pier and some rock hopping - basically dodging rocks around the shore as the current tried to push us onto the beach. It’s fair to say a couple of us got beached a couple of times!



Overall the hospitality from Ashburnham Place, the coaching from Jon Cox and Roger Wiltshire and the enthusiasm from the trainees was just fantastic. I'll remember that week for the rest of my life!   



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