Perse canoeists make rapid progress at London Olympic venue
1 Jan 2019
Perse Canoe Club members are being given the chance to test their skills on the London Olympics white water course.
Since being launched in 2013, the club has grown from delivering sheltered water open canoe training to a range of water-based activities, including paddle boarding and white water kayaking. During that time, students have canoed the length of the Rivers Spey and Tay, crossed Scotland by paddling the Great Glens and tackled rapids on the Rivers Dee and Tryweryn.
However, a growing membership has seen the club split into two sections – a foundation group for novices and a development group for intermediate to advanced paddlers – with the latter now being able to train regularly at Lee Valley White Water Centre, which hosted the slalom events at the 2012 Olympic Games.
Perse Head of Outdoor Pursuits Ben Parker felt it was a great opportunity for the club’s more experienced canoeists, with groups of up to five students able to participate at the Hertfordshire venue each week during term time.
He said: “Undertaking training at such a world-class facility represents a significant improvement in the club’s training provision. Students have had to develop their paddling skills, including overcoming the technically difficult challenge of completing an Eskimo roll.
“The proximity of the venue, coupled with improved equipment, means that students can train more regularly on moving water, accelerating their learning. The new dry suits have certainly increased student confidence in the cold, wintry conditions. No longer does an error mean getting cold!
“After consolidating skills in training sessions, development group students will be able to tackle more challenging rivers on an expedition in 2019.”