BC update on paddlesport activity 26 March 2020

Members will recognise that we are in a very fast changing situation, responding to the advice and guidance dealing with issues related to the Coronavirus COVID 19 situation.

With regards to paddlesport activity, British Canoeing has today issued new guidance in the following statement:

In light of the government’s Stay at Home measures and following new guidance issued today by the Environment Agency and Canal & River Trust, which impacts the usage of waterways, British Canoeing has further revised its position and now strongly recommends that all paddlesport activity should immediately cease on rivers, waterways and coastal areas until further notice.

This is in line with government advice requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes, avoiding social gatherings and all non-essential travel.

Further information is here.

MRC Junior Development Squad March 2020

A list of those who are eligible and have applied to be on this year’s MRC Junior Development Squad is here:  JDS 16 March 2020
Don’t forget, now that the racing has started again, you can join throughout the year as you get promoted.  
Boys U18 Div 3      U16 Div4
Girls U18 Div4        U16 Div5
Canoeists – one division below the kayakers.
The link to sign up is here.
 
At the moment this weekend’s training day at Elmbridge is going ahead, and more information will be sent to JDS paddlers, parents and coaches soon.
 

Postponement of the British Canoeing Regional Workshops

Te impact of the Corona Virus (COVID-19) is already being felt in many aspects of our lives and this is likely to escalate in the coming weeks.

As a part of our response to the Corona Virus, British Canoeing has taken the decision to postpone the Future Strategic Plan Regional Workshops which were due to take place throughout England over the next 6 weeks. We apologise for any disappointment or inconvenience that this may cause.

We plan to reorganise these in October 2020 and will publish these dates within the next few weeks. We will also shortly announce plans for a series of digital conferences around the future strategy which we expect to take place in April and May. This will enable many members to still contribute fully to this phase of developing the strategy.

British Canoeing will be issuing its wider advice around COVID-19 to clubs, committees and event organisers later today via our website and other communication channels. We will then update this whenever the advice changes from the various governments within the UK.

Kind regards

David Joy

CEO, British Canoeing

 

Fair, Shared and Sustainable Open Access

A reminder from British Canoeing:

For too long the right to paddle on or swim in our inland waters in England and Wales has been disputed.  Many special places are perceived to be ‘off limits’, with paddlers frequently subject to challenge or threats over their right to be there.

 It’s time this changed, and we need you to make it happen.

We are asking the Government to review current policy toward access on waters in England and Wales. This includes considering new legislation where necessary. Signing the petition will help us achieve this.

If you are passionate about protecting the places we paddle and ensuring our children and future generations can enjoy fair, shared access to all our waterways then please sign our petition today.

Fair, shared, sustainable open access. It’s not too much to ask for…is it?

For more information about the Clear Access, Clear Waters Campaign and to sign our petition, head to www.clearaccessclearwaters.org.uk NOW!

BC Spring Roadshows

British Canoeing are running a series of roadshows around the country.

The roadshow will visit 14 locations in March and April and aims to provide members with an opportunity to:

• Hear about the progress made towards the ambitions within the current four-year strategic plan, Stronger Together
• Comment on what should be included in the next strategic plan for 2021-25
• Meet with and raise questions with British Canoeing CEO David Joy, senior staff and Board Members who will be present.

More information and registration can be found here.

George Oliver 1948 – 2020

It is with great sadness that we bring you news of the death of George, long term member of Nottingham Kayak Club and friend to paddlers all over the country and abroad.

He came to Nottingham as a cabinet maker at Stag in 1970, joining the club in the autumn of that year. He was already a paddler, having sea canoed in the North East.

On joining the club he took particular interest in Long Distance Racing, now known as Marathon. However his interest in other branches of the sport remained and he brought his skill in boat building to designs in sea boats, canoes, racing kayaks, polo and slalom boats. Up until his death in February this year he was still working on new designs for both outriggers and marathon canoes. Without George, Nottingham Kayak Club would not be the club it is today. With his help, we were able to develop a fleet of racing kayaks and canoes, general purpose and canoe polo boats. Club members also benefitted from George’s guidance in making their own boats. Income generated by the club under his guidance allowed developments way beyond anything the existing members could have managed, including replacing old wooden outdoor boat-racks and a crumbling wooden shed, with our current building.

George worked at a number of jobs including as a laminator for a local plastics company, building much bigger boats than canoes. Meanwhile he continued to develop his coaching skills and paddling prowess including winning Liffey Descent in K2, DW Canadian Trophy and DW Mixed K2 & Home Built Boat. He also went to Eaton Hall College, Retford and qualified as a teacher although young people in canoeing benefitted from that more than those in classrooms or workshops.

In 1980 George took on the role of Administrator to Canoe 81 Nottingham, the Sprint World Championships. After this very successful event had taken place, he took the job of Canoe Coaching and Development Officer for Nottinghamshire County Council, giving support and help to schools and clubs all over Nottinghamshire. He kept this role until the funding for Leisure Services dwindled and ceased when he retired. He had also travelled abroad with the national sprint and marathon teams, and it was in 1982 at the sprint World Championships in Belgrade that he met his wife, Radmila.

Throughout his involvement in other areas of paddlesport, George continued to support NKC generating funding in the club workshop and producing entry level racing boats. Few paddlers at events like DW or Watersides can have failed to spot the multitude of boats he made. All have his trademark rib along the centre of both front and back deck. The “stable K2” started life as a slightly longer version specifically for DW, but could not be used in other events, so the standard K2 length version emerged soon afterwards remaining popular to this day among paddlers wanting a stable K2. Trimmers also remain popular as a stable K1. In recent years his main developments have been canoes or outriggers. Most outrigger paddlers in this country using his 01 boats know little of his legacy to the rest of the paddling world.

Many paddlers in the UK have a great deal to thank him for, often unaware of his support for paddling in disciplines other than their own. Sea canoeists, slalom paddlers, sprint, marathon, freestyle, polo …. the list goes on, but George made contributions to the development of most disciplines. It didn’t matter if you had known him 5 days or 50 years, George offered his skills, guidance and friendship in his own, quiet, unassuming way.

Although dogged by health issues over the past few years he remained an active paddler at NKC and continued to do some of those “hidden” jobs that make up a club’s existence. The weekly “Clifton Race” in its current form is mainly a legacy of his and he contributed to timing it until the week he went into hospital.

Over the years he collected many awards: Nottingham City Citizen of the Month; Bravery (for rescuing people from the Trent;) Volunteer Awards; Lifetime Achievement Awards, but more important than those, without his guidance, support and friendship, many developments in our sport would not have taken place when and how they did. More importantly, as tributes to him attest, many of our lives would have been completely different. We owe him a great deal.

Nottingham Kayak Club – February 2020

Details of George’s funeral will be posted in due course.