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October 07, 2004

Thoughts for SOAK pool sessions and general paddling

There is a need to revisit how the club manages and organises pool sessions and river trips to ensure that there is adequate progression for paddlers of all skill levels within the club
The club needs to move away from the adult-children focus and perhaps group all members according to ability level so that we classify people as novices (up to 2 star), intermediates (2–3 star) and advanced (3 star and above).

Pool Sessions
Pool sessions could then be arranged to focus on progressing people from novice to intermediate paddlers.
Session 1 could be used to run 1 and 2 star courses (in block booked format, paid for in advance)
Session 2 could be used for 2 star and 3 star courses (in block booked format, paid for in advance)
Session 3 would be used for playboating and adult casual paddling

At present the turnout for session 4 seems to be low, we could therefore look at extending the session to say 40minutes with a 5 minute break in between.
Session times would then be:
session 1: 8:05 – 8:45
session 2: 8:50 – 9:30
session 3: 9: 35 – 10:15

River Trips
At present I feel that the club perhaps runs too many set large group trips over the winter season. Whilst I appreciate that people want to paddle as much as possible, I think that it might benefit the memebers to have fewer large group trips and more trips based on smaller groups, with defined ability levels.
There is also a need to include more day trips, perhaps on a short notice basis, and to have more trips arrange ad hoc between paddlers who just want to get out and paddle. Perhaps the website could have a small forum for paddlers to arrange trips between themselves.

My vision is set out as follows:
4 large group (social/paddling) trips over the winter – heading to venues such as: Dart (intermediate/advanced), Tees (intermediate/advanced), Barle (novice/intermediate), Usk/Wye (novice/intermediate).
5–6 Day trips at various venues such as Nene (novice), Mile End Mill (novice/intermediate), Symonds Yat(novice), Tryweryn (novice/intermediate), Ogwen (advanced)
4–5 small group trips, with different groups going to different rivers, choice of rivers will depend on ability levels.

I feel that this would benefit all members of the club, reduced the coaching load of the coaches and allow members to progress their paddling at their own speed.

Just a few ideas - any comments?


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