LADIES PADDLE SYMPOSIUM 27th-28th April 2013

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Frannie
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LADIES PADDLE SYMPOSIUM 27th-28th April 2013

Post by Frannie »

Hello all you ladies!

For the first time (south of the Scottish border) we are running a paddling symposium specifically for the Ladies! On the weekend of the 27th-28th April 2013 some of the top coaches for paddle sports will congregate in North Wales to give some ladies specific, no-egos-allowed coaching.

If you are interested please find us on facebook: Ladies Paddling Symposium April 27th - 28th 2013 or on our website Ladies Paddle Syposium

Please email Fran Kohn to register your interest at ladiespaddlesymposium@hotmail.co.uk

Over the Saturday and Sunday there will be coaching in Canoe,WW Kayak, Sea Kayak and more, an evening of talks/videos and a meal all together on the Saturday evening.

Online Booking forms will be available soon from the website so keep your eyes peeled!

Looking forward to seeing you all on the water.
Fran xx

Mad_Erik
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Re: LADIES PADDLE SYMPOSIUM 27th-28th April 2013

Post by Mad_Erik »

If there was a 'male only' symposium it wouldn't be long before the word *sexism* was used. Seriously, I am interested in what it is that is so specific about female involvement in paddling that a whole symposium is devoted to it.
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Frannie
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Re: LADIES PADDLE SYMPOSIUM 27th-28th April 2013

Post by Frannie »

There is a demand amongst some female paddlers for a female only learning environment and by putting on this Symposium we are hoping to meet this demand. I don't see how this symposium has a negative affect on anyone, but if you feel there is a similar need for a male only symposium by all means organise one and I would support you.
Kind regards,
Fran

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Re: LADIES PADDLE SYMPOSIUM 27th-28th April 2013

Post by Mad_Erik »

There is an argument that all the 'female only' coaching is detramental to female paddlers and coaches. It perpetuates the myth that female paddlers have 'special needs' due to nothing other than their gender. Could it be that certain female coaches are imposig their own insecurities on to others, then selling the solution?

I met a female coach who was offering 'female only ww courses'. I spoke to someone who paddled with her in the alps as a peer and it turns out that she was well out of her comfort zone on G3. Nothing to do with being felmale, a lot to do with just not being good enough.
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Re: LADIES PADDLE SYMPOSIUM 27th-28th April 2013

Post by janet brown »

As someone who is learning at a slightly later age than most, and gradually pushing my grade, I like to feel really confident in my paddling. I'm happy to paddle with guys, but do find some of them fairly gung-ho, especially in a peer group setting. I do feel that females think differently to males, and don't necessarily like just being chucked down rivers anyhow. Have seen friends get put off and leave the sport as a result of this type of (in my experience exclusively male) paddler. I don't think we have 'special needs', just that our attitude to risk and what we find is fun is not the same.

Have been coached by three excellent professional male coaches, and have had no problems. I met Fran at Dartfest in February, and liked her approach, so felt it might be worth seeing what difference a female specific symposium would make.

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Re: LADIES PADDLE SYMPOSIUM 27th-28th April 2013

Post by Simon Westgarth »

Mad_Erik wrote:There is an argument that all the 'female only' coaching is detramental to female paddlers and coaches. It perpetuates the myth that female paddlers have 'special needs' due to nothing other than their gender. Could it be that certain female coaches are imposig their own insecurities on to others, then selling the solution?
In speaking to Anna Levesgue, female only coaching is a very binaural options, much like marmite, you either like or you dislike, there appears to be little middle group. I am cool with it, if it providers a solution or perhaps an escape for some, but I know some girls who'd avoid such things completely.
Mad_Erik wrote:I met a female coach who was offering 'female only ww courses'. I spoke to someone who paddled with her in the alps as a peer and it turns out that she was well out of her comfort zone on G3. Nothing to do with being felmale, a lot to do with just not being good enough.
Perhaps she was looking for work on Class II?

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james fleming
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Re: LADIES PADDLE SYMPOSIUM 27th-28th April 2013

Post by james fleming »

Mad_Erik wrote:If there was a 'male only' symposium it wouldn't be long before the word *sexism* was used. Seriously, I am interested in what it is that is so specific about female involvement in paddling that a whole symposium is devoted to it.
I agree! Whilst I get that one sex can be better I do not get that we have evolved into single sex symposiums. This is a step backwards!?

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Re: LADIES PADDLE SYMPOSIUM 27th-28th April 2013

Post by snoozy »

In a world where female paddling kit comes in only two colours (both of which are hideous) and the river is full of blokes showing off, I'm very much looking forward to just having a chat and a paddle with the girls. Bring it on!

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Re: LADIES PADDLE SYMPOSIUM 27th-28th April 2013

Post by Bambi ina Boat »

I have attended the Scottish Women's paddling symposium and I am in no doubt that it not only improved my paddling it also improved my confidence. It is far too easy as a female paddler who is learning to let more experienced guys take the lead, scout and make decisions. At the womens symposium I learnt to lead, how to power my boat which was based on my own personal strengths and taught me how to use my size (i.e. smaller then most male paddlers) to my advantage when in a boat.

I am also a climber and there is no doubt that female climbers climb differently then males, I don't think it is any different in paddling, I paddle differently to all male paddlers I know in my approach and style. What is wrong with teaching women to play to their strengths in an environment that means they don't have to deal with guys wanting to play one up manship or show who has the bigger nerve or who can show boat?! I'm not saying all male paddlers do this but pretty much every group which goes paddling has someone like this in their group.

Outdoor sports are male dominated in their very nature, but encouraging and developing female paddlers in an environment where they feel they can learn and aren't intimadated or embarrassed to be "holding the guys up from their fun" is surely nothing but good.

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Re: LADIES PADDLE SYMPOSIUM 27th-28th April 2013

Post by andrew butler 101 »

I think its a good idea, not for everybody, but for some. There are many people who sometimes feel intimidated in their mixed groups, this is more of a social thing than saying girls are/ learn differently, more about making the environment suit people, this is just another way of doing that.

Anyway whats the problem, if people want to go then they will, if they don't then they wont simples I don't see how this affects the guys complaining on here in any way (unless you just feel left out).

Andy

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Re: LADIES PADDLE SYMPOSIUM 27th-28th April 2013

Post by noodles »

Frannie, anything that encourages more women and girls into kayaking has to be a good thing. I was the only female in our group of 15 on the River Dart today and next week I am going away with a different club and will again be the only female.

Erik, I am curious as to how a female only symposium is detrimental to female paddlers. Men frequently paddle in groups without women, you've only got to sit on a river bank and watch the groups going down to see this. In my experience of paddling in a group of women, they are much more supportive of each other, whereas groups of men seem to be much more competitive. I am not suggesting that either approach is better, just different. I would welcome the opportunity to go to a symposium where I could paddle with a group of women as it is something I can't do at my current club.

If it wasn't a 'female only' symposium, it would just be like any other day on the river!

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Re: LADIES PADDLE SYMPOSIUM 27th-28th April 2013

Post by Frannie »

I would just like to clarify that whilst it is a symposium for female students, there are both Female AND Male coaches being employed on this weekend. I know from first hand that great male coaches are just as good at coaching women as great female coaches, but that having only female peers in the group can be a more relaxing environment for learning.

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Re: LADIES PADDLE SYMPOSIUM 27th-28th April 2013

Post by sandra »

Ooh what an interesting debating topic! One I feel quite strongly about being a female kayaker. A couple of points I would like to address:
Mad_Erik wrote:If there was a 'male only' symposium it wouldn't be long before the word *sexism* was used.
I agree with this, I would in fact be quite put-out if I were prevented from attending an event that most my paddling friends would be entitled to go to purely on the basis of my gender.
Bambi ina Boat wrote:I have attended the Scottish Women's paddling symposium and I am in no doubt that it not only improved my paddling it also improved my confidence. It is far too easy as a female paddler who is learning to let more experienced guys take the lead, scout and make decisions. At the womens symposium I learnt to lead, how to power my boat which was based on my own personal strengths and taught me how to use my size (i.e. smaller then most male paddlers) to my advantage when in a boat.
I feel that this quote (and a couple of others on the thread) are confusing paddling with a mixed-gender or predominantly male group on a social paddling trip with a female-only coach-led experience at a paddling symposium. Clearly the main difference is not the gender of participants in the paddling group, but the purpose and intent of the time spent on the water. At a symposium or coaching day/course there is a coach present who's main aim is to improve the paddling of the kayakers in their group. Therefore, whatever the gender composition of the group you would expect them to be encouraged to utilise their personal strengths and develop their skills and confidence as that is the entire point of having a coach-led session. I would be interested (and very surprised) to hear if any women have felt that they have received a lesser standard of coaching when part of a mixed-gender group as opposed to a female-only group.
noodles wrote:If it wasn't a 'female only' symposium, it would just be like any other day on the river!
It would be a structured coaching sessions open to all, rather than a group of paddlers just out to enjoy the river. Very different environments!
Bambi ina Boat wrote:I paddle differently to all male paddlers I know in my approach and style.
I think that this is a common phenomenon. It is generally true that males will be bigger and stronger than females (with certain exceptions...you should see my biceps :-) ), and therefore women may find it harder to get by with sheer 'brute force and ignorance' than men. That said the better paddling technique that good female paddlers need to develop in order to make up for this lack of strength is something that would make male paddlers better kayakers also. Whilst it may be possible to survive on strength over skill for a short while, in order to have longevity in the sport and prevent injury it is just as important for males to develop good solid technique as females. Therefore, if the justification of a female-only coaching session is that women 'need to paddle differently' to men I would argue that you are doing the males of the paddling world a disservice by not sharing these techniques with them also.
noodles wrote:Men frequently paddle in groups without women, you've only got to sit on a river bank and watch the groups going down to see this.
Whilst this is often true I think (and would hope) that it is purely because people are paddling with whoever is available and around to paddle on that day, and due to there being less women in the sport it is statistically more likely to come across a group of all males. This is VERY different to groups of males actively excluding females from their paddling groups, something which I don't think I have ever come across in this sport and one thing that makes it such a fantastic sport to be involved in! This is why it concerns me that an event is being organised that actively excludes men, are we not by doing this encouraging them to do the same and start excluding women?

Having spent 12 years now in this sport, one of the best things about it has been the lack of separation between the two sexes (to the extent that we even have mixed-sex 'changing rooms' on the river banks...very controversial)! Whilst women have always been a minority this has never seemed to evoke much prejudice, I have experienced some, but mainly in foreign countries where the male:female roles in society are considerably different to the UK. As a paddler I would always like to be judged on my abilities in a boat over my gender, and find it quite insulting if people make assumptions of my kayaking prowess based solely on the fact that I'm a girl.

It is great to see the number of women in paddlesport increasing and the advice I would give to people coming in to the sport is that if you feel uncomfortable with the people you are paddling with, this is probably not due to the fact that they are male, but due to the fact that they are just not good people to paddle with, and I would encourage you to find new boating companions, male or female, that respect you as a kayaker and paddle the type of water you are comfortable on.

This post is in no way meant to belittle the effort put in by the organisers/coaches of this symposium as any event that increases participation and provides education in kayaking is a great thing, but why not just make it available to everyone?
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Re: LADIES PADDLE SYMPOSIUM 27th-28th April 2013

Post by Chris_Eastabrook »

This looks like an exiting event. I working regularly with female students in mixed and female only groups and the latter can be extremely empowering, I reckon this event will be well useful (and a good giggle) to the UK female white water kayaking population!

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Re: LADIES PADDLE SYMPOSIUM 27th-28th April 2013

Post by james fleming »

I woke up this morning and saw that the church is voting for women bishops. To me this is a nonsense and the sooner this is allowed the better.

As I see it, women have been fighting literary tooth and nail to have a level playing field with their opposite sex for a long time and this battle is still being pursued.

Yet, in a minority sport single sex events are being run.

Equally, if a 'male' symposium were to be organised I would have something to say about that. Single sex symposiums is not the way forward to support equality in our sport.

It would be interesting to see if this has been endorsed or supported by any NGB, I suspect not as it's a slap in the face to equality in the sport.

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Re: LADIES PADDLE SYMPOSIUM 27th-28th April 2013

Post by Mike A »

I think Sandras post has hit the nail absolutely on the head.

Most of my paddling is completed in mixed gender groups, but once kitted up we are all just paddlers and we don't think of each other in that way. We are all individual, we all paddle / learn in our own unique way and we just get on with it. Some paddlers are gung ho, some are quiet and reflective - you just need to find a group of paddlers that you are comfortable with.

Whether it is a single or mixed sex group, there will always be some characters who are more pushy, and there are some that are more in the background, that is just life, and any coach worth their salt should be able to deliver a programme that allows all attendees to feel included and progress.

To my mind, the banning of any group is discriminatory and should be stopped, but due to the way legislation on this matter is lain down it is allowable in this instance. In this instance I perceive the "women only" to actually be more of a unique selling point for any commercial provider involved rather than something that will truly increase women in paddlesport.

As for the NGB's, it is being pushed on Canoe Wales FB page.

Mike - not going to mention this to other half as I dont want the earache about how this is bad for women and a retrograde step.

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Re: LADIES PADDLE SYMPOSIUM 27th-28th April 2013

Post by RizzRat »

I'm an ex hockey girl, I played ladies and mixed - both very different. No one kicked a fuss about the split and we trained together and separately depending on the needs of upcoming fixtures. Maybe the upcoming fixture for the female paddler is a bit of specific coaching rather than dealing with the tactics of UCL but my point is the same.

Dont see what the big deal is.

But I would like to echo Chris - "a good giggle" - yep thats what I want in my paddling! I miss my ladies team and this sort of thing might just occasionally fill that small void that paddling hasn't yet managed to accomodate!!!
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Re: LADIES PADDLE SYMPOSIUM 27th-28th April 2013

Post by Tea Boy Tom »

Gender specific events tend to polarise views, as Si points out, often leading to bickering. So, I've thought of some ways forward where everyone gets what they want.
If you're a woman who feels that a female specific event would help your development, come along to the symposium.
If you're a woman who doesn't think that a female specific event is your bag, no worries, there's loads of other coaching available.
If you're the sort of person, male or female, who finds the very idea of a gender specific event thoroughly abhorrent, that's cool, simply organise your own event and make it non gender specific.
If you're the sort of person who detests gender specific events and lacks the wherewithal to offer an alternative, no matter, everyone's got an opinion.
In my opinion, an event offering access to quality coaching where there is a need for it is a beneficial thing. It would appear there is a need, judging by the interest. I think it'll be a grand event.

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Re: LADIES PADDLE SYMPOSIUM 27th-28th April 2013

Post by TechnoEngineer »

I think this is all an argument about principles with no engagement of touchy-feely reality.

In my experience, where a female learner depends on the kinaesthetic approach (e.g. learning to roll), they can feel uncomfortable at being "manhandled" by a male coach. And to be honest, on occasions I can feel uncomfortable "manhandling" ladies, even if they're wearing a BA etc. I've not come across *any* instance where a male learner feels uncomfortable at being "manhandled" by anyone. On that basis alone, I'd say that it's definitely worthwhile having "ladies only" events.

That said, I'd suggest that "no-egos-allowed" in the original description is rather unnecessary.
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Re: LADIES PADDLE SYMPOSIUM 27th-28th April 2013

Post by kevinj1949 »

Sorry guys, but I just cannot get my breath. Women and men in sport almost universally play on different pitches, and they play in a different way. If you look at men's rugby, it is dominated by the scrum, ruck, maul and tackle. It is macho with a capital F. When you watch the women play, these things are just ways of starting the next phase and they concentrate on moving the ball and creating space in which to play. No-one says that these men and women should all be playing in the same team, by and large they play and think differently, so what is the big deal about women having some separate coaching provision when it suits in paddlesport?

The paddlesport community has a problem. It will be revealed in the next issue of Focus when a photo is published of all of the volunteer award winners who attended the Canoe England annual dinner. This photo will comprise something like 15 men and 3 women, not to mention the fact that you could count the people in the room who were not a delicate shade of pink on one hand but let's not go there yet shall we. Equality is not about all of us doing exactly the same thing in exactly the same way, it is about having equal access to resources, having a stake in the way decisions are made about how those resources are used etc.etc. It is about being inclusive. Women in paddlesport are a growing minority, but they are still a minority, and some of the reasons why have been explored in other contributions. If it is the case that some women would feel more secure, more valued in having a Ladies Paddle Symposium then fair enough. Give them the space, the support and the resources with which to plan and execute it. If it is not what women want, it will fail, if it is what women want, it will succeed, and their numbers will grow within our clubs and within the BCU. What's not to like?

I was going to say that I thought that all of the Neanderthals in Europe had been wiped out 10000 years ago by Homo Sapiens but that having read some of these posts I was not so sure. However, that would be gratuitously offensive wouldn't it, so I won't.

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Re: LADIES PADDLE SYMPOSIUM 27th-28th April 2013

Post by rwalks »

Unfortunately, I have experienced sexism in our sport. Not nastily, (soft sexism?!) but there is an assumption thats I will be weaker since I'm female. I've always put this down to a lack of knowledge- "you've never seen me boat" -sort of a thing.
When women have equal representation in all aspects of life, then perhaps women’s only anything will be redundant. But until then, I don't see how events like this are detrimental if they encourage more women into our sport. There is an argument that these events encourage men to see women as weaker: I find this abhorrent! If that's the case, then the men are the problem, not the women- and we need to change their minds. How about encouraging more women into our sport to show them that they’re assumptions about us are wrong?!

I'm trying to see the arguements against. So would those of you who consider that this is a step back in terms of equality, explain why? Or are we just going for "Exclusion on the basis of gender is wrong" regardless of the intension?
If this is a good way of encouraging more female participation, do the ends justify the means?
Or do you disagree with my premise that not having equal representation is a problem for our sport?

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Re: LADIES PADDLE SYMPOSIUM 27th-28th April 2013

Post by stripper »

Any training my wife could get to use her Shepee would be most appreciated as she occasionally borrows my drysuit!
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Re: LADIES PADDLE SYMPOSIUM 27th-28th April 2013

Post by janet brown »

stripper wrote:Any training my wife could get to use her Shepee would be most appreciated as she occasionally borrows my drysuit!
Not sure that's the aim of this symposium! I have posted some useful comments aimed at female eyes only in the past....

Janet

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Re: LADIES PADDLE SYMPOSIUM 27th-28th April 2013

Post by wildbadger »

As female walker /climber /paddler, I have always done the equality bit, & been in mixed environments, being as good as the guys - as a first ever, I went to the Scottish Womens Symposium last May & was very surprised to find it was excellent and very enjoyable & very worth attending - it was very relaxed, I didn't feel I had anything to prove, no keeping-up-with-the blokes, and in a supportive friendly atmosphere. Sounds really corny, but against all expectations I found it very very good. Am totally happy about male coaches, and mixed groups, but can definitely see a place for female-only symposiums (symposia??).

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Re: LADIES PADDLE SYMPOSIUM 27th-28th April 2013

Post by Andy H »

Fran

I totally support this event, having done some long term developement paddling with a couple of female paddlers they was a joy to coach as there was no big egos, no competivness and the big pyscological game came into play more than the technicle/tactical skills and for me it was fantastic to have to learn to change my coaching style to suit there needs.

I think male coaches can learn from coaching female studants as you will soon relize things have to be done differently. This will help with your own developement.

If you need any help on this event Fran then give me a PM

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Re: LADIES PADDLE SYMPOSIUM 27th-28th April 2013

Post by Frannie »

Thanks for the support and for talking about this!!
It is set to be an amazing weekend and the website is being updated regularly so check out: http://www.ladiespaddlesymposium.wordpress.com

The deadline for booking the residential option is the 1st February and the deadline for booking the non-residential option is the 8th March.

Spread the word!!
Frannie

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Re: LADIES PADDLE SYMPOSIUM 27th-28th April 2013

Post by markg »

When I get on the water the first option I look for is who can look after me the most and very often women, when in the equation, will be my first choice (you know who you are!) so no contest in that situation it comes down to the best boater. Said by a very sh## paddler as people who know me will vouch for.

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Re: LADIES PADDLE SYMPOSIUM 27th-28th April 2013

Post by AHPP »

Is this thread ready for a, "Listen, love..." yet?

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Re: LADIES PADDLE SYMPOSIUM 27th-28th April 2013

Post by tgirl »

I think a Ladies Paddling Symposium is a great idea. I've been paddling for twelve years and as much as I love being the only female in a group of twenty, what I really miss from previous life as hockey fanatic, is having really good girl friends who all love the same hobby.

I understand that there are compelling arguments for coaching in different styles for men and women, but for me a female only symposium is about creating and sustaining a group of like-minded paddlers who will motivate and support each other.

I look at the participants in my club and am envious of the friendships lasting decades that the older members have. As club coaches we watch friendships grow and blossom between the younger members and see how their support and encouragment for one another improves their performance and cements their commitment to the sport. Friendships like these form because there is the opportunity to meet others who are like-minded.

Any opportunity to encourage females into the sport and continue participating is needed. I have met lots females who have started the sport, but not continued, and so the opportunity for forming lasting friendships has passed. I have male friends who paddle and they are supportive and encouraging and motivating. My husband is a paddler. However, these relationships are just not the same as those with female friends, and there needs to be increased opportunity to meet others who are like-minded in paddlesport.

At the moment in our club I am one of two active female paddlers over 18 years old, from a membership of around 100 including children. I am a whitewater paddler, the other a sea kayaker. The opportunity to network with other ladies in paddling is invaluable. Having some girlfriends to talk to, listen and understand what I'm talking about would make it all the better.

Have a fantastic weekend.

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