People across England are being encouraged to get out on the water this Spring with the launch of Go Canoeing which aims to demonstrate to the nation how fun, social and accessible canoeing can be.
Go Canoeing offers a range of exciting activities to get people enjoying the inland waterways. Sue Hornby, Director of Development at Canoe England, said, “Canoeing is one of the UK’s most popular watersports and we want to open up this activity to a wider audience. There is little that can beat a leisurely paddle down a river on a beautiful sunny day and we want as many people as possible to experience this. There are currently about 1.2 million adults in the UK canoeing every year and just over 1% of households own a canoe or kayak. We hope that raising the profile of the sport and enabling more people to try it will increase these figures and also encourage people to participate on a more regular basis.”
The starter sessions, many offered free of charge by clubs and centres around the country, provide the perfect introduction to canoeing for adults and children. Many clubs and centres can provide the necessary equipment and sessions are supervised by a fully qualified canoe instructor. Those interested in taking up canoeing as a new hobby can book a follow up session and have the option of signing up for a course at a local club.
Brand new for 2012 are guided tours which are taking place at 14 locations around the country; they are aimed at adults and families who have already done some canoeing to help them discover new places to paddle with help from Go Canoeing guides. A half day tour includes supervision from a fully qualified Go Canoeing Leader and costs start from £20 per person.
“Two types of guided tour are on offer”, adds Howard Blackman, Head of Participation at Go Canoeing. “Firstly there is the ‘Explore’ tour. This is perfect for those who want to discover the waterways and enjoy the scenery and countryside from a tranquil perspective. Secondly there is the ‘Escape’ tour, aimed at those who are looking for a steady-paced paddle and a little more adventure.”
National Go Canoeing Week takes place from 6 – 15 April 2012. It features 10 days of canoeing activities across the country and is open to people of all abilities. The week also marks the launch of the new website www.gocanoeing.org.uk which provides a onestop-shop for those looking to get into the sport. Find out where to go and how to get started, hints and tips for taking to the water, recommendations for canoeing routes and details of local activities and events.
Howard Blackman continues: “Canoeing has something for everyone; all ages and abilities can experience the adventure and excitement of the water sport. Many people would have taken to the water on holiday or during an activity day; through the Go Canoeing starter sessions and tours we hope to attract these people back on to the water, more frequently. As the excitement builds for this summer’s Games, we’re confident that Britain’s success at canoeing will also encourage the nation to give the sport a try.”