2013 season bits

Hi everyone

Leading trips
The 2013 season is almost here and we’d need to get an idea of who’s likely to be around and able to lead trips at points through the year. Ideally I’d like to know who’s willing to from the experienced paddlers, what sort of trips comfortable with (beginners or 2* and above, something in sheltered waters or a paddle round yell etc)  and get some discussion about leading and how we can help people prepping for 3* and 4* + to get some relevant experience with support there while they’re doing it.
Coaching sessions
The next lot of beginners sessions start in a few weeks. I’d encourage coaches and anyone who’s going to help out to have a meeting to discuss how you want to run these sessions and see if there is anything you want to change in the way we do things. Personally, There’s a suggestion that we push things once we’re outside to get people tested to 1* as soon as possible and then move to coaching trips on Tuesdays and Thursdays evenings, splitting the beginners so there isn’t too many on any one session. We also need to discuss child protection issues with everyone who is assisting as well as the formal coaches.
I’d also really like to see something separate on offer for last year’s 1* paddlers and we have a number of people returning to paddling after a break who don’t need the beginners sessions. You need opportunities to get support while you get back on the water without tripping over newbies!
Young unaccompanied paddlers
There has been a suggestion that any paddler under 16 should be accompanied by an adult on all trips, and may be excluded if the trip leader isn’t happy (which is true of any of us going on a trip!!!) . After discussions at committee meetings, we’d like to consider this for this next year. It doesn’t have to be a parent (though that would be nice), just a nominated adult.
Paddling season
I feel we’re missing opportunities to get out and paddle.
Trip leaders and coaches need some paddling time without having to worry about it; intermediate paddlers need to get some stretch to move on to next levels. And beginners need opportunities to develop confidence in waters other than bridge end. A suggestion that came up at last year’s symposium was that all trip leaders and coaches should have an outdoors wet session to practice a range of rescues and familiarise themselves with  all of the club equipment at the start. I’d like to try this and get a Sunday in early April to do this.
I’d also like to see some Saturday or Sunday short club trips on offer now (weather dependent obviously, possibly restricted to groups of 2* plus or similar) and see if we can get the most out of what is a short paddling season when it comes.
The Club Forum
We’re also going to have to rethink how we let people know of trips as Craig isn’t able to continue to organise texts and sort venues etc. We now have a forum linked to the website (thanks Tam for the idea) and I’m hoping it will make it easier to organise short-notice club trips, let people know what’s going on and make communication across the club a bit easier. It’s a closed group so it’s club members only, just signup and we’ll get accounts activated ASAP.
My email isn’t working well and I’ve had to move to this address as a temporary basis. I’ll check back here but having a shared place where everyone can get the gist of an email without swamping email inboxes with responses is a good thing. I’m not going to email back and fore and back and fore trying to set a date for a meeting of club coaches and leaders, it’s too complex. I will however put a post on the forum and would encourage people to put available dates there so everyone can see it.
Thoughts on any or all of these things would be much appreciated!
Kind regards

Iain

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