I went to the SCA Club Volunteer Conference which was lots of fun as always, mixing lots of people from lots of clubs and lots of activities. Here’s some notes for my own memory and anyone else who’s interested.
I started with a Swimming Pools and Paddlesports CPD Module run by Steve Linkstead. It was mostly a three hour long therapy session for those of us who have faffed around running canoe sessions at a pool.
He said it was a good way to introduce people to paddling and this is what they do at Stirling. I disagree with this entirely, swimming pool time is precious to a canoe club and if you use it to introduce beginners as normal most of those beginners won’t come back and while that’s ok to use free canal time for expensive and warm pool time seems a waste. He also said that it meant people became warm water paddlers who didn’t want to go outside on colder water. It’s why I use it for rolling and rescue practice only, the people who come have already committed somewhat to paddling and chances are they’ll keep coming back.
He said to use pair coaching for teaching rolling, then you can have 1 coach to 6 students.
Some discussion of newer build pools which have a soft lining that paddles can damage.
Lots of discussion on how to be friends with management and janitors to keep coming back. Pointing out you can’t break tiles and you’ll wash all the boats is important.
Requirement to have a life guard or what qualifications coaches need varies widely. HSE has guidelines for canoeing which say
Lifeguards require specialised skills or additional knowledge to supervise canoeing and sub-aqua adequately.
I did a day’s session with Poppy Croal of Poppy Croal Coaching looking at canoe polo. It was snowing so we started off with some armchair refereeing, reading the signals then watching a game on youtube.