Want to Canoe? tell us their National Go Canoeing Week winners story

National Go Canoeing Week is fast approaching and there are lots of ways to get involved! Last years Top Organisation mileage winners Want to Canoe?, who clocked up an impressive 3654 miles, share their tips and advice for getting on the water, promoting sessions and activities and list their reasons why canoeing is for everyone - whether you’ve paddled before or not.

Why is National Go Canoeing Week so important to you?

It's a focal point in the calendar specifically for paddling, centred around half-term which is perfect for families. Aside from that it's inclusive and an opportunity for beginners to step forward and have a go without feeling nervous or silly. Everyone is welcome!

Why should clubs, centres and providers get involved with National Go Canoeing Week?

This is our third year of completely absorbing ourselves in the event. It has felt brilliant each year to be part of a nationwide initiative that promotes canoeing, particularly to families, children, young people and those who haven't canoed much (or perhaps never) before!

What is your favourite thing about National Go Canoeing Week?

The atmosphere! Heaps of paddlers get out and enjoy the River Wye with us here in Hay. Plus there’s the knowledge that paddlers all over the country are doing the same. There are also opportunities to work collaboratively during the event, for example we are also hosting the Open Canoe Association this year for their annual Canoefest which attracts two hundred visitors over the bank holiday weekend. There will be canoes and happy paddlers everywhere!

What tips and advice would you give to other providers wanting to get involved?

Go for it! There's fantastic support on hand from the Go Canoeing team, loads of great free resources, additional resources available to purchase and lots of publicity. It's a no-brainer.

How did you rack up the miles last year?

We had a busy week here in Hay, we ran morning, afternoon and full day Guided Adventure Sessions every day. Canoe-hire was available, plus some groups booked expeditions with us that week and headed down to Byecross Farm, Hereford and Ross on Wye so they logged some big miles! We had a team of six strong all week as well, most of whom are were on the water on the Guided Adventures, so each instructor logged a couple of hundred miles just doing their job!

What do you have planned for this year?

We've got loads of great activities on offer this half-term for paddlers of all ages and abilities.

Visitors are able to book our hire-canoes and head off on their own, or even better can join us on one of our guided adventures! We will be offering a bespoke set of tours for groups/families/staff teams etc.

We supply all the kit you need as well as the all-important return transport at the end of your challenge.

What are your top tips for people wanting to get started in paddlesports?

Find a local, British Canoeing Quality Marked Centre or Club and talk to them about your requirements and what you're interested in. Book a Starter Session or join your local Club, get involved with the people that are passionate about canoeing and they will ensure you get out on the water, enjoy yourself and stay safe!

What are the best things about being on the water?

It keeps you fit, makes you feel happy and accomplished and you can meet other like-minded people. Plus you'll see the outdoors, wildlife, nature, flora and fauna from a whole new perspective...we call it 'river-time'.

How do you promote your National Go Canoeing Week activities, and what tips do you have for those wanting to publicise what they are doing?

We Register our events, sessions and challenges through the National Go Canoeing Website, to get them promoted by British Canoeing. If you have any problems you can email the wonderful Craig Duff at Go Canoeing, he's so helpful, it couldn't be easier! Then, do your own local advertising. We use the official Go Canoeing Posters by filling in our Centre Details in the spaces provided and we put up National Go Canoeing Week banners on our driveway as well.

We also use the press release template supplied by British Canoeing, sending it to local tourism bodies and newspapers and shout about what we are doing on social media using the official hashtags.

If your club or centre has activities running throughout National Go Canoeing Week and you haven’t yet registered them, there’s still time to do so. Visit the Organisers page of the website now.

Get on the water this NGCW!

You don’t need to be a pro paddler to enjoy some time on the water this National Go Canoeing Week. Clubs and Centre’s up and down the country will be holding friendly and welcoming Starter Sessions and Guided Tours which are suitable for beginners. There will also be lots of other activities and events to get involved with, no matter what your ability!

Our target this year is to paddle a collective 45,000 miles - and every mile counts! To take part you just need to register your miles paddled during the week online. We have spot prizes up for grabs for those who enter their miles and some awesome top mileage prizes for those who submit the most miles during the week.

For help and advice about getting on the water you can visit your local club or centre who can offer guidance and support. If you fancy some new kit to take on the water with you during the week, take a look at our trade partner websites - they have everything you need and more to get out on the water!

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