Canoeing for all the community

3rd November 2020

People of all ages and backgrounds can get together and enjoy the benefits of canoeing thanks to funding from the United Utilities Legacy Fund.

Copeland Canoe Club runs weekly indoor and outdoor sessions and uses Whitehaven pool, Bassenthwaite, Ennerdale and Whitehaven harbour. The club needed to replace equipment that had come to the end of its life and was able to purchase additional kayaks with a grant of £4,822 for use by its 120 members.

The ten kayaks, which have a dual purpose for pool, outdoor and polo, will also support wider groups through its volunteer coach training. The club is also open to non-members and often provides sessions for other community groups including local scout groups, the Sea Cadets and Whitehaven Harbour Youth Project.

Mark Jones, Club Chairman, said: “The equipment we have been able to purchase has been key to our continued ability to offer a wide range of paddle sport options for the community.”

“We see this project continuing over many years, with the club forming stronger links with the local community. The club was in desperate need of kayak equipment to continue to provide activities for the wider community, delivered by several highly motivated volunteer coaches.

“Things have slowed due to COVID-19 but we are continuing our discussions with a number of stakeholders to support the development of a kayak facility within the south shore development and improve the harbour water quality to promote the regeneration of Whitehaven harbour.”

The club has also played an active role in the recovery of one of its members who had undergone two operations to successfully remove a brain tumour. The support of the club members and the individual’s participation in canoeing has aided in their successful mental and physical recovery.

Mark said: “To support this, the club organised orienteering in kayaks over the three estuaries at Ravenglass where club members donated the proceedings to the “Northern Brainwave” appeal as a good way of saying thank you for the care and support both the member and their family received.”