‘The Kayak Strikes Back’
This was the title of the Chairman’s report of 2013 to sum up the last year for Aboyne Canoe Club. 2013 has seen ‘a steady and in some cases predictable, increase in the use of the kayaks whilst the canoes hold steady’. At the club AGM on the 16th February 2013 this was to be Jonathan Kitching’s (JK) final report as founder chair of Aboyne Canoe Club. In the first meeting of the club on the 3rd November 2004 JK floated the idea about setting up a club in Aboyne. JK said that:
‘Aboyne had everything needed to create a club – The River Dee, Loch, Swimming pool, interested people and most important of all a pub by the river – The Boat Inn’
In that meeting people wanted a club that:
All these have been achieved and more over his time as chair. Ever since then the club has gone from strength to strength. In JK’s chairman’s report he said:
‘The club, with the greatest membership numbers it has ever had at around 170, has a very different make up now to when things started 8 years ago. The clutch of tiddlers that used to peer over the gunnels of canoes have in most cases grown up and are now independent paddlers in their own right. I like the fact that despite this growing up phase of the club and changing of the club’s shape, we continue to have about half the members as juniors and we have half male and half female. A family club!’
Below are some of the highlights of the first year of the club and the subsequent years:
A message was read out at the AGM from one of our far flung members and our equipment shed owner (currently enjoying 30 degrees temperatures in Addis Abbaba). Karen Laurenson said in her message to JK:
‘I have to say one of my most life-enhancing experiences in the last few years have been out on the river with you, whether a sparkling and sharp September day from Invercauld to Ballater when we could have been in Canada, or a bracing April one on the Avon. THANK YOU….and hope it doesn’t stop now!’
Karen, Pippa and Katie xxxx
My first job as incoming Chair was to propose a vote of thanks to JK for his eight years service to the club. As a thank you for his dedication to the club as a paddler, coach and inspiration JK was presented with a trophy paddle with a difference. We knew JK didn’t manage all this on his own so on the back of the paddle was a plaque to the Chairman’s Technical Assistant - Dale Kitching. Both were awarded the trophy along with various gifts.
I’m sure Jonathan (ACC’s Obi Wan Kenobi) aims to relax from running the club, enjoy paddling and will continue to coach and inspire paddlers in the club. It’s been a pleasure!
Obi Wan Kenobi’s apprentice
Aboyne Canoe Club