As Dale and I were floating down the river from Cambus to Aboyne yesterday.....we saw a glider doing a triple loop the loop, and a big otter that I thought was a seal......read on..........................
Aboyne Canoe Club is going through a bit of a growth spurt. A lot of new members over the last year have led to some very well attended river trips, despite arctic conditions with lots of degrees of frost. To pull together the plans for these and other trips the Committee has met 6 times over the last year.
We have had 42 events on the rivers and in the pool. This is hundreds of hours afloat by lots of people on the River Dee and Don, in the swimming pool and at the bridge pool in Aboyne. It also includes some swimming and white water antics on the river Findhorn. We had an easy Deezy trip (lower Dee, lots of herons) , two trips in minus 5 degrees of frost (lots of cold toes), we saw a seal upstream of Cults (17 k from the sea) and apparently Steve L has become expert at swimming over waterfalls!
The trips of late have all been full to bursting, which is wonderful. As the coaches must always keep an eye to ratios on the river of coaches to paddlers, it’s even more important than ever that members sign up in advance so the coaches know who to expect on the day.
The Thursday evening and Saturday morning sessions under the bridge in Aboyne had a better level of support than last year. Polo skills were introduced and nurtured by Chris who is taking a keen team of kayakers to our first polo competition in a couple of weeks time in Banff.
The new skills and numbers in kayaks was visible at the annual family picnic "It’s a Washout" with 18 frenzied donut choppers sculling and sweeping around the river pool. The water seemed to be boiling. There were 40 odd members at the event and the usual medal haul was enormous.
The "It’s a Washout" featured in photo and fame in an article the SCA asked the club to write about its recent grant awards and priorities. Dale, with a little help from her friends, wrote an article for the SCA quarterly magazine that basically said we are a family focused club with a lot of young members that provides great opportunities. Since that was the vision 8 years ago when we started out, it’s quite useful that that’s what we have turned out to be! To read the article look at the NEW web site www.aboynecanoeclub.co.uk A big thanks to Chris for sorting this web site out and also for his promotion of the club on Facebook which has proved to be a really useful communication tool (despite the old fogey Chairman’s inability to access it!)
The pool sessions this last autumn / winter so far have been a big success again. The pool sessions remain the biggest magnet to our younger members who can’t resist just one more capsize. Extra sessions are currently in place to cater for the demand. Pool polo and rolling clinics are proving popular.
On the coach development front its becoming apparent that we have a number of members who are interested in going the extra step to do some coach training later this next year. The current coaching scheme is not going to make river trip coaches too easy to find in the future. We need to constantly remind ourselves of this and encourage members to become involved in coaching and leading where they can
I’d like to thank all the coaches for their commitment over the last year: Dale, Donald, Stuart and Chris and pool assistants Mark, Joyce, Anne, Kirsty, James and Sam. Also the pool cash team, specially Gwen N who volunteered to take the money every week for her D of E Volunteering. Thanks as always go to Karen, Pippy and Katie for the use of the boat shed.
We didn’t do a fundraiser this year but we did bid into the Mid Deeside Community Development Group fund to buy some dry suits. The desire to furbish the club with some dry suits came out of the white water safety and rescue course that 6 members went on last November. Allegedly the course involved a lot of swimming down the river Findhorn and apparently some members got the hang of this faster than others!!!?
Chris had organised this course along with Foundation Safety and Rescue Training with the lottery money won last year. Dale managed to land £1590 of grant and together with club funds we are now the proud owners of 8 drysuits...............
Thanks go to; Isabel, Miles, Gwen, Lydia, Maddy and Kit for hosting the mice pie trip gourmet event at Minarloch. To the couple in Ballater, who’s name I forget, who gave us a fibreglass whitewater racer (very unstable Kayak) and slalom Kayak. To the Turleys who lent the club their canoe whilst they are away in Orkney. To the Langans for offering Finlay’s Pyrana Kayak for anybody to use and to Dale for stepping into Abigail’s secretary shoes mid-term, and doing such an excellent job on the pool bookings.
For all the ongoing Committee work, thanks go to Dale, Donald, Chris, Miles and Esther.