Out and About in Letchworth: Baldock & District Canoe Club

One of the best things about living in Letchworth is the variety of activities that are available to the people who live here. In my Out and About in Letchworth blogs, I’m meeting some of these groups and taking part in the activities on offer. This month, I paid a visit to the Baldock & District Canoe Club.

Water sports have always been something I wanted to try but, given Letchworth’s location, was never something that I gave much thought to and was something I saved for trips to warmer climates.

So I was intrigued to visit the Baldock & District Canoe Club and find out more about the range of activities the group offers in the area.

The club runs sessions at the North Herts Leisure Centre every Sunday evening, where the group has exclusive use of the pool area. All abilities are welcome and the club provides equipment for people to use if they don’t have their own gear.

The sessions in the pool allow members to train (or mess around) on whatever they want to work on and there is a wide variety of vessels and activities such as slalom available for members to use. The group also organises a number of trips and visits throughout the area to a huge variety of open water locations so the skills learnt in the pool can be applied to a much more picturesque setting.

All of this sounds great, but I’m sure your first question is very similar to mine; I’m a complete novice, so isn’t this a little advanced for me? Not to worry, the group has a fully qualified instructor to help show you the ropes and you’ll be whizzing around the pool before you know it.

Within an hour in the pool, I’d begun to get the hang of the basic techniques and keeping the vessel pointed in the right direction (much more difficult than I originally anticipated!) and was working my way through the drills provided by the instructor.

I must have looked like I was starting to get a bit big for my boots however, as the instructor then told me it was time to learn what I needed to do if the boat capsized, which quickly took the smile off my face! I was taken through the technique step-by-step and the group encouraged me that it would all be fine, although there was still a little part of me that wasn’t sure if I’d be around to write this blog afterwards.

Turns out, I was just being melodramatic and everything went without a hitch. If anything, tipping the boat underwater was great fun and helped boost my confidence.

Overall, the group were extremely knowledgeable and welcoming (they even invited me to the pub afterwards!) and my time with them definitely helped pique my interest in learning more about the sport and joining them again.

Although maybe next time, I won’t bother doing my hair first!

To find out more about Baldock & District Canoe Club, visit their website at http://www.thecanoeclub.co.uk/ or pop down to one of their sessions at North Herts Leisure Centre on Sunday evenings from 8pm.

Featuring more than 100 different clubs and societies listed, our Out and About Guide is a great way to find new groups and activities in Letchworth and the surrounding area. If you’d like to feature your group, club or society, click here