By Isabel Wilson aged17:
During Febraury half term six of Leaside’s young members - Jack Swain, Zack Carpenter, James Pavely, Caoimhe McLaughlin, Aoife Phillips and myself took part in a course to become Level 1 “paddlesports” Instructors.
The course was held at the West Reservoir centre and was run by two of the senior staff - Terry and Sam. During the week we learned the ins-and-outs of becoming a coach and how to deliver fun, safe and useful lessons. We were also taught the BCU standard way to rescue a swimmer, (rather than the prefered method to watch and laugh!), which involved many things including using throwlines and single-handedly emptying capped open canoes; (something which some of us had never had to do before).
Personally I really enjoyed the course and can’t wait to progress onto a Level 2 Coach. The week at West Reservoir opened my eyes to the many different varieties of canoes/kayaks you can get and allowed me to paddle in many of them and learn countless new strokes I hadn’t even heard of before.
The most important lesson of the week had to be changing my mind state from “I am a racer” to “I am a paddler” and not being sceptical about jumping into a boat I’m not confident in and seeing where it takes me.
I know that some of Leaside’s adult members have also been on this course and I’m sure they’ll agree with me when I say it is an amazing opportunity to learn so much about the sport we all love. If it is ever offered to you I highly recommend you go for it!
I just want to thank Bryan for offering me the course, Leaside’s funders for paying for it and Terry and Sam for running it. Cheers guys!