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JANUARY 2013 NEWSLETTER
Tim Brabants (r) at the start of the Paddling Challenge (l) and Post Olympic Party in August
Olympic 200m K1 gold medalist Ed McKeever at the annual prize giving in December 2012
A busy year ahead, if only it stops raining
I was hoping to kick off this newsletter by hoping 2013 will see you all getting out on the water even more...
Sadly, the weather and the river conditions have conspired to keep many of you in the gym of late. Let's hope for a better spring and summer! There's no doubt 2012 was a great year for Royal Canoe Club. We had two members in the Olympic team, Tim Brabants and Jessica Walker, and several others in the coaching and management set-up, not least Eric Farrell, who even got a speaking gig at the Opening Ceremony, Alan Williams and Ian Wynne. Not to mention our many members who served as Games Makers! Ed McKeever, a former Royal member who won the K1 200m in London, came to give out the prizes at our junior awards evening too. The Paddling Challenge was arguably our main event of the year, a day after the Olympic Closing Ceremony. There’s a report inside this newsletter, check it out! Feedback after the event was universally positive with many saying they'd like to see a regular summer party alongside the Pa d d l i n g C h a l l e n g e - we ' l l certainly try to do that. The winter saw a number of changes at the club, not least the departure of George Richardson. George was a coach at the club for decades and instrumental in getting many people into the sport. We're grateful for everything he did for the club and wish him well in his well-earned retirement. Elsewhere, we're experiencing a shortage of racking thanks to the growing number of members. If you have a 2nd boat at the club that you do not regularly use, please consider storing it elsewhere. We're also trying to get members qualiﬁed as coaches and to involve parents in our activities. The main limitation on our growth at cadet and junior level is the lack of coaches and helpers. All members, especially parents, can help here, either by getting qualiﬁed
Inside: How our Olympians did. An da round-up of our ra cing news from the past few months
or by helping our existing coaches. Please speak to Andy, Terry, Bob or Sue for details. Fund raising remains a big issue too. We have dropped one of our races because of organisational problems but are committed to replacing our ﬂeet of club boats and other equipment continues. We need funds and urge all members to help with this where they can. Some employers, for instance, run funding schemes for amateur sports clubs. My best wishes for the season ahead. Guy Dresser, Club Commodore
News in Brief
Jon Boyton is club captain
Olympic selections for Tim Brabants and Jess Walker
International kayaker and long-standing member Jon Boyton is our new club captain. Jon raced for GB in 2012 with partner Ed Rutherford in K2 and narrowly missed Olympic selection. It’s great to see him taking on the key role of club captain and to be building a racing group around him now he’s training at the club rather than at Bisham Abbey. U23 selection success Congratulations to all our U23 and Junior paddlers who went to Portugal with the GB Canoe Sprint Team: Guy Standeven, Matt Robinson, Rob Beer plus Dean Terry and Matt Welch (of Wey but who train at Royal) and, of course, three-time Olympian Paul DarbyDowman who coaches them all and is responsible for all this success. Olympic hopefuls A special mention to Jess Warrior and Nicole Williams who were picked for the ‘Olympic Hopefuls’ regatta in Hungary at the end of the sprint season. Great to see Royal canoeists coming up the ranks! Check us out on the web We’re producing an annual printed newsletter for those members who don’t have internet access. If you do go to our website, www.royalcanoeclub.com, you’ll be able to see masses of information about the club including times and details of training groups, who’s who and what’s what. In addition to our blog. We’re also on Facebook and Twitter - just search for Royal Canoe Club and, hey presto, you’ll ﬁnd us.
Jess Walker lines up for her Olympic singles ﬁnal - as photographed at Eton Dorney by Royal Canoe Club member Rosie Hudson
The Olympic Games left an indelible mark on Royal in 2012
Much has been written about the Games, the GB team’s performance and now, some ﬁve or six months later it’s starting to look like old news. Nevertheless, I don’t think there was anyone at the club who wasn’t caught up in the excitement of watching our paddlers racing at Eton Dorney in the canoe sprint events. We watched with great excitement as two Royal members, Tim Brabants and Jess Walker took part. Tim was defending his 1,000m title, won in Beijing when he led from start to ﬁnish. Jess raced in K1 and K4. Both did brilliantly, Tim making the ﬁnal and Jess making two ﬁnals. The atmosphere at the club was terriﬁc with stacks of members young and old plus camera crews from Sky, BBC and ITN doing interviews with Janet Evans, Dave Kelly and Sue Bovington. BBC reporter Chris Slegg, writing on Twitter said: “No medal for Tim Brabants but everyone at Royal Canoe Club in Teddington proud of GB’s greatest kayaker for all he has done for the sport.” Many younger members, asked for their views of Jess Walker, who began her canoeing career at Royal, said how
inspiring her performances had been and how they too wanted to progress. Janet said: “I am surprised you could not hear the noise at Dorney. Think the kids will still be on a high this evening. They were so excited, for them it will be a day to remember for ever.” Tim Brabants wrote appreciatively on Twitter later that day about the huge reception he had when he turned up at Royal, many of the junior paddlers still there from watching the events on TV earlier.
Race success for Royal paddlers at home and abroad, and in all canoe disciplines
We enjoyed some really great results in 2012, there were some surprises and many, many medals
The club did well in marathon, narrowly failing to qualify for the Hasler Final, but it was in sprint, particularly at the National Championships regatta in September where we really exceeded expectations. A small team went to Nottingham and came back with a bagful of medals across the board. Particularly noteworthy were best-of-class performances from Jess Warrior who won six medals in the six events she entered – including both crew boats and singles in the Under 18 Girls category. Nicole Williams was similarly successful in both crew boats and singles, her highlight was a 3rd place in U18 K1 1,000m, probably her best individual result ever. Emily Dresser scooped a medal in each of the three singles distances in the Under 16 Girls and won her ﬁrst national title in the U16 K1 500m in a time of 2.15. Rebecca Vorley did particularly well, ﬁnishing 2nd in K1 200m, 3rd in K2 200m (with Gemma Browne) and 3rd in K1 500m in the Under 18 Girls. As a result she has been promoted to Girls A – congratulations! Another promotion was that of Issy Madden, who was moved up to Lightning A. Daniel Vorley won bronze in K4. And the Royal K4 of Keira Madden, Issy Madden, Maia Wallman and Jessica Hanchett was third in the Girls U14 500m ﬁnal (this was Jessica’s ﬁrst Nottingham regatta too – a great start). A mixed K4 including Emily Buchanan and Charlotte Pratt was placed 3rd in the Girls U16 K4 500m ﬁnal and another mixed K4, this time including Nicole Williams and Emily Romainﬁnished 3rd in the K4 Girls U18 category. Another Royal K4 earned the rare and somewhat ignominious distinction of a capsize in the same race and a ‘DNF’ in the results – perhaps the less said about that, the better! The minis class, meanwhile, saw gold for Maia Wallman in the 500m ‘A’ category and another gold, this time for Issy Madden in the ‘B’ category…well done both! Special mentions should also go to Sammy Medici, who made ﬁnals in the Girls U14 K2, and to Aisling Bradley, Josie Palmer, Phoebe Wallman and Holly Blacksell all in the Royal U16 K4 that ﬁnished 4th in the 500m ﬁnal. Congratulations are due too to Matt Robinson, 2nd in Mens A K2 1,000m and K2 200m with Dean Terry of Wey. They were also 3rd in the K2 500m and Matt won Mens B K1 1,000m, was second in 500m and – Mens A was not buzzing with entries this regatta but we’re hoping for great things next year from Matt and some of our emerging senior racing paddlers. Other great results over the weekend included: Gemma Ruff, 7th in the ‘A’ Final of the U18 K1 1,000, 5th in K2 1,000m and 6th in K2 500m, both with Emily Romain. We owe a huge vote of thanks to all our club coaches who’ve made all this success possible. It’s worth pointing out that many of our juniors have not been canoeing long at all. For some of our lightning and ‘Mini’ paddlers this was their ﬁrst regatta. And in the U18 and U16 categories, Emily Buchanan, Jess Warrior, Gemma Browne and Emily Dresser started paddling less than 24 months ago – that’s less than two years from beginner to national championship medals. Major congratulations are also due to Radka Felingerova, on two counts ﬁrstly (and more recently) on the birth of her son Jaroslav and secondly on her bronze medal in the classic 5km distance at the World Downriver Racing Championships in the summer. Radka was denied a bronze medal in the sprint 400m - distance by a narrow margin, ﬁnishing fourth. It was still a remarkable set of results. Radka is the ﬁrst woman to represent GB in the new discipline of C1 wildwater racing since its introduction into the World Championships programme two years ago. Despite racing for Royal for more than 10 years and representing GB i n Wi l d w a t e r R a c i n g a t Wo r l d Championships and World Cups for four years, Radka’s actually only been competing in Wildwater for ﬁve years. Radka was coached by Dave Kelly at Royal for all of that time. (So congrats to you too, Dave!)
Notes and thoughts at the start of the year
We’re committed to child protection and take it very seriously
Canoe Club is committed to ensuring that all those taking part in canoeing at the club are protected and kept safe from harm while they are participating in our sport. This is particularly true in respect of children and vulnerable groups where it is important that they can enjoy our sport in a safe environment protected from any form of poor practice or abuse. The British Canoe Union has developed a range of policies, guidance and templates to support to clubs. Royal Canoe Club subscribes to all BCU policies in this respect. We view Child Protection as a very important issue and we take it extremely seriously. The club has implemented the BCU’s Child and Vulnerable Groups Protection Policy and has taken steps to ensure that anyone with any question about child protection or who wishes to draw attention to a problem can do so immediately. Any member or parent or other person with a concern about child protection can contact us via email. The key section on the BCU policy regarding safeguarding and protecting children and vulnerable adults can be found on the club website. up their time over the summer (and some over a longer period) to help out and make the event a success. We don’t have quite so many people helping us out at Royal and we do need more - particularly if you’re a parent. The cadet and junior section has, in the past, run on a creche basis where you leave your kids and go off to do your shopping. We really would like to discourage parents from seeing the club in this way - please don’t leave, we really look to you to help us. A lack of helpers, supporters and coaches is one of the key restrictions on the growth of our cadets section.
We’ve had a great many adults join the club over the past year or two and can now offer a special group for them which goes out during the week and at weekends. Standards in the group vary but Division 6 (marathon standard) seems to be about average. If you’re interested in joining, please make yourselves known to the club secretary Stephen Crehan.
Helping at the club
We’ve had a few working days at the club over the past few months, usually in conjunction with similar days run by the rowing and dragonboat clubs too. It’s starting to look like a gathering of the ‘usual faces’, in fact a very small number of usual faces too. Please help out - it’s only by lending a hand that we’re able to keep fees down as much as we are.
Parents: get involved!
Volunteering was one of the big themes to emerge from the London Olympic Games – more than 70,000 people gave
Above are a couple of photographs from the Paddling Challenge and Post Olympic Party, held at Royal the day after the Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Games. Those who were there remember a great evening, a big party and a terriﬁc race too with a very packed start line in the senior men’s K1 10,000m race. We welcomed a great many old faces, not least Peter Wells, who chaired the Canoe Club Trust throughout the purchase of the mainland site. Also former commodore David Lawrence and a great many other friends.
Concern over Canoe England funding changes
Many of you will have heard reports of changes in the funding arrangements for club level coaches. We’d like to reassure members that we’ve heard these reports too and are actively investigating the implications. At this early stage it’s not possible to say what changes are afoot and what implications they will have on the club. We’re keen to lobby Canoe England and the BCU as to the beneﬁts we’ve enjoyed at Royal through the presence of paid-for coaches and we’d like to see that continue. We’re liaising with Richmond Canoe Club, who have similar issues and will keep everyone informed via the club website.
A couple of pictures which barely do justice to the extreme weather we’ve seen - severe cold and extensive ﬂooding. The worst of both worlds, really
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