Although I don't get to spend much time back at home now, I do try to rip it up on the Trent when I get the opportunity... It's still one of my favourite courses in the world even though there isn't any white water!
Now trying to give something back to the club who got me into this sport in the first place is very important and following the success of running some big group sessions for the juniors of Stafford and Stone Canoe Club last Christmas alongside teamate Mark Proctor I wanted to do something similar again this year.
This year though it was a 'Christmas Challenge' which put teams of club members against eachother for 6 rounds of water and land based challenges culminating in a final round Christmas sing-song to decide the winners!
I got the impression everyone had fun, I know I did anyway! Especially watching the 'Paddles Up!' and Singing challenges. I will definitely try to put something similar on next year too!
Some thank you's...
PeakUK - For supplying a little something for the winners in their prize bags
Steve and Sam Harrat - Steve for playing 'Simon Cowell' for us in the singing challenge, and Sam for making hot drinks to warm up some cold paddlers!
Andy Neave and Dave Royle - For helping to organise everyone into teams on the day and Andy for getting some photos of the event too.
Rob Holdway - For helping to set up the Paddles Up! course
Parents of juniors taking part - For sticking around to support and to help with timing/recording times
Lizzie Neave and Jazz Royle - For coming along and getting involved with the teams, I know they appreciated it.
Mum - For helping me with most of the event and putting in your own money for teas/coffees and to make up the prizes (and for driving me around all Christmas whilst I was Car-less!)
Merry Christmas everyone and a Happy New Year! :)
Photo Andy Neave. Stone.