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  • Joe Lo

May Newsletter

In this issue

  • Update - Activities, Trips and AGM

  • Dates for the Diary

Update - Activities, Trips and AGM

The club continues to go from strength to strength, getting busy and more active for those keen to paddle. This month alone we have activity three times a week every week: the weekly Barkstore paddles on a Sunday; the Lakeside sessions are running every Tuesday for those wanting a little flat water time to practice core skills and rolling; and for those wanting to stretch themselves we have had a couple of meet ups at Woodmill weir on a Thursday evening. We also had a well-attended trip to the Nene in early May. 

Fun for all on the Nene (Image credit: Joe Lo)

Dave Martin summed it up.

Can I also say that anyone thinking about coming next time, you couldn't want for a more inclusive and encouraging bunch to paddle with!

I was grinning and someone else sleeping all the way home ”

A group from the club travelled to North Wales for a White Water Safety training course, gaining lots of skills and experiences to bring back to the club.

White Water Safety Training in North Wales (Image credits: Joe Lo)

We finished off the month with a tour down the Upper Wye. This was the first touring trip for the club in a while, ensured by Barny’s drive and enthusiasm. The group took on the winding river Wye and enjoyed campfires and camaraderie. This will be first of many river tour trips for the club ahead.

Touring on the River Wye (Image credit: Peter Stewart)

Family fun on the River Wye (Image credit: Mark Barnes)

So much is happening on the water, and off the water we also had our Annual General Meeting at Swaythling Working Men’s Club, where I was elected the Chair of the club. So in my new role I would like to introduce myself as the new Chair of Upper Canoe Club and take this opportunity to share some other changes to the committee.

I would like to start by thanking those members of the Committee who are moving on from their time and expert assistance over the many years. Peter Snow has been diligent in his treasury account management and guidance; he is leaving the club in a strong and positive financial position. Tom Mace has held the Barkstore together over many years and ensured our club kit is maintained in the most effective manner. Geoff, the larger than life character, is stepping down as Chair to allow some time for some personal adventures.

So a new year brings some new committee faces:

  • Luke Shute joins as Vice Chair - an enthusiastic paddler with a drive for kayak surfing.

  • Ben Mitchell steps into the Youth Rep role and Social Media Manager, with a desire to see more engagement from our younger end of the paddling club base.

  • Sonia Harrision picks up the Equipment/Facilities Officer role and is hoping for much advice and guidance from Tom.

  • Trish is taking over as Pool Coordinator, to get us all rolling to success.

Let's not forget those staying in post to keep a steady transit and balance to the club: Thanks John on Membership; Lyn, our skiing club secretary; Peter, the Sea Kayak Rep; Kirsten, our Safeguarding Officer; and Webmaster Jude. Martin Mitchell will also be staying as Health and Safety Officer and is taking on the important role of Treasurer. Thank you all for your dedication.

For those who have not met me, I am a life long paddler with experience with multi-discipline activity in the wonderful world of paddling. My personal drive is in the white water scene. So what do I hope and plan for the club? I see us continuing as a gateway club for paddlers, with Barkstore, Lakeside and pool sessions drawing new and enthusiastic people into paddlesport. Once in the club, members will be supported by discipline champions to develop their skills and experience to go on their own adventures with the club or with other people/organisations in the paddling community. I also want to ensure that the club is an environment that nurtures skills and values to support building the next generation of paddlers and people from our little corner of the active world.

I look forward to seeing you paddling and as I always say, the more people I get paddling the more people I get to paddle with.

Happy Paddling,


UHCC- Club Chair

Dates for the Diary

Lakeside Evening Sessions

6.00pm Tuesday Nights - Every week a chance to come down Park, Paddle, Play. Come down each Tuesday to practice and build skills in a friendly flat water environment. Martin Mitchell has set up a WhatsApp group to keep people connected who want to attend. Please contact him directly. 

Woodmill Wier

6.00pm Thursday 6th June 2024 - Woodmill Wier Low tide- 5.29pm- 1.0m

I am running a fortnightly session down at the Woodmill Wier, focussing on practicing and developing whitewater skills. Drop Joe Lo a message or email for details.

Big day at Barkstore

2.00pm 9th June 2024

  • Taster Session - Introduction session for new paddlers

  • River Clean Up - Paddle UK national event to get out a clear up some of the river rubbish

  • BBQ - Second club organised social - come along for a sauasge

Keep an eye out for emails and an eye on the calendar

Darkwater Coaching Courses

For those looking to start their paddle qualification development, there are spaces available at a special club rate by Oliver Taylor-Wood, at Darkwater Adventure Coaching. 

  • Core Coach 15th-16th June 2024 


Woodmill Wier

6.00pm Thursday 20th June 2024 - Woodmill Wier Low tide- 4.43pm- 1.5m

I am running a fortnightly session down at the Woodmill Wier, focus on practice and developing whitewater skills. Drop Joe Lo a message for details.

Medway Circuit

5th-7th July 2024 - An old favourite paddle tour in the garden of England flat water with a couple of weirs to spice it up a little. Please contact Barney for details.

Symonds Yat

20th-22nd September 2024 - The club standard: some touring on the Wye and an introduction to White Water at Symonds Yat. St. Briavels Castle YHA for the accommodation. Please contact Trish for details.

River Dart Trip

15th-17th November 2024 - Club trip aimed at those who want to develop Grade 2 and 3 whitewater skills, with leaders and coaches there to support those who need support.

Call for Coaches and Leaders - As the club gets more successful and active. We will need to have more coaches and leaders. I am contacting all those listed as coaches and leaders at the club at the moment to check in their support. At the end of the month we will putting a call for those interested in developing Coaching and leading skills to the wider club.

Club calendar - The UHCC Calendar is now being updated and should prove a reliable method of checking club plans.

Happy Paddling,


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