MAD COACHING PROJECT

After raising almost £5000 when paddling around Britain, and continuing to raise another   £1000 through coaching on various symposiums (Jersey, WSKF Bute and Devon), doing assessments and giving talks, we decided to continue.women scottish seakayak 288

For this reason we launched our new project, the MAD Coaching meaning Make A Difference Coaching. You can read all about it on our page MAD Coaching.

During the preparation to set this up, we held some trial runs, and were privilege to coach the following sessions:

  • 3* training & assessment in Pembrokeshire,  October 2015
  • 1 day introduction to sea kayaking for a group of women from Norfolk, November 2015
  • 1 day introduction to the River Thames for a group of women from Norfolk, November 2015
  • 1 day paddle with another London based club on Thames, January 2016
  • 2 days of paddling on the Thames with the Eagle Club from Norfolk
  • 1* training and assessment

 

We also have 2 new boats Xplore M and Xscape S for those, who don’t have their own. We believe that the best learning experience is achieved by good quality coaching and good quality and well fitting boats, we have a range in our fleet available for coaching, trips and demos: 2x Tiderace Pace 17, 2x Extra HW, Xplore M, Xcape S.

So if you want to be coached by us, and make a difference to your paddling and to others, please, contact us via email, or FB.

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Women’s Seakayaking Festival Devon

Esther, Julie and I were sitting having dinner in a restaurant post Bute symposium 2014 excited from all the great time we had during the weekend and then slightly disappointed, that it wouldn’t be happening this year. I don’t know who’s idea it was, but already travelling down the M6 we started to make plans.

What followed were many Skype conversations, Julie and Paul live in Devon, Esther and I in different places in London. The roles soon established themselves, Julie and Paul were to take care about the site bit, Esther dealt with the admin, and I was in charge of the coaching.

old harry 7We decided to invite the best women coaches we could find in the country to come and coach the women paddlers. Our aim was to provide supportive environment within the women only environment, and for people of different paddling skills being able to paddle together, enjoy each other company, have fun without feeling that they may be holding someone back. However segregation was not our aim, and so for those participants, who wanted to come with their partner, as they may need someone for company on long drive, we created the man creche.

old harry 1There were many exciting moments during the whole process. The first paddler booked, the confirmation on the marquee and food, the box of printed t-shirts, the booking being full. And then it all started. We checked in the first arrived person, the first coach.

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The condition and weather held for us and even if Monday was more on the wet and windy side, everyone had wonderful paddling days, lots of laughter, lost of new skills. We had talks, and shared food. And yes, sometimes it took four to five women to put a boat on a roof rack, but still it was all done in very good company.

 

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And yes, when I think back about it, and read the good feedback and the constructive one, I feel good. Of course there’s room for improvement, but I am very proud of Esther, Julie and myself for pulling this off. We had enormous support from Paul, who has done millions of jobs, and Michal who cooked many delicious dinners for the Skype evenings, and Toby for t-shirts and many others.

And I think that I am starting to look forward to the next one.   old harry 16

 

 

Women’s Scottish Seakayaking Festival

Last weekend of our stay in Scotland we joined the Women’s Scottish Seakayak Festival. Both of us, despite the fact that Michal is not a woman. However lately he often becomes one, since our surnames (Madera for male members of the family, Maderova for female members) seem to be a bit of a riddle for english speaking community. Fortunately Michal is of mellow nature and slowly is coming to terms with the fact that he would be better changing it, although it may cause some gender issues in our native country.

The festival was based in Ettrick bay with food provided by the cafe there, delicious food and unique service, it was.20130906-072336.jpgPaddling was happening at various places of isle of Bute, and many different workshops were offered. I joined the festival as a coach and had a great experience. I met other women coaches and had a good inside in what it means having kayaking as a life style. The participants came from all over the country and some from overseas. They created an atmosphere of enjoyment, laughter and support. It remained me a lot of French style of organising festival: We are all here because we like kayaking, but there are other important things that come with it like food, entertainment, and many more.

What I appreciated a lot was that it was ok to turn up with a husband in toe, fortunately I wasn’t the only one. I have to admit, I really enjoyed that. For once my kayaking was more important then his/theirs. And seeing them getting up in the morning, cooking breakfast, coffee, preparing lunch! for us kayakers, helping to put stuff in the car or boat on the roof, but holding back on the planing, organisation, advice giving, and leadership was wonderful. And what more, from what I observed, we we’re not the only couple where this was happening. Nevertheless, the partners were welcome, they had their own crèche, and hopefully no one minded for them to be around. I would not be able to drive all the way by myself anyway.