If you’re looking for a big adventure for you and the family this May half-term, then look no further than National Go Canoeing Week.
Set to be held throughout the half-term holiday from 27 May – 4 June, there will be a number of events and paddling adventures being held up and down the country, for families and children of all ages and abilities to join. For more experienced paddlers, there is plenty on offer to whet your appetite in the form of canoe trails and challenges.
Adventurer and TV presenter Steve Backshall is a lifetime paddler, having taken up canoeing in the scouts as a youngster, and is the official ambassador for National Go Canoeing 2017 – The Big Adventure: “I’d encourage everyone to get on the water this May half term for National Go Canoeing Week.
“Canoeing is a great activity for everyone regardless of age and ability. There is a paddlesport for everyone, from white water rafting to stand up paddleboarding. You can pack a picnic, and the whole family into a Canadian canoe, and have your own big adventure. Or pop along to your local club or centre to find a beginners session. It doesn’t cost much to get involved but the benefits are fantastic.
“I’d just urge everyone to get on the water, just make sure you log your miles and you could win a great prize.”
During National Go Canoeing Week clubs and centres up and down the UK will be running a series of events for families to take part in. There will be a series of starter sessions run for novices where participants can just turn up and get a feel for what paddling is all about. All the necessary equipment will be provided and you can still contribute to the mileage target.
Alternatively, you could tackle one of the British Canoeing Challenge Paddles and take in the scenery of the beautiful British waterways. Whether it’s a one, two or six mile paddle you fancy, or perhaps you want to do the big one, The Three Lakes Challenge, there are plenty of ways to get out on a new adventure.
There are also opportunities to get away for the weekend and discover fantastic places to paddle across the UK. The River Wye and Lake District have a wide variety of events and hire opportunities. Spend the weekend in a cosy B&B, visit friends or give canoe camping a go.
“National Go Canoeing Week is the British Canoeing initiative which aims to get everyone out on the water having fun, regardless of ability or age,” said Jenny Spencer, development manager at British Canoeing. “It is designed to provide a real focal point to attract new people into the sport, enjoy new places to paddle and to stimulate those who really like a challenge to think big and achieve something special.
“It could be your first time picking up a paddle, or your thousandth, there is a way for everyone to join in.
“Our theme this year is the Big Adventure and we’d like as many people as possible to join in and help us get to our target of 30,000 miles paddled during the week. Every mile you paddle counts and by taking part and registering could win you a fantastic prize.
“This year you can also help us to raise £30,000 for Cancer Research UK. Visit the fundraising page to find out how to turn your paddling into pounds!”
For more information or to find your nearest event, please visit www.gocanoeingweek.org.uk