by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
The Rock-itt : March Rock-itt 2014
We have found that many people, after doing some recreational paddling, want to broaden their activities and join a club. Sometimes it’s because they want to go on and do a big race like the annual Hawkesbury Classic, other times it’s because they want to improve their paddling, or maybe they seek the friendship available in a club environment. These clubs can be found on our website, www.paddlensw.org.au . Whatever the reason, clubs offer a huge range of benefits. The most obvious is probably the camaraderie from mixing with like-minded men and women who want to escape from the pressures of daily life. Another is the opportunity to learn from veterans who are only too willing to offer help and advice, whether it be choosing the right craft for you or improving your paddling technique. The clubs, which are affiliated to Paddle NSW, are our bastions of expertise, fun, exercise, meeting and making friends, regular weekly paddles and volunteering. Paddle NSW is the backbone of paddling in NSW and gives a structure to the sport. We coordinate and run about 100 major events each year, including marathons, open water, sprints, white- water, canoe polo and recreational. Most are on weekends and squashing them all in is hard to do to avoid clashes. There is serious competition for timing systems, generators, safety equipment and the people to operate all these. In addition we have lots of members who want to do different types of races – marathons, sprints and open water. We are expanding our activities all the time, and one sport where we have been particularly successful is open water racing. Four years ago we didn’t have open water, now we have a packed program of racing on places like Sydney Harbour, Port Hacking and Pittwater. There are many races which specially cater for beginners by starting with shorter and more protected courses. The open water and our popular marathon series each have about a dozen races a year, and it’s common for them to attract up to 150 competitors. Each is run by one of our clubs. This requires people with the skills to manage an event, and that includes knowledge of the rules, safety pro- cedures, first aid and arranging approvals with councils and Maritime. Except for a small number of paid personnel, such as lifesavers in IRBs for open water, these people are volunteers. I want to stress the contributions of our volunteers, not only at club level but also in our technical committees which oversee each sport. Many of these people come from clubs, all of them are there because of their enthusiasm, all of them are dedicated to paddling and they make a great and valuable contribution to us whether they are paddlers or not. Another of our sports which had reached a low point a couple of years ago and is now attracting world-class paddlers like Olympians Murray Stewart and Jo Brigden Jones is sprint racing. These top paddlers come because they know there are going to be first class events, solidly supported administratively thanks to the work of people like Laura White, chair of the sprint technical committee, and Nigel Colless, the timing wizard. A new sport is freestyle kayaking where the competitors do absolutely wild stuff, like somersaults and other acrobatic manoeuvres, in wild white water. It’s a bit like an aquatic version of some of the aerial thrills we have seen in the Winter Olympics. We gave financial support to a team of 9 which went to the world championships in September in the US. Although most of our activities are at a State level, we also support elite paddlers seeking selection to represent Australia. Last year we ran selection trials for adult, junior and under 23 ocean racing paddlers and gave financial support for the 10 juniors selected from NSW to go to the world championships in Portugal. To see what we do in open water go to www.surfskiaustralia.com. Apart from our own events, we help other organisations, some charitable, in running events properly and safely. One of these is Kayak for Kids, an annual competitive/recreational race in Sydney Harbour from McMahons Point to Clontarf. It supports Lifestart which is a charity for children with intellectual disabilities. We provide the timing and volunteers who look after safety arrangements. A final word about our insurance, which covers members for all medical costs beyond Medicare, including physio, for injuries incurred while paddling. A major element of our insurance is coverage for all clubs, organisers, volunteers and board members for public liability claims. Without it we could not run events exposing volunteers and organisers to financial risk. What would happen if someone on one of our events damaged a million-dollar yacht? If anyone would like to know more about what Paddle NSW does, how to join a club, how to find out more about any of our sports, how to become a volunteer, or anything else, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Chief Executive, Peter Tate, at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone him on 8116-9730. Volunteers are the heart and soul of Paddle NSW. These club volunteers were helping out at national Olympic selection trials. Open water racing has grown rapidly in popularity in only four years