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Inclusive Paddlesport Project

Wed 03 July 2019

The SCA alongside other partners have helped run Wheels to Water at Castle Semple for the last few years, offering paddlesport come and try sessions to people with a disability amongst other sports. This annual event has helped train coaches and volunteers while offering participants and their families a chance to try a variety of sports. There has however been limited numbers of participants taking up paddlesport on a regular basis in their local area. 

With the aim of addressing this, the SCA alongside partners; Scottish Disability Sport  (SDS), Disability Sport Fife (DSF), the MS Society and Fife CAG came together to run the first of three pilot projects where people with a disability alongside family or friends could try 3 weeks of paddlesport. The hope is that some of those who have tried it will want to join the club and paddle on a regular basis.

The first session took place at Lochore Meadows Country Park on the 28th May with Richard Brickley MBE from DSF and Roger Holmes from the SCA supporting the club’s coaches Ken Mcllroy, Kevin Knox, Iain McBride, Sarah Mcllroy and Jane Stewart  to deliver a thoroughly enjoyable evening for all the participants. As with all first sessions of those new to paddling  there is a degree of faff, sorting out kit and equipment, fitting to boats etc. However it was all worthwhile and resulted in a great hour or more of paddling around Lochore Meadows.

The whole evening was a great learning experience for all those involved, coaches and helpers, plus participants, and we look forward to seeing the programme continuing.  
During the pilot project video and pictures will be taken to help inspire other clubs to consider something similar within their clubs.

Already the posts on Facebook has generated interest, with people looking for opportunities in other areas and other clubs. Following this initial pilot with Fife CAG there are now a further two blocks of sessions planned to take place over the summer partnering with Forth Canoe Club and Aberdeen Kayak Club.

If you would like to hear more about how these sessions took place or would like advice or borrow the SCA’s selection of Adaptive equipment to help a person with a disability take part at your club please contact me on roger.holmes@canoescotland.org 

This short video is a wrap up of the project at Lochore Meadows!