Club sessions – Saturday
At 2pm we have a general open session for members and visitors. The club is usually open until around 3:30 pm. Please come for 2 pm as late arrivals may not be able to get on the water if we are already busy or the sessions have already started. The range of club equipment is wide but there is only so much to go round! This is a chance for all to get on the water and paddle the different types of canoe we have at the club.
What to wear
You may get wet so wear old clothes including trainers. Don’t wear jeans – they aren’t great when wet. If it is cold or wet, a light waterproof jacket and a hat is a good idea. Don’t use heavy jackets for paddling as they would make it hard to swim if you did fall in. Bring a towel, a bag and a change of clothes so you can go home warm and dry. You will get damp!
What we provide
We have a full range of canoes, kayaks and paddles for you to use that suit most sizes, ages and abilities. We will give you a buoyancy aid and (provided you have done the capsize drill) a spraydeck. There are a limited number of jackets if the weather is cold and wet. If it is very cold there are some basic paddle mitts to keep your hands warm.
There are male and female changing rooms, with fan heaters for the colder months and hot water is available to freshen up afterwards.
Lockers are provided to put your valuables and non-waterproof things such as car keys and phones in. Please don’t leave valuables lying around or in kit bags.
Tea and coffee making facilities are also available. There is a good supply of tea and coffee, just bring sugar (always running out) and milk.
Outside the club, there is on street parking for up to two hours during the day, with no return in four hours. There is a small car park opposite the club entrance that can only be used at weekends, space permitting. Why not cycle down?
What to expect
Visitors are asked to sign in on a sheet, provide a name, address and contact number and also to let us know if you have any medical conditions that we need to be aware of.
You must be able to swim at least 10m. There is no minimum age but younger paddlers may get on better with an adult to start with. Conditions such as air temperature and wind strength and what you are wearing, may dictate whether it is suitable for you to paddle.
Are we here all year round?
Yes, but check the calendar for the latest news. Occasionally the canal does freeze but then we have an opportunity to tidy up the club and do some maintenance or use the indoor equipment.
Training for awards
Check the calendar for dates – On some Saturdays at 12pm there are training sessions for those members who want to gain their British Canoe Union 1 and 2 Star awards and those younger paddlers who want to complete the Paddle Power challenge. These sessions usually run in the summer months and paddlers need to book first to ensure a session. Club coaches are recognised by the national governing body, the British Canoe Union and they can train and assess you over the introductory awards.
Club sessions – Weekday
On Monday and Wednesday club members meet at 5.30 pm for a paddling session of around one hour on the water. This is coach led, speed and endurance training, in the faster and longer touring and racing kayaks. There are stable boats to start you off and build your confidence and technique. This is a good general exercise session. Some of our paddlers also compete in regional competitions.
The club has a small amount of loose weights and a bench press which can be used by adults and those over 16 under supervision. We have a paddling machine which replicates the paddling technique and a rowing machine. There is also a static bike.
We try to organise paddle trips to local rivers such as the Avon at Warwick and Stratford. These usually take place on a Sunday. Members will be invited depending on the likely conditions.
If you have a group of 5 or more that want to paddle then get in touch by email and see if we can arrange a session at a time to suit you. We usually can fit in a session after work when it is lighter at night, from May to September.
The club is run by volunteers and the committee have a set of rules that visitors and members must follow.
Why not buy some Mercia Canoe Club canoeing lessons as a different present for birthdays, Christmas or Anniversaries. Simply get in touch by email and let us know how many sessions in the pool or at the club are needed. We will ask you to make payment by bank transfer and email you the voucher.