Originally published by SportsByte on August 2nd 2014.
Roker Canoe Club are holding starter sessions in Sunderland in a bid to expand the sports of canoeing and kayaking in the area.
The club, founded in 2011, hold Go Canoeing Starter sessions at Hetton Lyons Country Park between 6-8pm every Thursday.
Club secretary Mike Jenkings said: “We see ourselves very much as the entry-level club, giving people the chance to come along and try the sport. We basically just want to expand the sport in the area.
“So people can get on the water, learn some basics, learn the disciplines if they want and then if they want more we can help them from there.
“We’d like to encourage more younger people to come along, but we have to insist that children are accompanied by their parents. Clearly, this is not the sort of thing where they can just drop their kids off, and leave them for the day.”
Mike, 56, says that he had always wanted to try canoeing, and started attending the club regularly around three years ago after previously participating in school.
The club have a dozen members and have had strong turnouts to the starter sessions.
“It’s a very varied sport,” said Jenkings. “There’s the racing, sporting elements, so you have the challenge of white-water, but some people just want to meander down the river. They can just have a nice gentle day.
“The water’s warm, it’s not very deep, we’ve got all the safety equipment and you’re in safe hands.”