Training Coordinator’s Report [69]

By Adrian Clayton

By the time you read this report we will have posted our training program for the remainder of the Club year on the Calender. We have set ourselves many objectives, all determined by what we see as being the needs of the Club and its members. The training program covers a broad scope – from teaching basic skills to those novices through to developing and accrediting highly skilled Sea Instructors.

Already we have begun a three-day basic skills session in Sydney with 15 members attending (and already giving us some very positive feedback). A similar session is scheduled for early December in Lake Macquarie (with indications of good numbers attending) and a weekend session is planned for Jervis Bay early in February 2008. Thanks to our Flatwater Instructors Liz Thomson, David Hipsley, Henry van der Kolk and Mike Eggleton for putting on these sessions.

A pool rolling session was conducted at the Enmore pool early in October. Ten aspiring rollers attended with tuition being provided by Sea Instructors Harry Havu, Keith Oakford and Mark Sundin (thanks guys). No one rolled on the night but one participant, Alan Thurman, pulled off his first (and second) roll in ‘real’ conditions soon after. Another pool rolling session in Sydney is scheduled for late November with others out of Sydney planned for early next year (check the calendar).

Late in October two Club members, Daniel Hilly and Katrina Keane, were successful in obtaining their Sea Skills accreditation when assessed in Botany Bay by Sea Instructor Stuart Trueman. Congratulations Daniel and Katrina (and thanks Stuart).

An important event is scheduled for mid November and that is the Instructor ‘Development’ Day. Apart from finalising the training program for the year, the Club’s instructors are meeting to swap training tips and to ensure that the Club is delivering a consistent standard of tuition (in cliché terms ‘we are all singing from the same song sheet’).

Please remember that all of our instructors give freely of their own time. It is greatly appreciated if they can get feedback on the quality of the instruction and training they are providing to members. Please don’t be shy if you have some constructive criticism to make (although getting positive comments is much nicer). Also, it would be great if you could let me know if you have any suggestions on where our training program can be improved.

Another thing we ask those being given tuition, please don’t assume that being shown a skill and performing it under the watchful eye of your instructor makes you competent. Practice, practice and more practice is the key to developing your skills (and confidence). Life member Dave Winkworth puts it this way ‘There’s no better way to improve your skills and confidence than spending time in your boat’.

Finally, the Club needs to graduate more Sea Leaders and Sea Instructors as soon as we can (without detracting from the standard) and would like any aspiring members to put their hands up. If you would like to know what the path is towards achieving these qualifications please speak to one of our instructors or drop me an email at: training2007-8@nswseakayaker.asn.au.

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