May 2014 is National Watersports Month in the United Kingdom. A large part of the celebration is the National Go Canoeing Week. Journalist Edward Greenland posted an article on OutdoorsMagic website, May 13, 2014, suggesting that this year’s “Go Canoeing Week” will be bigger and better than ever.
“The initiative week has previously been very successful but this year it's even bigger and better. It gives the public a chance to pick up a paddle and discover what’s on offer at over 400 canoe and kayak clubs and centres across the country.”
In addition, according to Greenland, “Go Canoeing will also encourage the nation to collectively paddle the distance around the UK coastline during the week, totaling 11,073 miles, by introducing the new Every Mile Counts challenge.”
Go Canoeing Week 2014 is an eight-day initiative to get people on the water and try out canoeing and kayaking wherever you are in the UK. It begins Saturday, May 24 and ends Sunday, June 1.
According to Olympic Gold Medal winner Etienne Stott, “National Go Canoeing week is going to be brilliant with over 200 events nationwide, so there is sure to be one near you.”
Stott and crewmate Tim Baillie won the Gold Medal at the London 2012 Olympics in the sport of canoe slalom. “The Gold medal was a historic first in canoe slalom for Great Britain and captured the country’s imagination,” according to the Nottingham Event Team, and online news source. Both canoeists received Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for their heroic efforts.
There will be three events for paddlers wishing to participate in the annual event.
- Starter Sessions - are for “absolute beginners,” according to Greenland. “They allow you to have an excellent introduction to the sport of canoeing and offer a fun experience for all the family.”
- Guided Tours - Whether you are an absolute beginner or an experienced paddler our Every Mile Counts Guided Tours offer a great way to get out on the water during National Go Canoeing Week and complete some miles to add to our total. The tours allow you to meet like-minded people, escape the daily grind of an adventure or simply spend some time leisurely exploring your local waterways.
- Challenge Routes - Every Mile Counts Challenge Routes provide you with the opportunity to complete either a one or three-mile route in a scenic location. Go Canoeing has chosen some beautiful sites to host the Challenge Route including Lake Windermere, Rutland Water and the Portsmouth coastline.
National Go Canoeing Week started in 2012 as an Olympic legacy initiative by British Canoeing aimed at boosting grassroots participation in the sport.