British Canoeing is sad to announce the news that Jim Croft has passed away.
A volunteer and administrator for over 40 years at Viking Kayak Club in Bedford, Jim devoted his time to the sport through his involvement in canoe slalom.
Jim began his long involvement in canoeing when as a group scout leader. When his two sons joined scouts they began canoeing and competed in slalom events.
At Viking Jim was responsible for the organisation of several local and national competitions, held on the River Ouse at Cardington, including the Slalom Inter Clubs Final and the UK Junior and Veteran Slalom Championships.
Jim was a key member of the committee that ensured the Cardington slalom course maintained good relations with the local landowners. Many slalom paddlers will remember Jim at Cardington and in particular the wake-up call over the tannoy first thing in the morning!
He was also very proactive in supporting grass roots development, through the delivery of training camps and organising competition entries for paddlers at the club.
As well as his club role Jim held a number of key voluntary roles in the sport including Chair of the Eastern region slalom committee and as a member of the canoe slalom committee.
Through these positions Jim played an integral role in supporting the delivery of national and international slalom competitions and leading on the volunteer programmes.
For many years, alongside Bill Simpson, Jim organised an annual under 16 training camp for the British squad. The trips to venues such as Liptovsky Mikulas in Slovakia gave many young athletes valuable experience of international racing as they progressed into championship teams.
Jim also ran a company called Slalom Sports and was a familiar face at lower division events around the country.
British Canoeing would like to extend deepest sympathies and condolences to Jim’s family, friends and colleagues involved in the sport.