British Canoeing has partnered with the National Water Sports Centre to develop and launch an exciting new programme of Kayak Cross events at the Holme Pierrepont white water course in Nottingham.
This partnership is a first in the country and will be crucial in developing a strong pathway and future for British athletes as well as providing the opportunity for paddlers from across all white water backgrounds, such as freestyle, wild water racing, river running to join in and have a go.
Starting from January, dedicated water slots with Kayak Cross gates will be available for paddlers to book onto, with the introduction of a new semi-permanent Kayak Cross ramp, which we hope will be installed in the early new year.
These events are in addition to the Nottingham White Water League, a monthly informal competition held over the winter months, aimed at any white-water paddler who wants to give Kayak Cross a go. This league incorporates novice, masters and pro abilities with more than 25 people getting on the water to have a go at the time trials, head-to-head and knock out races.
Kayak Cross will make its Olympic debut in Paris next year, and Great Britain has already blazed a trail in the discipline. Rio 2016 K1 gold medallist Joe Clarke MBE is already a three-time world champion in the event with compatriot Kimberley Woods also winning the women’s title this year. Brits Sam Leaver and Jonny Dickson were also U23 World gold and bronze medallists respectively.
Richard Ramsdale, Head of Talent at British Canoeing, said: “We are delighted to be launching this project with the National Water Sports Centre.
“With Kayak Cross being a new Olympic discipline, it is key that we create a new and healthy pathway that allows as many paddlers from different disciplines as possible to get involved.
“A small test event was held in September which was really well received and we’re looking forward to expanding this programme with the National Water Sports Centre/Serco Leisure.
“Our vision for this partnership is to establish the National Water Sports Centre as the central hub of Kayak Cross training and racing opportunities.”
Jack Garner, Regional Director for Serco Leisure, which manages the National Water Sports Centre on behalf of Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “We’re very proud to be supporting British Canoeing as they look to grow participation numbers in this exciting water sport.
“Our white-water course is one of the jewels in the National Water Sports Centre crown, and we can’t wait to see the first batch of Kayak Cross paddlers hitting the course this January.”
The sessions are due to start at 6pm on 5th January with subsequent sessions available on the 19th and 26th January.