Ilfracombe Youth Canoe Club (IYCC) was started after a group of local kayak coaches arranged a ‘taster day’ at the harbour in the summer of 2005 for any children interested in taking to the water. The aim being to set the ball rolling for a Canoe Club in Ilfracombe.
The session was very well attended with over 30 children having a paddle and after that first session a number of parents set up a committee to look into setting up a proper club. The first year we held 6 sessions at the harbour (all at no cost to the children) and ran a daytrip from Velator, near Braunton. During that time we had about 12 children who came along regularly and we were very fortunate to have help from Matt, Kevin and Nick as assistant coaches on the water.
We started our second season at Easter 2006 with another ‘taster day’ at Ilfracombe harbour and over 20 children came along for a paddle. We aimed to have 10 sessions up to the end of term and charged membership during that period.
With the business commitments of the coaches it was not always possible to have as many children on the water as we would like, but steps were taken to try to ensure that this would not be the case in the future as a number of volunteers and parents were being trained to be able to help on the water.
We currently have more than 30 children on our books and a waiting list of another 10. During the winter we are planning a number or trips to different locations and will be meeting monthly at Ilfracombe Swimming pool with the aim of increasing the water confidence of the children and learning more about capsize drills and rolling.
We aim to arrange the children in ability groups, so that as much time as possible is spent on the water rather than on the beach, and to start taking them through either their or the BCU Paddle Power scheme. If the children are old enough then they are able to help them work towards their coaching qualifications.
If you would be interested in joining or if you are a parent and would like to come along to help in any way then please contact our secretary for more details.