There has been an enormous rise in the number of people who have been enjoying
our rivers and canals. I have seen more kayakers, canoeists and small boaters
than ever before. But what has been particularly noticeable is the completely new
appearance of paddle boarders.
So, when Barrow resident Dave Beecroft contacted me to enquire if he could advertise his new paddle sports company, Whitewater Ways in Barrow Voice, my ears pricked up.
Dave has been involved in paddle sports from school days. He trained originally as a Royal Marine, but an injury meant he was invalided out. Wanting to maintain an active, outdoor career, he qualified as a watersports and paddle sports coach. About five years ago, he moved to Barrow, continuing his freelance activities then set up his own company based in Barrow during the first lockdown last March.
After ten years of paddle sports coaching experience, Dave’s personal first love is white water paddling (especially in large volumes of water), but he is confident that he can fulfil his pledge to provide personalised, high-quality coaching that focuses on individuals or small groups on our local river and canal. He offers skills checks, guided canoe, kayak and stand-up paddle board (SUP) skills courses, family fun, roll clinics, experience adventures and bespoke coaching.
Dave’s passion for his chosen lifestyle makes paddling sound rewarding and fun. You can see the commitment to quality in his prize-winning entry in Barrow’s Scarecrow Festival! Barrow Voice wishes him every success in this new business.
You can contact Dave for more details by email or phone and explain what you’re looking for. EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org CALL: 07749 477116
If you want to find out more about cycling clubs try the Leicestershire Road Club at https://www.facebook.com/groups/19494697792 or perhaps Rutland Cyclists’ Touring Club at http://www.ctc.leic.org.uk/ Bikes: safety first! Young children cycle more safely if they have good road awareness. Have a look at www.bbuddies.com for information about courses that help develop good balance and road safety. B-buddies is run by Barrow’s father-and-daughter team, Sophie and Martin Budjosa. They do bike repairs and servicing. They will even come to your home to fetch and deliver your bike.
There are other fun outdoor activities you and your family could consider.
You could try something new this spring and summer. We can’t guarantee, as we go to print, that the activities listed here will be open and fully-functioning and we can’t guarantee the weather, but here are a few suggestions.
96 Mill Lane, Barrow upon Soar, Loughborough LE12 8LH. 01509 415001
Some craft are hired out by the hour, others can be booked for the whole day and some will require you to show ID.
You could choose to try out individual things like a hydrobike, you won’t need to balance on them, just be able to reach the pedals; or a single kayak which are wide and suitable for all ages. Or you could sit, as a family, in a Canadian canoe which is an open canoe and takes up to three people. Alternatively, a water trike carries two adults with room for a small child and a traditional stye rowing boat caters for a family of four.
Axe throwing (minimum age of 12 years)
Our closest venue is in Lount, phone 0800 078 9595 for more information.
I didn’t know about this until my niece sent a video of herself throwing an axe and hitting bull’s-eye on her very first attempt! A useful skill, perhaps?! Find the inner-medieval man or woman in yourself, as you have tuition to learn all the techniques of throwing the axe, with safety gear provided. You’ll use a double-headed axe at first but can progress to tomahawks if you are good enough.
Clay pigeon shooting
Long Lane, Kegworth. 07973111650
A few years ago, my husband gave me a clay pigeon shooting lesson as a birthday present and he came with me. There’s trust in a marriage! I am not interested in shooting anything that is living, but this all-inclusive lesson with clay targets was fun. Our tutor was experienced, patient and really explained the handling of the gun. Everything was provided, including the extremely strict safety instructions. We went round an extensive course with different kinds of clay targets in different scenarios. Be warned, though, your shoulder is likely to be aching for a day or two after!