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Trying Something New: Kayaking

Written by Jake Shoer

Starting my second year, I wanted to get involved with one of the wide variety of societies on offer at the university.

With a very small amount of experience kayaking, I decided to partake in one of the taster sessions and see if it was for me. Whilst initially being nervous knowing no one, I quickly got talking to people and felt welcome in the club. By the end of the first session I knew this was the society for me.

Over the first few months, I rapidly integrated into the club forging new friendships with both new and old members alike. What really struck me was the sense of unity at the club, and as the weeks went by I became more and more elated at the fact I had decided to join. By the end of last semester my confidence had grown and was grateful to have met the diverse range of members in the society.

With two river sessions and one pool session a week, I found myself always having something to do, and whilst being highly inexperienced at the beginning I rapidly noticed my technical skill improving. I found myself being encouraged to further my ability in a way that did not feel pressured, with no obligation to go to every session and a laid back approach to teaching. It was clearly apparent that you could push yourself as much or as little as you desired, and this is far from commonplace in a sporting society.

I thoroughly enjoyed the variety of socials hosted by the club in my time there; from themed club nights out, to fireworks and non-drinking film nights, there was something for everyone. With such a large group which I continued to grow closer with these became some of the best nights in my time at the university.

Moving on to what I feel is the greatest aspect of the club, the trips. I have been on three, great value, weekends away since joining. The focus of these trips is paddling white water rivers, something I had never experienced before, and secondary to that a lively Saturday night. It was a thrilling step up from flat water, and a challenge I welcomed. With longer summer trips to Uganda and the Alps in the future, as well as a student canoe festival on the horizon, I find myself always looking forward to something.

My time in the society so far has become a focal point of my university experience, with so much more to look forward to do during my free time. I highly encourage anyone who thinks they may be interested to give it a go; it is one of the best decisions I have made since choosing to study at the university.

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