The junior section of the club has its own coaches. All staff involved with the junior section are CRB cleared by the BCU, and the sport is carefully regulated to ensure the safety on the water of young paddlers.
Our junior paddlers had a fantastic year finishing 4th out of 57 clubs in the Geoff Sanders Trophy. This is a national competition so was a great result – well done to everyone who competed. We were not many points off the third place so the lightning’s are aiming for the top 3 next year!
The age range for juniors is 9 -18 years, after which they go on to join the seniors. Juniors are split into two groups, 9-11, and 12 – 18. 9 -11 years. This is known as the lightning class after the type of boat they paddle. A special small boat for younger paddlers and which is very stable was developed for this age range. The boats are similar to the adult racing boats but are plastic and more user friendly for the young paddler. They are also stable enough for the juniors to take their BCU qualifications in and they progress through the BCU Paddle Power awards as part of their training. The initial award, Paddle sport Start is usually awarded as part of a taster session. The Lightning paddlers have their own national league in marathon, and compete over 2.5k, the club has been very successful in this age range narrowly missing out on national medals in 2012. Whilst many of our juniors are very competitive, some like to take part in the races for the atmosphere and meeting and making friends in other clubs. In addition there is also a mini sprint series which is a lead into the Olympic sport, which showed so much success in 2012. 12-18 years This age range start to move into the lower division races with the seniors, and will continue their training with the juniors but will also mix in with seniors on some sessions when they are ready. Many of the juniors in this age range quickly move through the divisions and are already well advanced when they become seniors. This age range can also take part in the sprint regattas the starting point for Olympic paddling. Both age ranges will paddle their races in the Southwest Hasler series, on the rivers; Fal, Fowey, Camel, Exe, Tamar, Avon, and Dart as well as at national level. There are also numerous club events through the year.