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Club Captain: Calum Spooner–



Twitter: @durhamunicanoe

Durham University Canoe Club is one of the most successful university canoe clubs in the country, with active participation in almost every discipline of the sport – from freestyle to flatwater. The club has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere; whilst our most competitive paddlers train every day, we are a very flexible club and you can attend as many or as few sessions as you like.

Our boathouse is located at the Maiden Castle sports centre, right next to the river, where we keep a full fleet of whitewater boats and polo boats for our members’ use in regular sessions – as well as a wide range of other boats, including slalom boats and whitewater racers. Our membership charge covers use of our boats and kit for the year at any of our club events –whilst space is available for boat storage for those who already have their own equipment. We also have access to the gym in Maiden Castle for our weekly strength and conditioning sessions, open to any of our members. All of our sessions are supported by our several qualified coaches, including a dedicated club coach employed by Team Durham.

For those who are new to the sport, we run weekly sessions in a local swimming pool as well as regular sessions on the River Wear, aimed at building the foundation skills for advancing into the other forms of paddling that we offer. Shortly after Freshers’ week, there will be introduction sessions for our two main disciplines, with our introduction to whitewater trip being one of the highlights of the first few weeks.

Our full weekly schedule – available via our Facebook group, linked above – includes one pool session aimed at skills development (suitable for all members), a Wednesday evening trip to the local artificial whitewater course (for developing whitewater skills – from the basics of river running to slalom and freestyle), a further pool session for playing and learning canoe polo, and weekend excursions to whitewater rivers in the local area, as well as multiple sessions on the Wear. Alongside these, there are also frequent opportunities for travelling further afield – from polo tournaments in Yorkshire to weekends away paddling whitewater rivers around the country. This includes attending events such as Tyne Tour, one of Europe’s largest canoeing and kayaking events, NSR – the largest student freestyle kayaking competition – and BUCS competitions in three separate disciplines. Over the past year, the club has enabled members to paddle in a variety of locations as far-reaching as Scotland and Uganda.

We have an excellent competition record, this year alone claiming first in the men’s open 2016/17 BUCS Polo competition as well as multiple medals across all categories of competition at BUCS WWR and BUCS Slalom. Our alumni include several distinguished paddlers, such as Sandra Hyslop, 2016 Adidas Sickline champion. If you’re interested in competitive paddling, we run regular training sessions for slalom, sprint, river racing, freestyle and polo as well as a weekly strength and conditioning session led by our club coach.

We also pride ourselves on our socials, which enable the club as a whole to come together and have a great time – our socials are legendary, and for good reason! They’re a great way to meet new people, and to get to know and bond with the club.