More than 130 canoe and kayak athletes from around the country took to the River Avon in Warwick last Saturday at the Royal Leamington Spa Canoe Club’s (RLSCC) second sprint event day.
Seven top GB canoe and kayak athletes gave up a day to spend at the event - and not only did they present awards at the end of the day, but they also got into the water to paddle with participants.
The event, which took place at St Nicholas Park, included races, sprints, fun relay races and a 4km ‘mega marathon’ - involving all participants in the river together - as well as entertainment and a barbecue.
RLSCC’s head coach Attila Herbent said: “It was really good. We were lucky with the weather as it didn’t rain.
“The children loved meeting the athletes - it was really inspirational for them.
“There is not another event like this in the UK where children get to compete with top athletes.
“But I think the athletes see it as a real chance to give some time back to the support and to help grow it.”
He added: “We are very grateful to the Warwick District Council for supporting the event by making sure car parking was available.”
Having organised its first sprint event last year and now this year’s, the club is hoping to run it every year.
RLSCC is keen to recruit new members - in particular children aged between eight and 12 and especially girls, who are currently in the minority at the club.
Anyone who is interested in joining can go along to the club in Adelaide Road, Leamington, on a Saturday morning from 9am to 10am to chat to members and see what they do.