SHU Canoe have already had a very active year, being involved in Tyne Tour, BUCS Whitewater Race and U-Canoe training since the academic year began. However, the club started 2017 with the fantastic news that they were going to receive a grant for over £9000 from Sport England, following lots of hard work from the committee.
This grant is vital for ensuring the long-term sustainability of the club and the money received will be used in two key areas: firstly to develop personal paddling and leadership skills, through subsidising the cost of the UKCC Level 1 coaching course for members. Secondly, for improving and developing the club’s canoe polo programme. The club plans to buy a new fleet of polo boats and paddles, in different sizes, and also to send a number of members on refereeing courses.
Canoe polo is an intense contact sport, similar to basketball, which is played in specialised canoes. Games consist of two halves lasting 7-10 minutes, with a minimum of five players on each side. The winner is the team who has scored the most goals by the end of the game. While polo may sound simple, it is a very physically demanding game that requires fitness, stamina and teamwork. Having new kit will make polo much more enjoyable and increase performance, with the club aiming to buy boats in a variety of sizes, which will ensure that everyone can learn in a safe and comfortable environment.
SHU Canoe have already had a lot of success in polo this year, becoming the champion of their division in the North and Central Canoe Polo League in January and taking part in the Ladies League. However, there’s still plenty more polo fun to be had before the end of the year, with both Varsity and BUCS looming on the horizon, where SHU Canoe will hopefully debut their new kit.
If you are interested in polo, or in finding out more about what SHU Canoe, please get in touch with the club through details found on the Hallam Union website.
Words by Emily Bush