June 16, 2014, by Anne S

U Canoe Unleashed on Highfields Lake

Why was Highfields Lake crammed with canoes last week? Maths student Luke Williams explains. 

Until my second year at University I had no experience kayaking. My friend from home started playing Canoe Polo and knowing how clumsy he was I thought “how hard could this be?” so started to try something new. I’ve spent the last 3 years playing for the University along with competing in white water events such as Wild Water racing and Canoe Slalom. I chose to play Canoe Polo because it is a fast paced team sport that is great fun where you get to tackle with boats and push people in.

Olympic heroes Etienne Stott and Tim Baillie take to the water

Last week we held an intro to kayaking session on Highfields Lake as  part of our NU2 sport sessions. We run a programme introduced by British Canoeing called U Canoe Unleashed which involves Canoe Polo, races and cricket standing in boats which always involves getting wet! Wednesday was the national launch for this programme where over 80 people turned up along with London 2012 Olympic C2 Slalom gold medallists Etienne Stott and Tim Baillie.

The weather was great which meant for a warm lake with plenty of people falling in of their own accord which is always good to see. Etienne and Tim took part in one of the later sessions with a group of students, fully kitted in their GB attire but in boats far different from their slalom ones! I spoke to them about the general organisation of the event and my experience of kayaking in the University; what kind of access the students had and the varied disciplines of kayaking available.

The event was a huge success and hopefully many will take it up the sport next year with our Kayak or Canoe Polo clubs! Check out the pictures from the event on Flickr below.

Created with flickr slideshow.
Posted in Guest BloggerWater sports