Ceufad Autumn 2017

Page 1


Issue 132 September 2017 £2.50



Paddler: Vicky Barlow Photo: Pete Catterall



t looks like exciting times are on the horizon for Canoe Wales: with new Directors on the Board, a new General Manager (interview on p12), and an AGM at the NWWC with free paddling and food (details on p7 – don’t forget to register!). And it looks as if CW’s squads and clubs are having a good season as well – with athletes on the GB canoe polo team at the Euros (p17), and on the podium at the Junior European Slalom Champs (p26). All we need is the Welsh Government to deliver on its proposal to improve access (p4) and we’ll have a full house! So things are looking good for Welsh paddlesport, which isn’t surprising as we’ve got world-class paddling within our borders. This summer I’ve been venturing out in my sea kayak, in preparation for a trip to Greenland (which I’ll bore you with in the next issue), and was blown away by our spectacular coastline and amazing wildlife. It’s so easy to take it for granted, but there’ll always be a pod of porpoise, a towering sea cliff or a tidal race to remind you just how amazing our coast is. So thanks to Canoe Wales for fighting for improved access – hopefully see you all at the AGM! Vicky Barlow Editor Ceufad Ed Ceufad


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Ceufad is the official magazine of Canoe Wales. It is produced by members & the views expressed are not necessarily those of Canoe Wales or the magazine’s editor. Ceufad is free to members of Canoe Wales. SUBSCRIPTIONS are available to non-members for £10 for 4 issues from Canoe Wales. ADVERTISING For advertising rates contact Vicky on: ceufad@canoe.wales SUBMISSIONS Articles are always welcomed & should be submitted as Word files, however, typed articles are also accepted. Images can be prints or tiff/jpeg/RAW files (preferably 300ppi). These will be returned. CONTACT ceufad@canoe.wales – 01678 521199 Ceufad, Canoe Wales, Bala, Gwynedd LL23 7NU Ceufad is produced quarterly in March, June, September and December. NEXT ISSUE: DECEMBER DEADLINE: 1ST NOVEMBER Ceufad welcomes all contributions but reserves the right to edit & condense to fill the space available. Design & layout: Vicky Barlow www.victoriabarlow.co.uk

9 Gemau Cymru

17 Canoe Polo European Championships



Tryweryn Fest Photo: Will McColl



Welsh Government’s improved access proposals



Updates and info for coaches and providers



What’s new in the world of paddlesport



2017 results

Getting rip roaring on the mighty T


Another Championship title for the GB squad?


Enjoying a paddling classic


Canoeing in Linnansaari National Park, Finland

Review of the season so far


Sea to Summit X-Set 31

Ride Solar






26 Slalom report

Interview with the new CW General Manager

Are you maximising the effectiveness of your coaching sessions?

Front cover: Location: River Wye Photo: Mal Grey





SURPRISE, SURPRISE! I had expected in this issue to be reporting what I’d learned about fishing since my last column in May… …but the Welsh Government had other ideas when it delivered a ‘surprise gift’ in June: its latest consultation on “Taking Forward Wales’ Sustainable Management of Natural Resources”. Not a very snappy title – but this contained the Government’s long-awaited proposals to improve access for paddlesport in Wales. I have therefore been working hard since June, with my colleagues in British Canoeing, to understand the Government’s proposals and put together our response.

THE PROPOSALS If they go ahead, these exciting proposals will give us the right to use all inland rivers and lakes in Wales (although won’t necessarily give us access across land to get to the water) – so will go a huge way towards establishing the Public Right of Navigation that we’ve been seeking for years: more places to paddle, more often, with less conflict. What the Welsh Government is Proposing

How we expect to respond

To designate rivers and other inland waterways in Wales as 'Access Land', so the public would have a right to paddle on them (and swim in them) for recreational purposes (but not automatically to have access across adjacent land).

We intend to support this proposal but to press for all rivers and significant lakes and reservoirs to be included; for some commercial use to be permitted; for an automatic right to launch and land from public land and highways/footpaths; and for the removal of river obstacles and the right to use banks for portaging etc.

To establish a requirement on all users to behave responsibly, including a statutory code for access to the outdoors for recreation, like the one in Scotland.

We intend to support this proposal but to press for alternative sanctions to 'removing access rights’ where irresponsible behaviour occurs.

To establish mechanisms for ‘managing’ access and dealing with the potential conflicts that may arise between water-based recreation, other users, landowners and local communities; making Natural Resources Wales (NRW) responsible for identifying appropriate access and egress points; implementing measures to promote responsible use; and mediating between user interests to facilitate access arrangements.

We intend to support this proposal, since we believe that responsible recreational access may, in exceptional cases, need to be ‘managed’; and that a statutory body is needed to facilitate this process – but we will press for safeguards to manage conflicts of interest within NRW; for an independent review process; for proper resourcing of NRW; and for any ‘access arrangements’ to be the exception, rather than rule, and to be based on unambiguous criteria, including a requirement for sound evidence for any restrictions on access.

To designate as 'Access Land' the whole Welsh coast, so the public would have a right of access on the foreshore and to cliffs.

We intend to support this proposal.

To enable cycling and horse riding on footpaths (which, of itself, is not of direct interest, but indicates the Government’s willingness to modify legislation around the use of footpaths); and to make it easier to remove unnecessary animal controls (e.g. stiles & gates) on public rights of way.

We intend to take this opportunity to request that the “manual transport of small boats for open-air recreation” should be included explicitly in the public rights available on footpaths and Access Land, including public forestry; and to encourage the removal of stock fences across rivers and other inland waterways.

To provide a national, online access map.

We intend to support this proposal.

To modify the way in which National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty are managed. To simplify the ways that Rights of Way, Access Land and other countryside access systems are administered.


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PADDLER’S VIEWS Many of you will have contributed to the online survey that we ran in July and August to get feedback from UK paddlers – THANK YOU! Some of the results of the survey are shown in the charts: we received almost 1500 responses; 26% of which were from Wales, including 13% of Canoe Wales’ core membership. A further 56% were from paddlers outside Wales who have paddled here during the last 3 years. The survey agreed to a very great extent with the initial recommendations that we had put forward, so we are extremely confident that our views are representative of the paddling community within the UK. It has also given us lots of information about where people are paddling in Wales – and what problems they experience – which I hope to report in a future issue.

GET INVOLVED! Landowner and Angling bodies are already campaigning hard against these proposals – so it’s vital that we submit a strong response that is supported by as many paddlers in Wales as possible. By the time you read this, we should have compiled our final response to the Welsh Government and a ‘template letter’ that you can send yourself – the more letters of support they receive, the more likely they are to followthrough with their plans. So, if you haven’t seen our response and ‘template letter’ but would like to add you views to the Welsh Government, please contact me at environment-officer@canoe.wales to ask for a copy. And if you’ve already seen it, please fill it in and send it off as soon as you can – the deadline is 30 September.

LET’S MAKE EVERY PADDLER’S VOICE COUNT… …so we achieve the kind of hassle-free access to Wales’ inland waterways that we’d all like to see. Steve Rayner, Waterways & Environment Officer environment-officer@canoe.wales

KEY RESULTS FROM RECENT ONLINE SURVEY Home country (based on postcode district) 26

To what extent do you agree with our intended response to ... Extending public access on Wales’ inland waterways


Requiring responsible behaviour Enhancing mechanisms for managing access on, to and from Wales’ inland waterways

1057 Extending public access to Wales’ coast Wales



Changing the nature of Public Rights of Way 0

200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600

No of responses

To what extent do you believe the Welsh Government’s proposals will ...

Membership 22


Deliver consistency in the opportunities available for participation in different activities (e.g. for canoeing compared with walking and cycling)?

242 45


Provide effective safeguards for land management and the natural environment? Ensure that the public, land managers and others are clear about their rights, responsibilities and duties about access to the outdoors (especially inland waterways)?

774 Canoe Wales Club

Canoe Wales Club

British Canoeing

British Canoeing Club


Non member

Provide “sufficient access for canoeing to satisfy most paddlers”? 0

100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800

No of responses To a great extent

To a fair extent

To a small extent

Not at all

Don’t know




COACHING & WORKFORCE NEWS BRITISH CANOEING COACH AWARD British Canoeing have recently launched the Coach Award which aims to create discipline specific pathways across all disciplines. This will significantly change the prerequisites and the pathway through taught and assessed elements. The Coach Awards are designed for people whose core function is to coach paddlers who want to gain/improve paddlesport skills within the discipline chosen. This will include coaching beginners new to the sport, or paddlers looking to develop their skills in the given discipline/environment. The Coach Award will supersede the current Level 2, Moderate/Advanced Water Endorsements (MWE/AWE) and Discipline Support Modules. Benefits of the Coach Award include: • • •

Direct entry options to training available – a British Canoeing membership is the only prerequisite of the Core Coach Training Specific pathways across all disciplines Supportive eLearning resources to aid learning

Canoe Wales have had a very positive response to the provider application process and look forward to orientating and supporting the providers of this award.

REBRANDING FOR 2018 In line with the announcement of the new Coach Award, British Canoeing will rebrand the existing British Canoeing Level 1, 3 and 4 Certificate in Coaching Paddlesport qualifications. At this stage, no changes are being made to our Level 1 award, although it is to be rebranded as ‘Paddlesport Instructor’. This qualification will remain the recommended option for all coaches and instructors whose main focus of work is delivering introductory paddlesport sessions. An Instructor who holds both Paddlesport Leader and Paddlesport Instructor being well placed to fulfil their coaching duties with more autonomy. We expect this combination to be the main route followed by Instructors working in the activity centre market. No changes are being made to our Level 3 or 4 awards, although they are being rebranded. The Level 3 qualifications are to be renamed “Performance [insert discipline] Coach”. The “Level 4 in Performance Paddlesport” is also to be renamed “British Canoeing Coaching Diploma”. These changes will be implemented on the 1st January 2018.

BRITISH CANOEING INTERNATIONAL ENDORSEMENT Any UK resident provider wanting to run British Canoeing qualifications and awards internationally for non-UK residents must have completed an International Endorsement and have this authorised by British Canoeing International. British Canoeing Coach Educators wanting to deliver British Canoeing Coaching Award internationally must also complete an International Endorsement. (UK Resident Providers who wish to deliver 3 Star Awards, Leadership Awards, Safety training or Supporting Modules internally for UK residents, do not need special permission and should follow the usual course authorisation procedure). International Endorsements must be completed annually from the 1st January. International Authorisation: All British Canoeing qualification and awards being run internationally for UK residents should follow their Home Nation course authorisation request procedure. All British Canoeing qualification and awards being run internationally for non-UK residents must have been authorised by British Canoeing using the Course Authorisation Request Form - British Canoeing International. British Canoeing International Training or Assessment: Delivery of British Canoeing qualifications and awards must be in line with the British Canoeing Terms of Reference and associated training and assessment notes. End of Course Administration: All relevant paperwork and payment must be returned to the authorising delivery centre within 7 working days to be processed. Certificates will be processed within 5 working days. Please return British Canoeing International courses to coaching@britishcanoeing.org.uk or British Canoeing, National Water Sports Centre, Adbolton Lane, Holme Pierrepont, Nottingham, NG12 2LU.


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CATCH UP WITH COACHING NEWSLETTER To stay up to date with all of the coaching development and news, make sure that you have signed up to the new British Canoeing Newsletter, Catch up with Coaching. British Canoeing have responded to coaches feedback and are now ensuring that you receive the most up to date Coaching & Leadership news more often. ‘Catch Up with Coaching’ newsletter goes straight to coaches inbox with the latest coaching updates including a knowledge bank to give you the latest research, coaching snapshots and best practice to support coaching. The link to subscribe to Catch up with coaching is: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfgX4bkMOiOp4afq4U1 BJkS3OZd3ltcCVTmAstS5XME1BDPzw/viewform

2018 COACHING AND LEADERSHIP COACH CONFERENCE NEW for 2018, British Canoeing are excited to announce that the Coaching and Leadership Conference will take place on the 17th & 18th February 2018 at the excellent facilities offered by Eastwood Hall, Nottinghamshire. The 2018 Coaching and Leadership Conference is open to coaches, leaders and guides, at all levels and disciplines, from any Home Nation, who are invited to engage, discuss and reflect on the engaging keynotes and workshops throughout the weekend. Day 1 will include presentations focusing on the latest research and how this can be applied within your practical environment, Coaching, Leadership, Guiding and High Performance. Day 2 will offer a range of workshops including: • Guide modules • FSRT Moderation • Volunteer & Club coaches support • Strength and Conditioning • Performance analysis • Engaging Children in your Coaching sessions

• 1 day First Aid workshop • WWSR Orientation • Foundation Paddleability • Psychology • Support Modules – Freestyle, Polo, SUP and Sprint

Option to stay on another day for Paddlesport Leader Provider Orientation on the 19th February! This year we will be providing an internet cafe for delegates to explore our eLearning packages, competitions, prize draws and an evening talk from an adventurer! This is a great opportunity to update your CPD, network with fellow coaches and paddlers. This varied programme is not to be missed! Further details will be available on the British Canoeing website throughout August and September. To receive exclusive updates about the Conference, please Register Your Interest. Bookings open on the 25th September with a special early bird offer!

CANOE WALES AGM – 30 SEPTEMBER 2017 Join us for this year’s AGM This year’s AGM - or Annual General Meeting - is being held on Saturday 30 September 2017 from 6:30-7:30pm at the National White Water Centre in Bala, overlooking the beautiful Tryweryn. The AGM is where members get a chance to have their say about how Canoe Wales is governed and elect the newest member of our board of directors. If you’re a Canoe Wales member, you can vote. Straight after the AGM, we’re hosting a free dinner for all members who have pre-registered. We’re also waiving the facility fee all day at the NWWC (below the Graveyard) for any members pre-registered to attend the AGM, and there is a Slalom Prem event taking place all weekend if you’d like to stay on dry land and check out the action (or if you’re already planning to be there)! To attend the dinner and take advantage of the free facility access, we just ask that you pre-register so that we know how many of our lovely members will be coming along to share a meal with us. To register and for more information, please visit our online ticketing website here: https://www.picatic.com/CanoeWalesAGM




in the flow

IN THE FLOW A GUIDE TO PADDLING SAFELY WITH GOOD IDEARS On 11 & 12 November Cardiff Hearing will be hosting ‘A guide to paddling safely with good idEARS’ at Cardiff International White Water – a two day course for paddlers that will focus on hearing, from Surfer’s Ear to coaching students with hearing loss. Cardiff Hearing is run by Sonja Jones - audiologist, educator, adventure paddler and Canoe Wales Director, and she will be running the course with Emily Batchelor, a creative and vibrant children’s social worker with a passion for the outdoors and adventure. This highly interactive course will feature classroom and water sessions, covering: • The basic physiology of hearing • What happens if something goes wrong with our hearing system - with a special focus on Surfer’s Ear • How hearing loss can affect paddlesport participation • What hearing loss means to those working with or paddling for fun with anyone with hearing loss and/or balance disorders • How to stay safe when paddling and how to report concerns confidently should they arise, with a special focus on paddlers with disabilities. The cost of the two-day course is £110 or £100 for Canoe Wales members. This includes the course itself, free membership to Cardiff International White Water and the cost of water access over the 2 days. All participants will have an opportunity to get their ears checked for signs of Surfer’s Ear and their hearing screened. They will also be able to have custom ear plugs made to protect development of Surfer’s Ear; impressions can be taken on the day for these to be made at a special course discounted rate of £60. For more information or to book a place visit: www.cardiffhearing.co.uk/education


GOWER SURF KAYAK, WAVESKI & SUP SYMPOSIUM 2017, RHOSSILLI, 27-28 OCT Come join surf kayakers, wave ski paddlers and SUP paddlers together with leaders and coaches for a weekend of paddling and skill development. There will be a range of courses and workshops over the final weekend in October, 28-29th, to suit the abilities of all you surf paddlers. Come join us for a fun weekend, come and learn something, develop your skills and maybe do a course too. You can even come along to reminisce about the ‘good old days’ of the original Gower Surf Festivals of 20 years ago. For more details Facebook Gower Surf Kayak and SUP Symposium 2017 or email dave@acwaterra.co.uk

All West Wales based: 21–22 Oct Canoe (4* Training) Canoe Leader Training 18–19 Nov WWSR 9–10 Nov IRF Raft Guide Course 29–30 Nov Paddle Sports Leader Award 9–10 Dec White Water Kayak Leader Training 17–18 Jan WWSR 27–28 Jan White Water Kayak Leader Assessment 17–18 Feb Canoe Leader Assessment For more details or to book email: fun@adventurebeyond.co.uk


Front Cover – Below Hannington Bridge, Upper Thames. Back Cover – Tower Bridge, London.


The River Thames is undoubtedly Britain’s most iconic and historically significant river, and this PADDLE THE THAMES book will immerse you in a journey along its waters. A guide foR cAnoes, kAyAks And suPs Surrounded by beautiful countryside, steeped in history and home to a diverse range of wildlife, the River Thames is a fantastic place to paddle. However, Britain’s best-known river might actually be the least-known by paddlers. This guidebook sets out to address this, and to provide all the PADDLE THE THAMES information needed to plan an afternoon trip or a multi-day expedition. All 347km of the river from source to sea is described in detail, split into 19 sections that include a wealth of information on launch points, distances and local attractions. To help you plan your journey there is advice on equipment, safety, launching, camping and locks, along with guidance on paddling the busy Thames Tideway. The Thames is then brought to life through the author’s engaging descriptions and extensive research, which is inspirational to the point of loading up your boat and heading to Cricklade. And the photos are simply stunning. This is a book that you’ll read from cover to cover, and then you can add the Thames to your bucket list of rivers. ISBN: 9781906095598 RRP: £19.99 This is one of many titles published by Pesda Press that are available to buy at www.pesdapress.com A guide foR cAnoes, kAyAks And suPs SOURCE OF THE RIVER THAMES

Lechlade on Thames

Britain’s best-known river might actually be the least-known by paddlers. This

guidebook sets out to address this, and to provide all the information needed



local attractions and history. To help you plan your journey there is advice


on equipment, safety, launching, camping and locks, along with guidance on paddling the busy Thames Tideway.

The author’s engaging descriptions and extensive research will carry you

past the idyllic landscapes that inspired artists like J M W Turner and the

author of The Wind in the Willows, to locations that are embedded in British






Staines-upon-Thames Richmond







Canvey Island




history, such as Magna Carta Island and Windsor Castle.


All 347km of the river from source to sea is described in detail, split into 19

9 781906 095598


to plan an afternoon trip or a multi-day expedition.

sections including a wealth of information on launch points, distances,




range of wildlife, the River Thames is a fantastic place to paddle. However,

ISBN 9781906095598



Surrounded by beautiful countryside, steeped in history and home to a diverse


significant river, and this book will immerse you in a journey along its waters.


The River Thames is undoubtedly Britain’s most iconic and historically





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Gemau Cymru

2 17 The canoeing events of Gemau Cymru 2017 were held on Friday 30th June against the backdrop of the opening ceremony for the games at Cardiff International White Water Centre. Over 70 paddlers, from schools across Wales, took part in a series of flat and white water races. Full results are below and you can find more photos of the event on our Facebook page – Gemau Cymru.

Official Results U13 Kayak 1 Oliver Cooper 2 Ben Higson 3 Oliver Bunn

U18 Kayak 1 Stephan Griffiths 2 Aaron White 3 Leon Handley

U13 Sit on Top 1 Oliver Cooper 2 Ben Higson 3 Oliver Bunn

U18 Sit on Top 1 Aaron White 2 Stephan Griffiths 3= Catrin Schroeder/Evie Merritt

U13 Double Canoe 1 Oliver Cooper/Vicky Aldous 2 Tecwyn Williams/Hannah Griffiths 3 Mali Rhys-Dillon/ Ben Higson

U18 Double Canoe 1 Aaron White/Stephan Griffiths 2 Will Bevan/James Davies 3 Evie Merritt/Catrin Schroeder

SLALOM U18 Boys 1 Aaron White 2 Jacob Burton 3 Stephan Griffiths U13 Boys 1 Ben Higson 2 Oliver Cooper 3 Oliver Bunn U18 Girls 1= Evie Merritt/Catrin Schroeder 3 Lucy Tatum





Sea to Summit X-Set 31 Two things I never thought would happen: 1. I’d pay £90 for a set of expedition pans, 2. I’d write a review saying that they were worth every penny. Maybe there’s a third equally unthinkable thing – that I’m finally losing the plot … Anyway, to the expedition pans. We needed a new pan for a 16 day self-supported sea kayaking trip to Greenland. Space was tight and we needed a pan big enough to cook up to 2 litres of food (we tend not to go hungry on our trips …). Which meant a 3 litre pan … which is a large pan … especially when you’re trying to cram it in a hatch with 2kg of porridge, 6 bags of sticky toffee pudding (there’s always room for pudding) and everything else you need for a comfortable two week trip. Doing the worldwide surf I found the usual variations of a standard 3 litre pot – titanium, non-stick, aluminium … collapsible silicon … whoa … what was that? A collapsible cooking pot? We’d got a Halford’s collapsible kettle in our campervan and it was a Gucci bit of kit. Could this be the answer? This collapsible pot was from Sea to Summit, an Aussie company specialising in innovative exped gear, and was part of their camp kitchen range. They did a 2.8 litre collapsible cooking pot with lid. Just what we needed. For £50. OK, so it was about 5 times the price of an aluminium pot but in theory I could fit 4 more puddings in … now it seemed a bit more reasonable. But wait, they were also offering a 2 person 5 piece cooking set that collapsed down to the size of a Frisbee. That’s right – 2 cups, 2 bowls and a pan that folded down like a magician’s hat. That was some serious space saving. We could be talking ginger sponge pudding here. But was it worth it for £90? We chewed on it (pun intended), and then went Joe Brown’s in Llanberis to see it first hand. The set looked good – better quality than our Halfords kettle, and with all the extras that make things a bit easier; draining holes on the lid for straining pasta, silicon handles on the pan so you can lift it even when it’s hot; volume markings on the pan and cups to make measuring easy; clear pan lid so you watch as the MSR incinerates your porridge … again …. So we dipped into the trip fund and bought the set. So was it worth it? Absolutely! The set fits perfectly into the front hatch, so it pretty much takes up zero room. The pan is the right shape to sit on an MSR without wobbling about like a drunk in a storm. Even though it’s not non-stick, the silicon is wipe-clean and despite our best efforts nothing welded to the aluminium base. The bowls and cups are a good size, and the silicon sides and plastic base are sturdy and easy to clean. One overall downer is that you can’t use the pan on an open fire (fire + silicon = goo). We used it twice a day, everyday for 16 days and the only damage was a very small crack in the centre of the lid when I got a bit hands-on squashing it into the hatch. The only issue we found is that the volume markings are a bit tricky to see ... but that might be an age thing ... For more info or to buy visit www.seatosummit.co.uk

10 | Ceufad

Vicky Barlow

Tested: Sea to Summit X-Set 31 Includes: 2.8L X-Pot 600ml X-Bowls x 2 400ml X-Mugs x 2 Rated: 10/10


Ride Solar

Nathan Eades

Ride have been busy shaping during the last few months and their latest creation has just popped out of the mold ready-for-action! While most of us have been reaping the rewards of surfing the Zenith, those taller and heavier surf kayakers have had to watch from afar as we have been having so much fun ripping up the waves in Ride’s innovative surf machine. Well, you larger surfers need watch in envy no more … Ride’s new Solar has been shaped, from scratch, for you! Ride pride themselves on their approach to creating new models, opting for a CAD design process and CNC plug production - creating a completely new plug, from scratch, every time. While this new machine has been inspired by the Zenith, it is unique in every way! The cockpit is larger to allow easy entry and exit, they have increased the volume to give the user more space and to help float those larger limbs, and Ride have added just a touch more width to help the kayak get onto the plane quicker. The widest point of the Solar is near the hips, allowing the surfer to drive tight turns out of the bottom of the wave, straight back up the face and into the air! The attention to detail which Ride have put into the front rails will make re-entering the wave after smashing the lip or hitting a technical-aerial-manoeuvre far more forgiving than competitor models on the market. Of course, bottom turns and lip manoeuvres do not come for free and the most difficult attributes for any surf kayak shaper to combine are manoeuvrability and speed. While this new toy has all of the turning abilities of the Zenith, by tweaking the rocker, just slightly, Ride have also managed to unlock some serious speed with the Solar! Be it choppy, fat, hollow or slow, the Solar will accelerate you into your next radical onslaught. Ride’s consistency with delivering high quality products is illustrated in the finish of the new Solar. As with all of the other kayaks in the Ride range, it comes with mini cell foam outfitting and an ergo seat set to your desired height. The thing which impresses us all the most is the integral cockpit rim offering extra strength, improved aesthetics and a better seal for your spray deck. Ride are not only pushing the boundaries of technology with the design, development and prototyping process, but they also lead the way in surf kayak construction. Advanced foam core technology and vacuum bagged epoxy resin systems result in ultra lightweight, super stiff and extremely durable surf products (simpler constructions are available for those on a lower budget). Rather than adding extra volume to the Zenith, Ride have created one of the most exciting new kayaks to be making its way to the World Championships later this year. Maybe this time, it will be the smaller surf kayakers watching with envy as the larger surfers out there destroy the waves in this high octane addition to the Ride quiver.

The Zenith will continue to accommodate paddlers from 65kgs to 95kgs and the Solar will take care of surf kayakers in the 90kgs to 120kgs weight range. The new Solar will be in high demand so get your order in quickly to avoid disappointment! Ride Surf Kayaks are a British brand based in South Wales, for more information check out their website: www.ride-kayaks.co.uk


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JEN BROWN Jen Browning is Canoe Wales’ new General Manager. It’s her job to provide leadership to the CW staff team and to support the CW board to deliver the strategic plan. Her aim is to get more people paddling, provide world-class service to CW clubs and members, and bring You can teach, more Olympic and Paralympic medals back to Wales. And she’s certainly well placed to encourage, inspire, inspire the next generation of Welsh paddlesport athletes, having won a gold medal at motivate and show them the Paralympics in 2004 with the US wheelchair basketball team. Since retiring from the way, but at the moment competition, she’s gone on to coach the GB Paralympic wheelchair basketball team at when it all counts, you have London 2012, has spent several years competing in handcycling as part of the British to trust your athletes to Cycling development team, and has set up a youth club in Bristol. All whilst working at Motivation, a charity which helps to raise awareness and improve the lives of people deliver. You can’t take with disabilities. Ceufad took time out to meet the person behind the medal … that final shot for them. So many questions to ask!! Let’s start with the most obvious - what was it like winning a gold medal at the Paralympics? It’s really hard to put into words – basically, imagine you’ve devoted your whole life to something, you’ve failed along the way multiple times, you were almost ready to give up, and then you finally achieve it and you feel like pinching yourself to check that it’s real. Oh, and there were a lot of tears (of joy!)

How did you get into wheelchair basketball/why this sport? I started playing wheelchair basketball after a hiking accident when I was nine years old. I had always loved sports and after my accident it was really obvious that something was missing in my life. My dad dragged me to a basketball training session (I didn’t want to go) and convinced me to try it out. Once I got into a sports wheelchair and scored my first basket, I was hooked. Wheelchair basketball became my whole life!

What was the toughest part of being a Paralympic athlete? The hardest part is the emotional endurance you need to constantly pick yourself up along the way when you fail or things don’t go to plan. To become the best in the world, you first have to spend a lot of time not being the best in the world, and it can be really hard to keep telling yourself to stay the course and believe in yourself – doubt creeps in and it can be scary to think that you might have devoted your life to something impossible. After 8 years on the US Paralympic wheelchair basketball team you retired and were invited to coach the GB Paralympic team. What was it like moving from athlete to coach? Any challenges, learning experiences? The hardest part of coaching for me was that you can’t control what happens – and I’m a self-confessed control freak! You can teach, encourage, inspire, motivate and show them the way, but at the moment when it all counts, you have to trust your athletes to deliver. You can’t take that final shot for them. What’s your proudest coaching moment? I actually had my proudest moment several years after I’d moved on from coaching. I was watching the 2016 Rio Paralympics from home (and very pregnant with my daughter) and there was a semi-final match between the US and GB. The US team was coached by a former teammate and friend of mine, and about half of the GB squad were athletes I had coached. It was the most incredible game – the absolute pinnacle of the sport,

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N NG with incredible shooting percentages and really impressive displays of defence on both sides. And I just felt so proud to have been a part of the journey of so many of those athletes! That’s one of the truly great things about coaching – you get to have an impact on people’s lives for years, even if you’re no longer their coach. As an athlete you’ve switched from basketball to handcycling – what were the challenges (physical and mental) of changing sports? I really struggled with the shift from a team sport to an individual sport. It can be hard to stay motivated on those difficult days when you feel like staying in bed if the only person you’re accountable to is yourself. When you have a whole team behind you, every moment you spend training isn’t just for you – it’s for them too. As a Paralympic coach and athlete you must have met a lot of sporting legends. Who’s your sporting legend and why? I’d love to have met Serena Williams – I think she’s incredible! She’s such a great advocate for women in sport – I’m always inspired by great athletes who use their platform for something truly important. During your 10 years at Motivation you’ve had a very positive impact. What are your biggest achievements? I was proudest of a project we set up in Uganda to start an inclusive youth sports league for children with and without disabilities. In three years we supported over 300 children to play wheelchair basketball, volleyball, football and boccia – and we also supported each child with an adult mentor who helped them to cope with the challenges they faced in their local communities such as disability discrimination. You were obviously very successful within Motivation. What prompted the move to Canoe Wales? I loved working at Motivation (and I’m still on their Board of Trustees) – but I was ready for a new challenge and I was keen to make

the shift into sport management here in the UK. I also love being outdoors and it was a great opportunity to use the skills I’ve developed in the charity sector to help get more people enjoying the lakes, rivers and coastline of Wales. What will you bring to Canoe Wales? I’m hoping that as a relative outsider to the paddlesport world, I’ll be able to bring some new perspectives that should help us to reach out to groups that perhaps have wanted to get started in canoeing but didn’t know where or how to take the first step into the sport. What new approach are you bringing to the job? I’m a big fan of using technology to improve communication and so very soon you can expect to see a brand new website, more features live on Tahdah and better communication through email and social media. We’re really proud to continue sending you this lovely print magazine as well – but I’m keen to do more to get information out to you between issues and to make it easier for you to communicate with us and to access all the information and support you need. What concerns you most about your new role? I really wish I had time to make it round to visit all of our clubs. With so many clubs (and unfortunately very little time) it’s been difficult to take you all up on your offers to visit. But I’m still working hard to try and make it round to as many of you as I can so

I’m really excited to get out paddling as soon as I can. I have an 11 month old daughter, so as soon as she’s ready for her first trip we want to get out on the water.

please do keep on letting us know about your upcoming events – we’ll promote them on our new website when it launches and we’ll start making room in that calendar to come and join you too! And … what excites you most about your new role? I’m really excited to get out paddling as soon as I can. I have an 11 month old daughter, so as soon as she’s ready for her first trip we want to get out on the water. So let me know your tips for a great spot to take along our little one for her first adventure. And as a wheelchair user, I’m looking forward to finding ways to make our sport more accessible to disabled people – so please do point me in the direction of the best spots for wheelchair users to get on and off the water. (And let me know all those spots where some investment would make a huge difference, too!)


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Photo: Will McColl

TRYWERYN FEST A Photo: Will McColl Photo: Will McColl

nother summer has flown by at the Tryweryn and it was great to see the biggest turnout yet for the Festival. Planning for the festival starts early on in the year and its always hard to imagine a bustling river full of smiling faces, getting to meet up with old friends and new to share an eddy on your favourite rapid on the river. This year we had a jam-packed schedule with loads of sponsors helping out to ensure that everybody had a great time on and off the water. The Festival kicked off with our annual T-Fest quiz which as usual got way too competitive. I still can’t believe that the same team has won three years in a row. We might have to start putting smart phones in a locked drawer, although everyone ensures me that there is still no signal at the centre!

Photo: NWWC

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Photo: NWWC

An awesome evening of dancing and great food followed although I have a sneaky suspicion that some people headed off to bed early to rest up for race day. Saturday morning saw some dreary heads heading to Manon’s Café to get a good hearty breakfast and a caffeine hit. This seemed to do the trick as everyone soon became excited to start the first event - the NRS Extreme race. A slightly different format this year saw competitors get their game faces on to ensure they made it to the next round. After this there was the Palm Throwbag Olympics which drew in the best throwbaggers in the west, and it looked like we all needed some practice when it came to untangling our throw lines.

Photo: Will McColl

TIVAL 2017

Photo: Will McColl

Words: Sam Beesley Photos: As credited

Pyranha King of the Wave went down a storm this year and provided awesome entertainment for all the spectators. There were some strong efforts from the paddlers, which was needed to be crowned King or Queen of the Wave. The last event was the river raft race. This race gave everybody the opportunity to level the playing field and get a taste for what it’s like heading down the river 4ft higher in the air. Hopefully next time you see a raft heading towards you, you can give the raft guide a high five instead of a look of fear! After a full day of racing and paddling it was time to relax, eat some great food and enjoy each other’s company whilst listening to our guest speaker Dan Yates from Save Our Rivers. This was a great opportunity to get an insight into what an awesome group of individuals has achieved over the past

few years with regards to saving natural habitats and free flowing rivers. Another evening of partying ensued and everyone’s glass was kept topped up from our favourite party hosts River Legacy, who help massively each year with the event and who donate so much each year to help the paddling community. So once again cheers guys and please keep up the good work. Sunday came round too soon and the sun shone down on a quiet campsite as everyone was either sleeping off the hangover or were out shredding some waves on the river with friends. It was great to see so many smiling faces over the weekend and on behalf of everyone at The National White Water centre we hope to see you all again next year – same time, same place but better than ever!

Photo: Will McColl

Photo: NWWC

Photo: NWWC

Photo: Will McColl


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Location: The Grand Canyon Photo: Laura Tipper

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CANOE POLO EURO PEAN CHAM PION SHIPS In August four Great Britain squads travelled to SaintOmer in France, where 51 teams from 19 countries were competing at the Canoe Polo European Championships. Britain’s senior men’s, senior women’s, U21 men’s and U21 women’s squads were amongst the teams bidding to become European Champions. And with the GB U21 men’s squad competing as the reigning World Champions there was already the taste of victory in the air. Article courtesy of British Canoeing

The U21 women’s team, which included athletes from Aberfan CC and Dragon CC, were the first to fight for their title. And they came out blazing, beating the Netherlands 6-3 to finish second in their group and progress to the last four. In the semi-finals they faced Poland, who were having a great tournament, and despite Britain’s best efforts they were defeated 8-4. However, there was still a glimmer of bronze on the horizon, as they faced the hosts France for third place. This was the second time they’d played France, having lost to them in the group stages, and Britain wasn’t going to go down without a fight. Goals from Katie Howes and captain Nicole Hudson in the first period put GB in control of the match. But France, playing in front of a home crowd, scored two quick goals to tie the match at 2-2. As Britain attacked, looking for the winner, France intercepted the ball and scored to deny the British team third place. In the finals Germany took the gold medal, beating Poland 4-1. The senior women’s team also had its share of Welsh paddlers, with athletes from Bridgend CC and Aberfan CC. Despite a 6-5 defeat in their opening match against hosts France, a draw against Italy saw them through to the semifinals, where they faced favourites Germany. Germany lived up to their reputation, beating Britain and progressing to the final where they defeated France 2-1, to take the title. This left Britain facing Switzerland for the bronze, with the Swiss eventually pushing Britain into 4th place with a 4-1 win. Hopes were high for the senior men’s team following a 2-1 victory over the Netherlands, with goals from Montgomery and Robson. But a 7-4 defeat against Switzerland left

Britain playing for 5th – 8th place classification matches, finally finishing 8th overall. In the men’s final it looked as if Germany could take another gold; they were the reigning world champions and favourites for the title. However, Spain had other ideas, leading throughout the match and winning the title 4-2. Meanwhile the British U21 men’s team were showing their World Champion credentials – winning all six of their group matches. They continued their winning streak with a comfortable 6-2 victory in the quarter-finals over the Netherlands, with Lewis Hammond and Jack Playford both scoring twice. The semi-final against Italy was a much closer affair. 2-1 down at half time Britain fought back to make the final thanks to goals from Alex Lowthorpe and Suryan McCutcheon. In the final Great Britain faced Germany. In a tight contest Shivan McCutcheon scored from long-range in the first period to tie the match at 1-1 at half time. Early in the second period both teams scored, with captain Suryan McCutcheon grabbing a goal from close range to once again make the scores level. But the British team were not to be denied and Suryan McCutcheon scored his second goal of the final to claim a famous 3-2 victory and the European title.


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Article: Mal Grey


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ur upcoming Scandinavian trip had given us an excuse launching, which can be done at Whitney Bridge for a small fee to do a bit of gear testing and a training run, so Mark to the toll cottage there. L and I decided on a weekend on the Wye. This would The levels were quite low, but not the lowest I’ve ever enable him to test his sleep set up and me to make sure the paddled, with the gauge at Bredwardine showing about 0.4. Ally folder was all OK, and to try it for the first time on (modest) The modest breeze was, amazingly, behind us! Except, of moving water, as our trip might require running some easy course, where it wasn’t … rapids with gear aboard. This section of the river is delightful, as the river meanders Of course, it was also just an excuse for a weekend camped across the valley between the rounded, wood-clad, hills, by a lovely river in the sunshine. Despite it being my “most taking it well away from the roads and villages. Sometimes paddled” bit of the Wye, I was drawn back to the Whitneythe meanders took us into the wind, and a little effort was on-Wye to Hereford section, mostly required, but most of the time it was because of the draw of Byecross Farm This section of the river is delightful, just a gentle paddle with a little flow to campsite. push us along. as the river meanders across the We met at Hereford Rowing Club, There was plenty of bird life each of us having suffered from rubbish valley between the rounded, woodaround, elusive kingfishers, soaring journeys on a busy summer Friday. buzzards, crying kites and several clad, hills, taking it well away from Having paid our dues for parking and families of goosanders. the roads and villages. landing, we moved my gear and the The long, gentle sections, were Ally into Mark’s van, and set off for Whitney. Here we camped broken by nice little rapids, mere riffles over shallow stony beds, at the site by the pub, enjoyed a pretty decent meal but a where the only difficulty was to pick a line deep enough to float very average pint, and treated ourselves to breakfast at The over. I was very pleased with the way the folding canoe paddled, Pound B&B who operate the camping. The campsite had been even managing to find a few eddies to hit. If anything, its more moderately busy with groups, and having hoped to be away manoeuvrable in this type of flow than my Prospector, though first we were surprised that they’d all got up before us. It on the shallow bits it’s a little weird, and potentially painful, turned out they’d arranged to watch the rugby in the B&B … feeling the stones underneath through your knees and ankles! So, we were first on the water after all, putting in down the Down on the water, in this wide-open valley, it is often the steps behind the pub. Please note these are only available for sky that dominates, and today’s was a good one; blue and people using the campsite, B&B or the pub and not for general studded with fluffy summer clouds.

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Whilst Mark and I both spend plenty of time shooting the As the river meandered under cloud-speckled skies it had breeze and there’s the usual banter and chat, on the water carved out small sandstone cliffs from its banks, and in these I’ve noticed we both like to take in the views and the sense of the sand martins had made their homes. They darted around peace the river brings, often paddling a few yards apart. Though us, performing miracles of aerobatics, before delivering food some of this is no doubt me stopping and taking pictures every to the screaming kids in their sandy holes, then posing for the minute or two … camera on some branches. It was coming up to elevenses, so we stopped at the “Island” The river was slowing down, as it made its way closer to the at Turner’s Boat for a leg stretch, a snack and a drink, watched hills in preparation of the run down past Bredwardine, and we by a circling buzzard. enjoyed some fabulous reflections. The Ally was performing admirably, it’s proving to be a great And here, as we drifted along together chatting quietly, we canoe in its own right, not just as a had a moment of magic. 20 yards folder. Yes, it’s a little slow, but it’s easy And here, as we drifted along together away on the right, I spotted 2 heads to keep up with “normal” canoes, and chatting quietly, we had a moment of in the water, then a third popped when you want to turn quickly and up. Otters. They didn’t hang around magic. 20 yards away on the right, I for long, but as they dived, I got a mess about, it’s actually really good. I’m still not entirely happy with the spotted 2 heads in the water, then a glimpse of sleek bodies and long tails, paddling position, but it works well before they disappeared. For half a third popped up. Otters. enough, especially for the moving minute, we kept seeing a head pop water bits. It’s just not that comfortable. I’m going to stick with up to check us out as they departed. it though; I need something reliable and known in the middle of I’m guessing this was a family group of youngsters, playing nowhere between Sweden and Norway. and learning, though I was surprised to see them at ten to one After Turner’s Boat, the river becomes very popular with on a hot summer’s day! fishermen, so you need to keep your eyes open. All were As the river approaches Bredwardine it turns south and unfailingly friendly though, enjoying the lovely day. At one point, speeds up, and there is a noticeable downward slope to the where there’s a fast channel into a slow, eddying, pool to the right bridge, and even a little bouncy rapid at the top. This was our of an island, we chose the shallow alternative on the other side planned lunch stop and a group was here before us, though to avoid disturbing a prime fishing spot for a couple of chaps. This they’d all disappeared to the nearby Red Lion. We stopped at meant a little grounding, but shoving with paddles got us through. the far end of the beach and ate sweet chilli chicken wraps and


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numerous snacks, and drank cool(ish) French orange juice left whereabouts on social media so it wasn’t unexpected, and his over from my trip there. beautiful Morris Minor is somewhat distinctive. As is his new Setting off once more, we were again on a slow section, but Silverbirch Broadland in bright blue. this one is deep in the valley below shady trees. A seemingly A pleasant evening passed and though the site was busy endless, nearly 2-mile long bend taking us onwards Brobury somehow it still avoided feeling noisy and crowded, and Scar. As the left-hand bend finally finishes, and the river swings remained a lovely place to sleep with a gentle breeze blowing sharply to the right, the Scar is revealed. And it is just that, a through the mesh doors of my tent. red rash on the green landscape, where steep sandstone bluffs tumble This was my best opportunity to try out SUNDAY between the trees, whose roots grasp After a relaxed breakfast of strong at the loose soil to maintain their grip. the Ally on moving water and fortunately coffee and bacon, black pudding There was some brief rockand cheese wraps, we lugged our there’s a perfect eddy halfway down dodging here, and some fun with a gear back down the steep slope to the small chute that forms between few little eddies, whilst a peregrine the put-in, and got ready to set off the rocks in these levels. I lined up and falcon glided across the face of the for Hereford. It was mid-morning, cliff above me, too quickly for the and already warm, so there were the Ally hit it perfectly, swinging round camera. Then the river continued plenty of people swimming in the sharply as I heeled it over. to bubble on its merry way, down water already. towards the square edifice of Moccas Court. Ahead lay Monnington Falls, one of the few named rapids Now followed the only slog of the day, the last long on the river. As the river bends left, there’s an island. In higher straight towards our campsite. At least on this trip what wind conditions you can just keep straight on down to the right of there was, was behind us, and it wasn’t too long before the the island, but normally the main flow drops to the left of it, campsite appeared. down a narrower channel, and with the low levels today that Much has been said about Byecross Farm campsite, one was the only option available to us. of the prettiest in England, and a lovely spot. However, it was This was my best opportunity to try out the Ally on moving heaving with people and we were lucky to find one of the water and fortunately there’s a perfect eddy halfway down few remaining spots where Mark could hang his hammock the small chute that forms between the rocks in these levels. I comfortably. We bumped into Dave B, who’d posted his lined up and the Ally hit it perfectly, swinging round sharply as

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I heeled it over. Mark followed just behind, then led off down weren’t understanding so I nipped out and gave them a hand. the channel below. As this is tree lined and with poor visibility Once lifted only by one edge lots of water flowed out and the ahead, a little caution is required as the flow is relatively quick, canoe was easily emptied and turned back over. but today there was no difficulty. I imagine a few hire canoes One of the delights of the day was the clarity of the water. get knocked over by the overhanging trees on the outside of Not quite on a par with the Tarn, but still lovely to see. The the bend though! river was a little faster, giving a little relief from the need to Today, most of the journey comprised of long straights with paddle constantly to make progress. just the odd faster bit, but it was hardly tedious on such a There were many bends and many straights but eventually lovely day. In places, the waterweed we were approaching Hereford, swayed in the ripples, and the long 3km straight that As this is tree lined and with poor visibility and damselflies danced on its tips, whilst takes you down to the town ahead, a little caution is required as the dozens of swans grazed. and the get-out and its series of We soon passed the last bridge flow is relatively quick, but today there was bridges. Sometimes this is a battle before Hereford, at Bridge Sollers. into a headwind but today it was no difficulty. I imagine a few hire canoes There are very few such crossings easy enough. get knocked over by the overhanging trees on the Wye. Occasionally grassy As always, the Wye had proven hillsides brought something different on the outside of the bend though! to be delightful and the weather to the constantly tree-lined banks. hadn’t done any harm. We’d also My memory said there weren’t many beaches after The successfully tested gear and systems, and of course had a good Weir, the National Trust house and gardens that cling to a catch up and the odd glass of ballast. Thanks to Mark for the hillside about halfway down, so we stopped there for lunch great company, as always. with an audience of sightseers opposite. Of course in the end there were plenty of beaches a bit further downstream … THE ROUTE ON PADDLE POINTS By one of these beaches we came across a group of studentWhitney to Byecross: age folk with an upside down Venture canoe. The four of them http://www.paddlepoints.net?R=51&A=5738 were trying, and failing, to lift it from the water. Mark tried to Byecross to Hereford: explain to them to tilt it over so they “broke the seal”, but they http://www.paddlepoints.net?R=52&A=2785


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ST. DAVID’S COLLEGE YEAR 10 CANOE EXPEDITION LINNANSAARI NATIONAL PARK, FINLAND “Travelling is not only about movement, but about collecting memories along the way”. Article: Aled Edwards It’s June again, and the annual St. David’s College Year 10 Canoe Expedition found itself travelling back to Finland to enjoy its waterways once more. This year, we were travelling via Helsinki and Savonlinna to Oravi, from where we were hoping to explore part of the Linnansaari National Park, before looping round through the Islands of Jutenvesi to finish where we started, roughly 80km later. The Linnansaari National Park is part of the Saimaa, a huge (and I mean really quite big) area of water through which to paddle. It is home to a huge array of wildlife, including the Saimaa ringed seal, left behind in the lakes as the ice-sheets retreated after the last ice-age. As we began our paddle from Oravi, it quickly became apparent that this was a surreal place to canoe. As a sea kayaker, it is usual to pass buoyed channels and transit marks, but not usually on a lake and to this scale (we even saw two big freighters pass through as we neared the end of our trip). It is also a wonderful place to paddle. In the National Park there is a well maintained network of camps, which were great to use for the first couple of nights as the group got into the swing of expedition life. Glorious sunshine and light winds also helped! As we swung North and then East into Jutenvesi, everything started to feel a little more remote and wild, and remarkably untravelled in places. Old camp rings had moss and plant growth from little use, and the islands felt little visited for such a great canoe venue. We became very careful to conserve this, especially in choosing camps as we were very keen not to leave a trace of us having been there.

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We sighted two pairs of Ospreys along the way, being harassed by Terns in a form of dog-fight, and although we didn’t see any seals, we were told later that we probably did see them, just didn’t realise what we were looking at, so good is their camouflage. Out last evening was spent on a lovely island a day’s paddle or so from Oravi, where we completed the trip with the customary tarp sauna and a dip in the lake. Being able to paddle 80Km uninterrupted and portage free felt like a massive privilege, especially in such beautiful surroundings. There is of course endless possibility here for much longer trips, such is the extent of the lake system. I would highly recommend a visit!

TRIP LOGISTICS Flights: Finnair from London Heathrow to Helsinki (www.finnair.com). Trains: Airport to Helsinki Central, then to Savonlinna with one easy change (www.vr.fi). Local transfer from Savonlinna to Oravi (canoe base) organised through the canoe provider. Canoe provider was Saimaa Holiday, although as usual we booked through Nature Travels here in the UK as they really are very good at helping to sort group bookings! (www.naturetravels.co.uk) Maps were provided by the canoe company, but I was glad to have brought along a 1:50,000 topo map of the area bought from the ever helpful map shop (www. themapshop.co.uk). For more pictures or details of the trip check out our Facebook page (www.facebook. com/stdavidsoutdoor) or email aedwards@ stdavidscollege.co.uk

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The Canoe Wales slalom squad have had exciting results at the recent Junior ECA series; 12 races at 6 venues, with the best 6 races counting towards an overall winner. The squad was set to race in France, Austria, Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic, before heading to Slovakia for the ECA Cup final and Hohenlimburg for the Junior European championships. Richard Lee, Canoe Wales’ Performance Manager and Head Slalom Coach, provides us with this report.

Austria and Germany Canoe Wales paddlers attended the second and third set of ECA Junior Cup slalom races at Flattach in Austria and Augsburg in Germany in late June and on the first weekend in July. A Welsh team had been entered for the first set of races in Brittany in February, but unfortunately the organisers had cancelled these due to a lack of water at the sites in Roches des Diables, Lochrist and Lannion. With the timetabling of the summer races close to exams, a small group of Welsh paddlers arrived at Flattach in late June, with the first taste of this dam fed course being in competition. The fast flows and waves provided a stern test, with Emily Davies and Jess Rayner acquitting themselves with a place in the final (the second of two runs). The course was re-set for a Wednesday race, while paddlers took the opportunity to play on the waves and stoppers below the competition course. The Wednesday race saw a lower water release, due to limitations of the Hydro Electric Power reservoir upstream. The paddlers found their feet on the second day of racing with Lili Bryant 3rd and Jess Rayner 5th in the Junior 16 K1 women category, Emily Davies taking the win in the C1 Women U23 category (in a class of her own on both days) and Fin Yates Jones finishing 22nd in the final, with a marginal 50 second penalty on the penultimate gate of the course.

Words: Richard Lee & British Canoeing Photos: As credited

On the Thursday, the team travelled to Augsburg for some training on the 1972 Olympic course on the Eiskanal. The narrow, fast flowing concrete channel provided the venue for the largest race entry of the series so far, with 400 paddlers from 18 countries in attendance. Fin Yates Jones raced hard on both days, but the cut of 30 for the final from 80 entries was always going to be tough. In the women’s event final – Lili placed 4th on the Saturday and 8th on the Sunday, while Jess Rayner placed 8th on the Saturday and 20th on the Sunday. It was great to see a host of UK paddlers in attendance and there were many familiar names on the start list, with sons, daughters and cousins take up the challenge in a new generation of canoe slalom. One to look out for in the future will be Evy Leifbarth of the USA. The ECA Junior Cup series will resume in late July in Krakow On the same weekend, Welsh paddlers were also in attendance at the Bratislava World Ranking Series race, with Gabi Ridge, Megan Hamer Evans, Eti Chappell and Tom Abbott preparing themselves for the World U23 and Under 18 Championships to be held in late July. All four boats qualified for the semi-finals in a race that many international teams were using as preparation for the championships. The demanding course, which falls 12 metres over its length of 300 metres, and the depth of Emily Davies – Mezzana Photo courtesy of Valdisole Canoe


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the competition field acts as a good indicator for performances. Junior 18 racer, Megan Hamer Evans narrowly missed out on the senior final, placing 13th, while Eti Chappell (a junior 16 racer) placed 23rd in the senior semifinal. Tom Abbott gained a 50 in the semi-final to halt his progression, while Gabi Ridge, recorded a personal best at International competition, placing 7th in the K1 Women event, underpinned with a 4th place in the qualification race and semi-final. The racing and training opportunities will give all the boats confidence for the upcoming championships. Mezzana (site of the 1993 Slalom World Championships) played host to its first International slalom race for 20 years, and 6 Welsh paddlers were in attendance – Rhys Daves, Will Coney and Emily Davies in C1 and Lili Bryant, Jess Rayner and Fin Yates Jones in kayak. After a hard week of training, the international paddlers joined the Italian paddlers on the start line for their national Junior Championships on the Saturday on a course that had similarities to the Bala Graveyard site, albeit on a wider river, while the Sunday hosted the International race. This suited the Welsh paddlers and Emily Davies took 1st and Lili Bryant 2nd in C1, while Rhys Davies and Lili Bryant placed 4th in the C1 Men and K1 Women events respectively.


The race in Poland, is held on a channel to the side of the river Wisla, just outside the historic city of Krakow. Here the polish Canoe Federation have developed the Kolna multi sports complex, with a swimming pool, gym, club facilities, a hotel and hostel accommodation alongside the course, which in turn hosts regular World and European age group championships. The course itself is similar to a cross between the Cardiff and Nottingham white water courses and following two days of training, 270 racers competed across two days to find the overall winner of this fourth leg of races. Welsh paddlers fared well, with Emily Davies taking the U23 C1Women win, and four Welsh paddlers narrowly missing the podium in 4th place – Lili Bryant (U16 K1W), Will Coney (U23 C1M), Etienne Chappell (U16 K1M) and James Cooper (U23 K1W), while Jess Rayner picked up a final on the Sunday to improve her overall ranking. A quick departure on Sunday evening saw James Cooper traveling to Prague with Irish and English paddlers for some training,

Eti Chapelle – Hohenlimburg

Jess Rayner – Mezzana

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Photo courtesy of Valdisole Canoe

Emily Davies & Lili Bryant – Mezzana Photo courtesy of Valdisole Canoe

Photo: Zach Allin

Lili Bryant – Mezzana

while 7 paddlers travelled to Liptovsky Mikulas in Slovakia for 3 days of speed training in the Tatras mountains. Here the Welsh boats shared the water with double Olympic champion, Elena Kaliska, C2 leading pairs – the Skantars and Kucera & Batik and member of the Slovak team. The water although low, provided a good base, with a run down to Bratislava, where the Danube feeds a 300 metre channel which drops 12 metres to give one of the most intense slalom experiences in the World with the 4 metre drop – Niagara – being the sting in the tail. This course provided an opportunity for young paddlers to expand their white water hard drive, before returning to the racing circuit at Ceske Budejovice. With a short training session on the Friday, the paddlers were ready for racing by the Saturday on a course that resembled the Holme Pierrepoint training course in form, although the rapids were formed by the Raid Block system that creates the Lee Valley Olympic course. Once again, race results

William Coney – Mezzana

Photo courtesy of Valdisole Canoe

were combined over the two days to provide an overall points table. James Cooper, fresh from Prague, took the under 23 K1Men win, while Megan Hamer Evans took a second place in the K1W under 18 section. Eti Chappell was 2nd in the U16 K1Men, while 2nd placed Lili Bryant shared the podium with Antonia Galuskova, the current Junior World champion. Emily Davies took a fourth consecutive podium at the ECA races in 3rd overall, while Jess Rayner produced a good Saturday final performance. Over the course of 4 legs of the ECA series, all 8 Welsh paddlers recorded a final, while 6 of the athletes featured in the top three of their events at some point in the tour, which not only saw podiums, performances but also great experiences built on successes, failures and hard work, which will see the young paddlers well in the future.


The ECA Cup final was held in Bratislava, with four Welsh paddlers competing for Great Britain. Eti Chappell (Junior K1M) and Gabi Ridge (U23 K1W) reached the semi-finals of their events, however, 50s penalties kept them out of the finals. Tom Abbott (U23 C1M) and Megan Hamer Evans (Junior K1W) both made it through to their finals, each coming 8th overall.

JUNIOR AND U23 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS It was finals day for the kayakers at the Junior and U23 European Championships in Hohenlimburg and there was a strong showing from Megan Hamer-Evans and Etienne Chappell finishing 6th and 8th respectively in the Junior K1 events. Great Britain had seven boats in action in the semi finals this morning and consistent performances from the HamerEvans and Chappell in the semi finals saw them progress to their respective finals. 18 year old Megan from Pentre in Wales is in her first season on the sport’s Podium Potential programme and she is set to move to Lee Valley in October to train with Greg Hitchen. An 8th place at the World Junior Championships last month and a 6th place today shows her growing confidence and ability to compete on the international stage and she is excited about the imminent move to train on the London 2012 Olympic course. Also flying the flag for Wales was Etienne Chappell, who is based in Cardiff. He is in his debut year on the Great Britain junior team and feels he is growing in confidence having got more international experience under his belt at the Junior Worlds last month. In the Men’s C1 U23 Tom Abbott showed consistency and posted two clean runs coming third in the semi final and then ninth in the final, backing up his strong form that delivered an eighth place at U23 Worlds in August.

Photo courtesy of Valdisole Canoe

Megan Hamer Evans – Hohenlimburg

Report courtesy of British Canoeing

Photo: Zach Allin


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1 T R A P N O I T A V I T O M

Davies Article: Marianne Physical Education Sport, Health and s), on (H BSc , Sports Science. MRes (Distinction) Plas y Brenin Photos courtesy of

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I think it is safe to assume that those of us who coach, lead or instruct other people would like them to leave each session they have with us feeling happy. Buzzing even. Keen to come back and do more with us. Motivated to go and practice what they have learnt and enjoy it in their free time. However, the statistics available on continued participation in boat based watersports (including canoeing and kayaking) makes rather sobering reading. In 2013 only 8% of those who participated in boating activities did so more than 13 times in a year, and 82% less than 3 times1. That means that after ‘having a go’, 82% either could not (or chose to not) go boating again on a regular basis. Can we, as practitioners, have any influence on the motivation and continued participation of those we work with? Are we able to help increase the number of people who will get hooked on our sports and continue to participate long term? My interest in motivation was particularly influenced by the response my son had to the learning environments he experienced when he was young. At the age of eight, he asked if he could go to the local canoeing club with his best friend from school. I thought it was a great idea. He had played for years in boats with me and really enjoyed it, surely it would be so much more fun with his friends! I went to pick him up after the club session expecting a happy excited little boy. But he had hated it. When I asked him why, he told me that canoeing was boring; they were not allowed to play like he did with me, they didn’t let him do the things that he was good at, or be with his friend. Not only did he not go back to the club, he lost interest in coming to boat with me too. Then, ten years later, after a conversation with total strangers in the local canoe shop, he joined the Bangor University Canoe Polo club for a practice. One session with them and he was hooked! Ten years later he is still playing and paddling. I was curious ... How could one experience put him off so completely, and another inspire so much. What if we (as coaches) could be more savvy about ensuring that all those who come to us have a positive motivational experience?

There are many theories about motivation, but the one we’ll look at here is particularly useful for sports coaches and leaders. It is called the Self Determination Theory2, or SDT for short. SDT is made up of a number of micro-theories one of which is called the Basic Psychological Needs Theory. According to the Basic Psychological Needs Theory, motivation to engage in an activity is influenced by the support, and subsequent satisfaction of, three innate basic needs. These are the need for: 1. Autonomy (a sense of control over your own life and personal volition), 2. Competence (the need to be effective and skilful), 3. Relatedness (the desire to feel connected to, and cared for, by others). Motivation to engage in something (anything) can be enhanced by the satisfaction of any, but optimised by the satisfaction of all three, basic psychological needs. There is evidence that the needs are of differing importance to people, but they still all need to be satisfied2. Interestingly, the satisfaction of these basic needs is not only very important for continued engagement in an activity, but also for overall health and well-being. Research into the Basic Psychological Needs Theory has provided a considerable amount of supporting evidence from many different domains, including educational learning4, health and well-being7, motivation to engage in activities8 and adherence to prescribed exercise regimes6.

HOW DOES SATISFYING BASIC NEEDS INFLUENCE MOTIVATION? Human beings are not just processors of neutral information. In any context, we are inherently driven towards personal development. This means that we will actively seek opportunities to satisfy our needs; to be masters of our own destiny, to be effective and feel connected2. If we engage in a behaviour that leads to our needs being satisfied, the motivation to continue to engage in that behaviour becomes more self-determined. This means that we will regulate our own behaviour, and become self-motivated. The reason for engaging in any behaviour falls on a continuum of being more or less self-determined. At one end is non selfdetermined behaviour, or ‘Amotivation’ (that just means no motivation). This is when we do not engage at all. We don’t go to the gym, or go boating. We don’t exercise, or eat well, get up early, do the washing up, or whatever the behaviour is. The proposed reasons for this include; because the outcome is either not valued (relatedness), not perceived as being in our control (autonomy), or not perceived as being attainable by us (competence). At the other end is self-determined behaviour. This is when we engage in an activity purely for its own sake with no discernable reward. Just the pure joy of doing it! If you are motivated in this way you are said to have intrinsic motivation, internal behavioural regulation and an internal locus of causality. If that all sounds like another language, don’t worry, this is what it means: 1. Intrinsic motivation: the motivation to engage in a behaviour comes from within you, 2. Internal behavioural regulation: you regulate your own behaviour and are in control of whether you act on the motivation to engage or not, 3. Internal locus of causality: you believe that you are the cause (and therefore, in control), of the outcomes of your behaviour.


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Before we have actually had a go at something, it is unusual to be motivated purely for the joy of doing it. To begin with, most of the things we do are non self-determined. You might have gone boating for the first time because it was part of a school trip, maybe your parents took you, or your friends invited you to have a go. I’m guessing it was a good experience if you still not only love it, but are coaching it now. Your motivation to go boating became self-determined over time because you were within a rewarding social context and your basic needs for relatedness, competence and autonomy were being satisfied. However, the structure of coaching sessions (and most goal directed behaviour in sport) is typically determined by the coach. Even beginners in supervised sessions have little control over what they do, and deliberate practice has been seen as something that is not enjoyable, but essential to do to become competent3. Participants have been expected to motivate themselves and take full responsibility for their motivation. But, if we accept that the learning environment has a huge impact on motivation, we can make adjustments to it that would support the three basic psychological needs of those we coach. This would lead to more of their needs being satisfied, practice behaviours becoming more self-determined, and to an increase in motivation, engagement and well-being. This is where we come in. As coaches, leaders and instructors we have a considerable amount of control over the learning environment that we create, and how it is experienced by those we coach.

According to Mageau and Vallerand (2003)5, the coach’s autonomy-supportive behaviours directly influence the athlete’s perceptions of competence, autonomy and relatedness. So, how do we ensure that we are being autonomy supportive in our coaching? Mageau and Vallerand have come up with seven autonomy supportive coaching behaviours: 1. Provide choice within specific rules and limits 2. Provide rationale for tasks and limits 3. Acknowledge negative feelings 4. Provide opportunities to take initiatives and work independently 5. Provide non-controlling competence feedback 6. Use non-controlling language, avoid controlling behaviours, and use competition and rewards wisely 7. Promote a mastery rather than ego involvement (promote achievement).

CREATING A NEEDS SUPPORTIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT Okay, so we know that the satisfaction of basic needs has a positive impact on motivation and will influence whether someone continues to participate. That means we need to make sure that we are able to create what is known as a ‘needs supportive learning environment’6. Autonomy is arguably the most important need and is essential for goal directed behaviour to become self-determined2. It is unique among the basic psychological needs because a participant (particularly an athlete) could satisfy their need for competence with externally controlled (by a coach) deliberate practice, and they could satisfy the need for relatedness by being part of a team, but autonomy is not as easily satisfied in a traditional coaching environment. This is because the coach makes most of the decisions, and the rules and regulations of a sport can further limit the options that can be given to individual participants.

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1. Provide choice within specific rules and limits Basically, try to give as much choice to your participants as reasonably possible. Obviously this needs to be within the rules and limitations of the activities and their ability levels. You can involve those you work with in decisions about types of activities, venues, and progressions. This is usually done for experienced participants having high level coaching, but less so for beginners where motivational climates can have a greater impact on continued participation. For introductory sessions, look at what choice you can easily give (choice of games, order of activities (if not progressions), when to progress, color of equipment, …). Interestingly, even giving small choices like picking the colour of something, will have a positive impact on motivation. Remember that even choices that are very small and seem insignificant can have a big impact on the perceived need support9. 2. Provide rational for tasks and limits By giving simple explanations for why activities are being done you will help your participants to understand and endorse the reasons for doing them. This helps to make the tasks meaningful and they can then be valued and accepted. Think about how you can do this within your activity set up or briefings without them becoming too long and convoluted. Some limitations that may effect your coaching sessions can be overcome by changing your focus; for example, change from running a

particular award syllabus, to developing competence for their personal goals. Other common limiting factors include venues, environment, kit, and equipment. 3. Acknowledge negative feelings This can be as simple as you letting your participants know that you understand that they may find something boring, or hard to do. That you recognise that they are feeling cold, wet and a little miserable at that time. This is especially effective when combined with a provision of choice and explanations of the rational for doing something. Acknowledging negative feelings and stating that there is no choice and you think it is meaningless, is clearly likely to be less effective! Your ability to relate to your participants is an important part of fulfilling their needs for relatedness. 4. Provide opportunities to take initiatives and work independently This is a big one for me and responsible for much of my negative experiences as a female learner. If you provide support that is not needed, or restrict opportunities to take initiatives and be creative (and make decisions), even with the best intentions in mind; you will reduce motivation and be perceived as controlling. This behaviour is known as ‘controlling-support’. Working independently does not necessarily mean working alone. It is also a good way of supporting and promoting social interactions by facilitating group, peer and pair work. Remember that social interactions are an important part of enhancing the enjoyment of an activity. 5. Provide non-controlling competence feedback There is a strong possibility that up to now you have agreed with most of the autonomy supportive coaching behaviours we have looked at, and that they fit in with what you already do. However, I might be about to suggest some things that do not fit so readily with what you have been told, or you currently do. So please bear with me. It is important to understand that the feedback you give does not only provide information about an individual’s performance on a specific task, but also influences their future expectations and their motivational state. There is a growing body of research that is showing that giving feedback after good performances is much more effective for learning, than giving feedback after poor performances8. This means getting away from seeing feedback as ‘fault finding’ and instead use it to ensure

that your participants are aware of when and how to do things well. If they are unable to perform a movement pattern at all, use your ability to change or adjust the constraints (task, environment, individual), rather than give them feedback. This could mean asking them to do something different, adjusting where it is being performed, or giving them additional information. There is also growing evidence that the feedback you give can also influence the participant’s expectations of the learning process and how malleable they perceive their performance to be. If you say for example ‘you are a great white water paddler’, this implies a permanence of ability and can be demotivating if performance drops for any reason. If, however, you say ‘those last few break-ins were great’, the focus is on learning and improving, and not a fixed ability. These subtleties of language are particularly important when coaching young children. A useful way to set up supportive objective feedback is to create opportunities for the participant to ‘self-check’. Setting up skills or tasks in such a way that you allow them to pick up their own objective feedback about their performance from the environment and results. This also helps to promote autonomy and encourages problem solving and exploration of movement patterns. Finally, like support, feedback can also be perceived as controlling. Saying ‘those last few break-ins were great, as they should be’, is clearly a controlling statement. Again, these are often used with the best intentions, you might be thinking and wanting to convey ‘it should be because you are a great white water paddler’. But, the controlling element here can undermine intrinsic motivation. 6. Use non-controlling language, avoid controlling behaviours, and use competition and rewards wisely There is a lot in here, and like the other points we are just going to skim though in this article. Along with competence feedback and support, many behaviours and use of language used can be perceived as controlling. With your coaching language avoid using words and phrases like ‘should’, ‘must’, and ‘have to’, along with phrases like ‘as I would expect’ or ‘as you should have’. It is also very important not to use guilt inducing criticisms or emotionally laden statements that could be perceived as threatening the relationship between you and your participants. Anything that could be

perceived as a threat to withdraw approval, respect or love is particularly damaging. Thankfully it is generally accepted that controlling language and guilt inducing statements are unacceptable and undermine autonomy and intrinsic motivation. However, there is still much debate about the use of competition and rewards. Most of the literature in this area agrees that whilst competition can increase the intrinsic motivation of those who win, it is detrimental to those who don’t. Also, if you give rewards for participation it can be perceived as implying that the activity is somehow not worth doing for it’s own sake. If you are coaching children it is worth noting that the detrimental effects of rewards in undermining autonomy and reducing intrinsic motivation are far greater in children than adults5. 7. Promote mastery rather than ego involvement (promote achievement) A mastery climate encourages participants to improve their own skills and judge success by the changes in their own performance. This is influenced hugely by expectations of learning and future competence. We all engage in activities when we have a sense that positive outcomes exist (we will improve), and that we have the agency to achieve them. Conversely, as a coach, if you promote ego involvement you will encourage participants to compare their performance to others. This peer comparison can lead to threats to self-esteem if an individual’s performance is not perceived as good enough2. Goal setting is a great way to support mastery and achievement orientation. As a coach it is worth you learning to promote and support the use of effective goal setting. If used skillfully, goal setting can also provide a sense of self-satisfaction, support competence and autonomy, and increase intrinsic motivation. Experience of using and exploring autonomy supportive coaching activities like ‘self-check’ tasks (see point 5) will also help your participants to goal set and use objective measures adeptly to achieve their goals.


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After a coaching session or any period of practice, any increase in motivation due to the satisfaction of needs support would be advantageous in the long term as highly skilled motor performance is associated with extensive periods of deliberate practice1. Practice conditions that support the motivational transition from less, to more, self-determined behaviour, should have positive long term effects and are likely to result in a continued engagement in the activity whether for recreation or for performance achievement. As a coach, our autonomy-supportive behaviours directly influence participant’s

perceptions of competence, autonomy and relatedness. This in turn influences their level of intrinsic motivation and self-determined behaviour. An autonomy supportive coach will provide choices where possible, give rational for activities and acknowledge the feelings and perspectives of their participants. They will provide opportunities for initiative taking, give non-controlling competence feedback, and communicate using non controlling language. They will avoid controlling behaviours in the form of physical and psychological control, rewards or promoting ego orientated involvement.

There is a lot of research currently exploring the effects of needs support and needs satisfaction on performance. The results so far suggest that actively choosing to engage in an activity, rather than doing so reluctantly, is associated not only with increased motivation and improved mental health, but also with better performance2. That is definitely a win:win for any coach and will be explored in the next article; ‘Motivation Part 2’ looking at ‘Motivation and Learning’.



Jang, R., Reeve, J., & Halusic, M. (2016, January 26). A New AutonomySupportive Way of Teaching That Increases Conceptual Learning: Teaching in Students’ Preferred Ways. Journal of Experimental Education, 84(4), 686-701. 5 Mageau, G. A., & Vallerand, R. J. (2003). The coach-athlete relationship: A motivational model. Journal of Sports Sciences, 21(11), 883-904. 6 Markland, D., & Tobin, V. J. (2010). Need support and behavioural regulations for exercise referral scheme clients: The mediating role of psychological need satisfaction. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 11, 91-99.


Arkenford. (2014). Watersports Participation Survey 2014 Full Report. Retrieved December 12, 2016, from RYA.org.uk: http://www.rya. org.uk/SiteCollectionDocuments/ sportsdevelopment/Watersports_ Survey_2014_Executive_Summary.pdf 2 Deci, E., & Ryan, R. (2000). The “What” and “Why” of goal pursuits: Human needs and the self-determination of behaviour. Psychological Enquiry, 227-268. 3 Ericsson, K. A., Krampe, R. T., & TeschRömer, C. (1993). The role of deliberate practice in the acquisition of expert performance. Psychological Review, 100(3), 363-406. 1

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Thank you to Dean (Sid) Sinfield, Sam Davies and Paul Marshall for their excellent proof reading, comments and suggestions.

Ryan, R. M., Huta, V., & Deci, E. L. (2008). Living Well: A self-determined theory perspective on eudaimonia. Journal of Happiness Studies, 9, 139-170. 8 Wulf, G., & Lewthwaite, R. (2016). Optimizing performance through intrinsic motivation and attention for learning: The OPTIMAL theory of motor learning. Psychological Bulletin Review. 9 Wulf, G., Freitas, H. E., & Tandy, R. D. (2014). Choosing to exercise more: Small choices can increase excercise engagement. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 15, 268-271.

Photo credit: Zach Allin