Wild Water Kayak Club, based in Strawberry Beds, Chapelizod has a strong junior section that has been built up with the active involvement of many parents.
The Junior Section offers young paddlers the opportunity to try out many different kayaking disciplines.
The club currently has three junior teams competing in the Dublin Canoe Polo League (DCPL). We also compete regularly in Canoe Polo tournaments that take place during the year and a number of our juniors have represented Ireland in international canoe polo tournaments.
Several of our juniors are active freestyle paddlers and we have had representatives on the Irish Freestyle team.
River Running/General Purpose (GP)
Our qualified instructors regularly take juniors on day trips on the various rivers around Ireland including the Boyne, the Liffey and the Annamoe in Wicklow
Traditionally there has always been a strong representation of WWKC juniors in the Marathon racing series enabling the club to win many trophies and ensuring we have many participants in the Junior Liffey Descent
WWKC has a strong Open Canoe section which regularly runs river trips and other events involving junior
Slalom is one of our Olympic disciplines and we have several of our juniors being trained by members of the Irish team and by paddlers who have represented Ireland in the Olympics.
Wild Water Racing (WWR)
Another area where WWKC has traditionally excelled with several juniors currently representing Ireland in junior World and European championships.
Junior paddlers can join the club at any stage, subject to capacity. Our normal requirement is that they have a minimum Level 2 qualification before they can take part in formal club activities. We regularly organise weekend/day trips for junior members to help juniors get to know one another and to help develop their overall paddling skills.
Most juniors start with the club through our pool-based training programme. These run from October to April each year (with a break over Christmas) and during this programme, juniors are taught the basic paddling skills that they need for safe paddling on the river. The programme culminates with a Level 1 Assessment of each junior who has taken part.
In May of each year, the focus of junior activities moves to the river with a 5-6 week programme designed to bring juniors up to Level 2 paddling standard. The General Purpose (GP) paddlers in the club run the Level 2 programme and key objectives are to:
- Help the juniors transfer all the knowledge, techniques and paddling strokes they have learned onto the river.
- Ensure the juniors get comfortable with paddling on moving water
- Go through all the safety detail that juniors need to know
- Make sure that each junior successfully achieves their Level 2 qualification
Once they have gained their Level 2 qualification, the juniors are then given the opportunity to try out the different kayaking disciplines to find what one they enjoy most. The club has active participants in all disciplines and juniors can look to participate in all activities or, if preferred, can specialize in a particular discipline.
The Summer Months
Summer activities comprise a combination of club-based activities and river trips.
- Club-based activities will usually run on Saturday mornings comprising a combination of canoe polo, slalom paddling, introduction to racing and other activities
- River trips (usually Sundays) are run in conjunction with the GP section
Safety, Supervision and Child Protection
The club has clearly defined Child Protection policies which can be accessed below and it is important that these are clearly understood and followed.
The instructors, coaches and senior paddlers who help out on the water are not in a position to supervise junior activity off the water’. The junior section of the club depends heavily on parents helping to supervise the junior activities that are underway.
Typical supervision activities include:
- Parents supervising, at the side of the pool, during pool activities
- Parent supervising, at the clubhouse, during club-based kayaking activities
- Parents helping to organise and transport equipment for juniors for river trips, tournaments, and similar activities
- Parents being available during river trips to take juniors
off the water’ where the junior runs into difficulties or does not want to continue the trip for any reason
Supervision does not require any kayaking skill or understanding. It is simply a matter of being available when needed as the instructors must stay on the water to look after the remaining juniors.
If you are able to help – then we’d appreciate if you would tell us – at the pool, by phone or by text or e-mail. We compile a rota for the pool and club-based activities and parents are expected to help with supervision. Supervision duties will be allocated to families by the Junior Officer so please advise the Junior Officer if your personal circumstances mean that you are unable to assist with supervision.
It is parents’ responsibility to make the Junior Officer aware if they are not in a position to make their allocated date/time. The Junior Officer will, as far as possible, help re-arrange supervision duties when asked.
Communications / Who to Contact
Communication to parents and juniors is through the WWKC Juniors Section on our club forum or by e-mail or text. We try to update the WWKC Junior Forum by Thursday evening each week and parents should check there often as this is where notification, cancellations or changes will be posted.
For all inquiries: