Solihull Canoe Club is based on the Grand Union Canal in the village of Catherine-de-Barnes in the West Midlands. (Find Us
) The Club is a registered
charity with the aim of encouraging people to try canoeing and kayaking
as well as promoting the sport of flat water racing, both marathon and sprint.
We pride ourselves on being a friendly welcoming club, open to all.
We meet almost every Saturday, in the morning for the racers and in the afternoon for the recreational paddlers.
The committee members and the coaches are all volunteers. We
are affiliated with the British Canoeing and have British Canoeing qualified
and trained coaches.
The Club has links with
various schools, and youth organisations in order to encourage people to
take part in and enjoy canoeing. We have just over a
hundred members, ranging in age from 8 to their 80s.
Try Canoeing & Kayaking
Taster sessions are provided for beginners from April to November and generally take place on the first Saturday afternoon in the month.
Cost is £10 per person. Please contact us in advance to book a session, because we need to know that we have sufficient coaches available. Afternoon sessions are generally from 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm, but in the colder winter months start and finish half an hour earlier.
Coronavirus - We are back to running taster sessions for complete beginners.
No special clothing is required; sweatshirt and tracksuit bottoms
worn with a pair of light trainers or pumps are adequate. Paddlers
should bring a cagoule in case of poor weather, a towel and a complete
change of clothing. Please do not bring valuables if you can avoid it.
We have basic facilities which include our new clubhouse which has changing rooms and a toilet and washbasin. The new clubhouse and the toilet are designed to be accessible for disabled people.
If you enjoy paddling
at Solihull Canoe Club, then membership is £40 for Juniors and £50 for
Adults for the year up until 31st May 2023. The rate for an adult and a child from the same family is £70. For family membership it is £105 for a family of three, £125 for four and £140 for five or more. Persons who join halfway through the year get a 50% reduced rate.
You will then be able to paddle at Solihull Canoe Club during the year with no additional payments.
Please note we are members' club. Members can use club boats at club training sessions, club trips and for racing, but we do not hire out kayaks or canoes.
As a canal based club marathon racing has
always been our principal competition discipline.
The basis of our calendar is the 11 race
series of British Canoeing Marathon Racing Midlands Region Hasler Trophy events
for which we are geographically well situated (refer Calendar). These events include classes for three
divisions at entry level racing over 4 miles with no hazards, three
intermediate divisions racing over 8 miles and three top divisions racing over 12
miles both often including portages around locks or other hazards. This comprehensive range of classes allows
paddlers of all ages to enjoy a very family orientated sport with all abilities
from novices to international representative paddlers competing at the same
At the end of the series which
runs from September to August teams from the top 6 clubs from the 18 in our region
are invited to compete in the Hasler Trophy final against the top clubs from
the other BC regions and we are proud to record that we usually qualify. Paddlers compete in single or double kayaks
and canoes and our club has a comprehensive selection of entry level craft to
facilitate new members trying the discipline.
The Marathon Racing Committee also organises a National
Championship with trophies for individual paddlers based upon age and gender
and for club teams.
Running alongside the Hasler Trophy events are a series of races
for paddlers under the age of 12 competing in the Lightning, a one design
junior single kayak, and in junior double kayaks with separate classes for
girls and boys in age groups under 10 and under 12. Points are awarded towards an inter-club
trophy dedicated to our founder president Geoff Sanders.
Paddlers from our club also compete in the famous 125 miles
Devizes to Westminster race over the Easter period and a variety of other long
For full information see www.canoeracing.org.uk/marathon.
Sprint racing one of our 2 Olympic disciplines. Race over 200, 500 or 1000 metres in 1, 2 or 4 man kayaks or canoes.
We have former Internationals, top men's A paddlers and some very promising young hopefuls.
Regattas are a sociable weekend of exciting racing and plenty of trade stands to buy kit from.
There are 5 national events which have qualifying times and some local events which do not Contact Andy Cook, Head coach and sprint team leader for more details.
The Club runs an active leisure and touring programme including regular trips designed to cater for a wide variety of interests and abilities. Typically these range from days out on local rivers and canals, through to whitewater and longer summer weekend camping trips. In the recent past we have run trips on the Severn, Wye, Avon, Derwent, Penk, Trent, Soar and Tame as well as further afield visits to North Wales and the Nene Whitewater Centre.
In addition we provide a training session once a month for both new and established members. See the Calendar page for further details. Each of these sessions is delivered by one or more of our own British Canoeing qualified coaches.
We would like to thank the following organisations who have generously supported the club over the years:
- Sport England - Inspired Facilities
- National Lottery - Awards for All
- Birmingham International Airport Community Trust Fund
- British Canoeing
- NHS Property Services Ltd (charity day for disabled toilet)
- Sport Solihull
- Shirley Sea Cadets
- Solihull Community Foundation / Taylor Woodrow plc
- Canoe Foundation
- Solihull Together Small Grants Fund
- Lightpower Ltd
- Solihull MBC
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