We talk to Frome Canoe Club to find out more about the sport

How long has Frome Canoe Club been established?

40 years (this year is our 40th year and we are having a celebration day on 3rd September.)

What events does the Canoe Club organise or help facilitate?

Our weekly canoeing sessions in the town centre offer a great range of activities on three, sometimes four evenings per week: fun and games, canoe slalom training, improving kayak skills, canoe polo and open boating. We also organise courses to improve skills.

In addition, we arrange trips to paddle rivers in Dartmoor, Exmoor and South Wales. Over the winter we offer weekly pool sessions at Frome Leisure Centre. We also host two National Slaloms for British Canoeing, to which participants from all over the south west can compete in a ranking event.

What challenges will people encounter when they first take up this sport?

Learning a completely new set of skills. Working outside their comfort zone. Dealing with adrenaline rushes. Getting wet.

How is the Canoe Club funded?

Through membership fees and weekly subs. Plus grants and other donations. The club is run by volunteers who give their time freely and this allows us to provide quality activities at low costs.

Does the club partner with any other organisations?

We work with schools and local youth organisations and provide taster sessions for them. We are partnered with our Governing Body, British Canoeing.

Can anyone join Frome Canoe Club?

The club is open to all from 8 years and over.  It is an advantage to be able to swim, though not essential as everyone wears buoyancy aids. But people should not be scared of water.

What role do you believe athletics and sport play in our day-to-day lives?

Sport helps to foster general wellbeing and positive mental attitude alongside improving general health and fitness. It is an essential part of modern day living.

What skills could we learn from a sport such as canoeing?

Canoeing is slightly different from other sporting activities, with a whole new skill set needing to be developed, using different muscles. People need to be able to paddle forwards, backwards, sideways, develop balance and learn some basic safety and first aid.

Our club also develops far more than fitness/canoeing skills. We also develop other essential life skills like communication, teambuilding, caring for and helping others, dealing with success and disappointment, taking responsibility in leadership roles and developing empathy.

What’s your favourite thing about Frome?

The variety of activities going on, the vibrancy of the town, the way FTC supports the community and the fact that there is a river running through it.