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PUBLISHED: 11:18 01 May 2008 | UPDATED: 10:29 12 July 2010

Youngsters who sign up for the new Kayak training courses at Stradbroke Pool in May can now gain a nationally-recognised qualification to put them strokes ahead of novices who join canoe clubs.

Youngsters who sign up for the new Kayak training courses at Stradbroke Pool in May can now gain a nationally-recognised qualification to put them strokes ahead of novices who join canoe clubs.

The pool at Wilby Road has launched the British Canoe Union' s new Paddle Power initiative to encourage more people to take up the sport.

The six-week course is open to youngsters aged 8 to 16 and those who sign up for the Friday evening sessions will have professional tuition from instructor Andy Ing.

They will be coached through novice, intermediate and advanced stages and gain a qualification which is recognised by canoe clubs throughout the UK.

Stuart Murdy, general manager of Stradbroke Swimming Pool said: “The new Paddle Power Initiative is a very exciting development for us.

“Our kayak courses have proved extremely popular over the past couple of years, and while those who have completed the courses have a good level of proficiency this is the first time that we have been able to offer a nationally-recognised qualification,” he said.

“This is an excellent opportunity for youngsters to take up this exciting sport and learn the essential skills through professional coaching in a safe and controlled environment, and we expect a rush of bookings for the new course.”

Andy Ing, 49, a freelance instructor said: “This is a starter pack for the Paddle Power programme and by completing these courses youngsters will learn the basic skills and experiences to take to open water with confidence and ability.

“They will be ready for further coaching which take them to higher levels in the sport which could include national competitions, or simply enable them to enjoy canoeing as a hobby.”

The six-week courses start on May 2 and cost £39.60. The courses run on a Friday night between 5.30 and 7.30pm with six youngsters in each of the two sessions.

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