FTPD – Issue#86

From the President’s Deck

Happy New Year to all club members.  Have you been thinking about your 2012 New Year’s resolutions in terms of your sea kayaking and other paddlesports?  Why don’t you put some plans together:

  • For a particular trip that you’ve been dreaming of;
  • To build skills and progress to the next level; and/or
  • To co-ordinate a few weekends amongst your paddling friends so you can spend quality time with them and the great Australian outdoors.

The NSW Sea Kayak Club can help you achieve your sea kayaking goals.  If you would like a hand, please feel free to suggest to a leader, guide or instructor a particular trip or focus on a skill.  Suggestions, requests, ideas and enthusiasm are always highly sought after. 

Moving on, please raise a paddle, give a big cheer and help me congratulate four members for achieving high level Australian Canoeing (“AC”) awards:

  • Raewyn Duffy and Peter Osman for AC Flat Water instructor;
  • Karen Darby for AC Flat Water instructor; and
  • Matt Bezzina for AC Sea Guide award.

There are several significant club events scheduled over the next few months that you might want to attend:

  • Instructors weekend 25-26 Feb (sea leader and up);
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll 23–26 March (all grades welcome);
  • Cheri Perri and Turner Wilson Club Day 22 April;
  • Grade 3 weekend 5-6 May (grade 3 and up); and
  • Navigation Challenge 26-27 May (grades 1 and up welcome).

Go onto the club’s website, login and then you can register for these and other trips, training and events.

Speaking of the new club website, I offer my thanks to Stephan Meyn for his work in converting the previous website to the new one.  The new website is built using a content management system.  This opens up some new possibilities, like:

  • allowing members to register for events online;
  • integrated payment with events;
  • changing your own contact details; and
  • the members database doesn’t get replaced each year with a new spreadsheet. 

The new website went live 2 months ago and we have received lots of feedback enabling Stephan to make further improvements.  

Regarding the club survey undertaken in October-November 2011, we were blown away with receiving 162 responses, more than half of the membership.  The survey gave everyone a chance to have their say and believe me, you bunch don’t hold back when something is on your mind.  Interestingly, the younger members and females were under- represented in the survey compared to their portions within the club membership.

To give you an idea of the survey results: 

  • 55% said they kayak once or more per week
  • 62% of members have sea kayaking as their main outdoor pursuit
  • training and trips were viewed as the most important offerings of the club, along with the magazine
  • Members want more activity.  It seemed a fairly consistent theme that members want more activity that fits their skill level and for these activities to be close to their homes.

I have been discussing the results amongst the committee and instructors with a view to progressing and improving our club.  I will publish a sanitized version of the results in the next magazine.

Another common theme in the survey was that many members want events that combine paddling and socializing to catch up with paddling friends.  I’m trying to create an annual program with ‘events’ each few months to cater for this.  We already have Rock and Roll (March/April), the AGM (July) and the annual dinner (November) that can work as combined paddling and social days.   The recent annual dinner in November attracted some 80 people to the dinner, most of whom seemed to be out of the water enjoying paddling or skills training.  As noted above, we have a grade 3 weekend and a club navigation challenge coming up and both events should prove popular.

There is one last thing to mention.  It is time to renew your membership for the 2012-13 year.  Please log on to the club website and renew.  You can find instructions in the FAQ section of the website and elsewhere in this magazine.

Keep paddling

David Fisher

Club President

Published Edition 86, March 2012

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