#shepaddles British Canoeing Ambassador

I joined the Soar Boating Club as a complete beginner some five years ago – nervous to get into a kayak! Key members of the club (Shane, Dave, Graeme, Dan Rob Gee) have supported and encouraged me to build my confidence and try different crafts. During the past five years or so they took me on some fabulous weekend adventures exploring various British rivers. Recently the club acquired SUP boards and wow – I just absolutely loved it . I loved the feeling of standing up tall on the water, being offered drinks by the barge boaters who were moored on the banks, the tranquility and beauty of the riverside. I loved the independence I got from SUP – the boards were light enough for me to carry. I wanted to take this new found love to a new level but didn’t know how. A very supportive paddling friend of mine – Carys encouraged me to become a #shepaddles ambassador – I was unsure as I don’t have any special skills or training! – but I do absolutely love being on the water, am keen to develop myself and have some exciting new adventures and I’d love to encourage other women to be empowered to experience the joys and delights of the waterways. So I am super humbled to have been selected by British Canoeing as one of their ambassadors – It’s a privilege to be working alongside such awesome experienced ambassadors- they will be a fantastic group of ladies to call on and share ideas with and seek advice from. I will share my journey of the ups and downs via Instagram and hopefully encourage others along the way. ( If you wish to follow Shilpa on instagram @shilparasaiah )


Click on the link below to find out more

ShePaddles Ambassadors British Canoeing

A short expedition up the River Lugg

This is a tributary of the River Wye. I parked and launched at Lucksall Camp Site and paddled up the Wye for about 1 mile. Here the river Lugg enters from the right bank. This is a much narrower river rather like the Soar where it runs around Loughborough. I canoed upstream for a 1/4 of a mile to just below Mordiford. Here the river splits in 2 with the fast flowing weir stream ahead (too fast to paddle against, I tried!). Entering from the right is the old lock cut with only a trickle of water entering through the remains of the old lock chamber. Therefore my only option to continue on was to portage my canoe up the lock cut until it deepened out just above the old weir (rapids). You can then paddle under the ancient stone Mordiford Bridge and on the left is a grassed area suitable for launching. It links to the main road B4224 via a permissive access path. There is a long lay-by on this road just west of the bridge so parking and launching from Mordiford is possible. I then returned via the weir stream which is now a long series of fast flowing rapids. Best to remove any skegs here, and keep away from many “sweepers” (low hanging branches) on the right hand bank. After the rapids its a leisurely paddle back downstream to Lucksall.

( Lucksall camping and caravan site is ideal for a club canoe trip as its very large and has all facilities)

Text and photos Robert Aspey


Recently one of our members, Angie Whitmore has been appointed Young Peoples Project Coordinator at the Peter Le Marchant Trust in Loughborough.One of her first projects is to involve young volunteers to collect rubbish on the canal. This will be part of the Surfers Against Sewage, ‘Million Mile Beach Clean’.The clean up will involve volunteers from Loughborough University, Sea Cadets and Peter Le Marchant Trust amongst others. It would be good if some our younger members and families could also be involved. SBC Paddlers will supply our own boat and kit and some of our older members will offer support and organise the logistical side.Apart the obvious benefits of helping the environment, the event will provide the opportunity:

  • to meet other young people interested in the water
  • practice paddle skills
  • paddle in a different environment
  • will add something to you CVs 
  • tick off miles for Surfers Against Sewage

If you are interested please contact myself through the usual channels.PS We need to send a team considerably younger than the one in the photo!

Shane Morgan

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Summer Season 2021

Following tonights government announcement, we can confirm club sessions will restart on the week commencing, Monday April 12th. These will be coordinated by Graeme and details will follow. As we ease back, the sessions will members only (including those who have recently applied and been accepted).British Canoeing Guidelines allow for groups greater than six paddlers. The total number of paddlers in our groups will be determined by the group organiser and what they feel safe with. So you may see groups of varying sizes going out. In any case, all sessions will have to remain Covid secure, with social distancing and each paddler responsible for cleaning their own boat and kit. So its not all rules and regulations here is a taster of some early day events to look forward to:

  • Loughborough Loop
  • Shardlow Loop via Weston on Trent
  • River Clean Up Normanton

Shane Morgan

Ullswater Trip 2020

Ullswater 2020 – We Got There!

When the fireworks had finished; 2020 and a new decade was upon us, all full of excitement for the coming paddling season, boy were we in for a shock!

The planning had been completed, the campsite booked, June the 19th was the date SBC Paddlers were off the Lake District for some open water paddling a new experience for some and possibly a tad daunting.  Then Covid struck!  After, Lockdown #1, June was still a possibility.  As the time drew nearer it was obvious this wasn’t possible.  So, phone calls, emails, text, whatsapp and drums, all used and a new date was agreed September 18th was the date.

Canoes, kayaks, paddles, and camping gear all packed and ready to go! The choice of campsite was great just a few minutes’ walk to the water’s edge. Those who arrived early took advantage and got on the water for a Friday evening paddle to watch the sunset, all socially distanced of course.

Saturday morning arrived, everyone up early packed ready to go.  Two groups of 6, all levels of experience in each group.  The sun shone, the breeze blew, even had a go at sailing!  Two stops, coffee on a little beach, then our packed lunches with lashing of ginger beer on a pebble beach all to ourselves.  What could be better.  A relaxing paddle down to Glenridding, what a fabulous day! But in life where there is Ying, there has to be Yang.  7 miles completed and 7 more to go!

So off we popped to paddle back up Ullswater; the lovely breeze we had on the way down had decided to increase to Storm Force 3 gusting 5, and on open water that means wave heights 2 – 3 feet, an exciting trip.  Sadly, we were all concentrating on paddling in a straight line into wind, counting the paddle stokes, and watching the waves to take any photos! No one capsized – Phew!

A couple of hours later we arrived back at the campsite, tired, hungry, happy, and smiley.  Under normal camping rules a campfire would have been lit, with some sort of outdoor cooking extravaganza, but with Covid we cooked our own (Paul enjoyed his Pizza and wished he’d ordered two!!).   After a fabulous warm sunny day, we had a clear and very cold evening, but being hearty folk, whilst enjoying a couple of beers/wines/whiskies we had a quiz, a chat then off to our relevant tents, campervans.

So, this is our lasting image of the Ullswater trip.

Let’s get the vaccinations done and move on and have fabulous 2021.

On a side note, over the summer in groups of 6 we had a total of just over 800 paddlers on the water, not bad under the circumstances.  Many thanks to all the organisers who gave up their time.

Graeme Young