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Six participants in kayaks on the lake

Paul Sherradon

Lee Valley White Water Centre

Funded 50+ kayak course rekindles Paul’s sense of adventure

Paul Sherradon, a retired engineer, embarked on an invigorating new endeavour at the age of 76, thanks to his participation in a "50+ Learn to Kayak" course at Lee Valley White Water Centre.

Paul's career as an engineer had been primarily office based, and his sporting activities had dwindled over the years, with table tennis being his sole remaining athletic pursuit. The idea of kayaking was foreign to him, having never tried the sport before.

Paul's decision to venture into kayaking was sparked by an advertisement shared by his wife, which highlighted the opportunity provided by the 6 week kayaking course at the world renowned Lee Valley White Water Centre in Waltham Cross.

The six week course, aimed at individuals over the age of 50 who are less active or living with long term medical conditions, eliminated previous obstacles, such as financial constraints, thanks to its affordable fee of just £5 per week, made possible through funding from Lee Valley Regional Park Authority's Community Access Fund and Herts Sport & Physical Activity Partnership.

The kayaking program had a profoundly positive impact on Paul. It rekindled his sense of adventure, dispelling the notion that age should limit new experiences. The camaraderie of the group and the friendly atmosphere fostered by the instructors made him feel more socially engaged and confident about trying new things. He said:

“This course gave me a positive feeling that I can do more. As I have got older I feel I have shrunk away from things but this has made me feel so much better about new things. It is very friendly and very sociable”.

Paul's enthusiasm for kayaking has opened the door to further adventures. He expressed a desire to continue kayaking and even explore white water rafting. His eagerness to embrace new challenges is a testament to the program's success in instilling a sense of empowerment and curiosity amongst the 50 plus age group.

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