‘Birth of a Canoe Club in the Derbyshire Dales’
Matlock Canoe Club is one of the premier canoe clubs in the East Midlands region, formed in 1984 as part of the British Canoe Union. Initially from several local canoeing enthusiasts, using a small stretch of the River Derwent in Matlock Bath Derbyshire.
Boating has been a part of the Matlock Bath Gorge Derbyshire since the Victorian times. It was not until the early 1970’s Canoeing became popular. In late 1976 the River Authority (Environment Agency) carried out major flood prevention works along the Matlock valley and removed a large weir above the colour works (above the slalom site). Has the area become more and more popular, the gorge became the East Midlands Regional Whitewater training site. In 1981 it was thought a club would benefit from the site with permanent open access and help to police and maintain the site. The following years further access agreements were reached for unlimited usage. In 1984, Matlock Canoe Club was formed and to date run and maintain the site
The Matlock Slalom site was used for the first National ranked slalom in 1985.
Over the years the club have tried to acquire land to build a clubhouse; to date we are still searching.
Canoeing is based around the 800 Metre section of the River Derwent called the Matlock Slalom Site, which is Grade 2 (rapid water) The Site has easy access to a permanent slalom course with training gates all year round. In 2013 the Club acquired access and paddling rights along Matlock Bath promenade From the Victorian Shelter toilets, (North promenade) to the far end of the river gardens (South) behind the Pavilion Building Matlock Bath.
Two major events are organised each year a National Division 2/3 Canoe Slalom race in March/April and a Class C and Open River Race in February.
The Club meets every Monday evenings (September to May) at the ARC Swimming Pool Matlock and at the Matlock Slalom Site (April to October 6.30 – 9.00pm).
Tuesday evenings (7.00-9.00am second Tuesday of the month) at the Holme Pierpont Nottingham Slalom site.
Wednesday and Thursday evenings (7.00 – 9.00pm) and Sunday mornings (9.00-12.00am) at the Matlock Slalom site.
The Slalom Site is open for use at any time of the year, and there are usually members present during the evenings and weekends. The course has floodlighting during the winter months.
The first Slalom event appeared on the scene in 1985, and Matlock Canoe Club has always been a pioneering club for this branch of the sport. Over the years the club has produced many national champions, as well as many successes at international level. Recreational and Play boating has been growing over the years, and we have a few members sea kayaking. Wild Water Racing has developed alongside slalom, and although the club has been just as involved in promoting the sport, it has never proved as popular with club members.
Over the years the Club has participated in the National Inter-Clubs Championships, and have always finished in a comparative position with the larger established Clubs.
A limited number of Club boats and equipment available for use by the members, but members are expected to have their own, once they have decided what will best suit their interest.
Elementary training can be provided for new members with the Introduction to basic canoeing skills in the safer environment of the swimming pool and in due course progress on to the river. This training introduces the paddler to techniques required for canoeing on the local rivers.
There are plenty of Coaches and experienced paddlers to support the progression of beginners and more than enough beginners to ensure somebody new to the sport doesn’t feel alone.
Limited Equipment is provided at the Swimming Pool for structured training, Members have access to equipment for the river, but it is limited and there for it’s advisable to book as early as possible.
Club tours are arranged throughout the year with some local evening tours. There are also tours abroad for the experience paddler.
News and diary dates are found on this website under ‘NEWS’ tab. It’s the best way to keep in touch with the Club events and forthcoming activities.
Each Spring Bank Holiday the Club have embarked on a family Weekend either surfing at Gower South Wales and more recently Croyde Bay North Devon.
Everyone is welcome regardless…