Massive congratulations to YMCA Outdoor Education and Adventure Services Manager Gavin Barker, who came 6th place in World Kayaking Championships with the GB Freestyle Kayaking team in San Juan.
Massive congratulations to YMCA Outdoor Education and Adventure Services Manager Gavin Barker, who came 6th place in World Kayaking Championships with the GB Freestyle Kayaking team in San Juan!
We spoke to Gav before he set off on his travels about the sport and why he loves it. His story always reminds us that it’s important to follow your dreams and do what you love.
"It began at a canoe club in Bury, North Manchester, when I was twelve. Since then I’ve managed to keep it as a part of my life wherever I’ve gone!
At Camp WIlliams we teach the basics of canoeing and kayaking, on a stretch of flat water on the River Trent. This is similar to how anyone would start to learn paddle sports. Freestyle is a technical discipline within kayaking and takes place on features created in whitewater sections of rivers. So while the basics are still the same as we teach young people, it takes a number of years to refine those skills to take them into a whitewater environment.
This is my 6th year being part of the GB Freestyle Kayak team. Achieving a place on the GB team was one of the main reasons I moved to Nottingham (aside from working for the YMCA of course!) - so I could train at Holme Pierrepont White Water course.
The World Championships takes place once every two years and is the biggest event in the Freestyle Kayaking calendar. Each country can send a team to take part; Great Britain will send a team to compete in the different categories; Men, Women, Junior Men and Junior Women.
After the Championships, which take place in Argentina, I’m going to go on to Chile and kayak on some of the many world famous rivers that it has to offer, before heading back to Nottingham and Nottinghamshire YMCA!"