Through the Together Fund, Sport England and the National Lottery are providing community organisations with extra support to help local people get active. County Durham Sport supported Adventure Access with their successful Together Fund application. This is their story.
Adventure Access is a community interest company offering a range of outdoor and water-based activities. They are based in Seaham Harbour Activity Centre and deliver activities in Seaham, County Durham, and even further afield. Through the Together Fund they have been offering canoeing to older adults and people with disabilities. County Durham Sport team member, Miles Lowson, recently visited their canoeing session with older adults to see how things have been going. Here’s what he had to say.
What’s going well?
The session provided a new experience to a community who may not have otherwise participated in the activity, both from a physical, psychological, and financial perspective. The session was very well run by the excellent instructors, who put people’s minds at ease and were on hand to paddle for people if needed.
The boats are constructed in a way that people only have to paddle on one side. This created a very relaxed atmosphere at the group and a gentle way for people to be introduced to canoeing. Participants got a good workout but weren’t exhausted! Additionally, the relaxed nature of canoeing gave people a chance to take in the sights along the River Wear. The group I was in took delight in all the nature along the river, including fish leaping out the water, the various species of ducks, and birds nesting or looking after their chicks. All of this, alongside the fantastic views of Durham Cathedral, made the session one not to miss!
The canoeing was also a great chance for people to mix. Participants got to know each other whilst coordinating their paddling to keep the boat straight, leading to the development of friendships. People often stayed after the session to chat over a cup of tea and some refreshments. Everyone left feeling fulfilled that they had tried a new activity and gained a new interest!
County Durham Sport are proud to be able to support organisations like Adventure Access to make a difference to the lives of County Durham communities. Join us in celebrating the amazing impact of this Sport England/National Lottery funding by sharing your story on social media with the hashtag #TogetherFund.