A ‘HOMELESS’ canoe club based in the Huddersfield area has won a regional competition.
Pennine Canoe Club, which is desperate to find a permanent base, will now represent Yorkshire in a national final.
The club pipped Kingston Kayak Club from Hull on the River Calder in the Battyeford area to earn the honour.
The club was established 20 years ago and stores 70 boats at sites including the Syngenta Sports Club and Leeds Road Playing Fields, Huddersfield.
It has 90 members and some of them are disabled.
It has asked Kirklees Council for permission to set up a permanent home in Mirfield – but a decision has been deferred.
The group wants to construct two jetties and four storage containers on the banks of the River Calder at the Ship Inn car park on Steanard Lane.
Each jetty would be 15 metres long and 2 metres wide.
Seventeen residents wrote to Kirklees opposing the plan.
They said canoes would disturb fish in the area, the containers would be an eyesore and there are not enough parking spaces at the site.
The council’s Heavy Woollen Planning Sub-committee voted to defer a final decision to give the club more time to negotiate with anglers.
Despite all this the club is through to the finals of the National Hasler Marathon Championship which is open to any canoe clubs in the country that can earn enough points within their regional series to qualify for the finals.
These marathon races are open to anyone from relative novices to seasoned internationals over distances of four to 12 miles.
Now Pennine Canoe Club is anxious to win the junior section cup.
Pennine Canoe Club’s marathon section captain Pete Lawton said: “We would dearly like to win this as well, but until we can establish a club house by the water we will always struggle to develop our junior club members despite having lots of interest from youngsters in and around Kirklees wishing to join us.
“It’s a real pity our club cannot get the support it deserves to increase youth sporting opportunities in Mirfield.’’