SCOUTING canoeists now have a shorter journey to practise their paddling skills.
Clayton West Scout Group has recently added a fleet of eight new kayaks to its resources.
Previously members had to travel to Batley to use their canoes.
But the group has now struck a deal with Scissett Swimming Baths to enable paddling much closer to home.
Group Scout Leader, Ewan Scott, said the facility would help people boost their skills in a lower risk environment.
He said: “Some skills have a higher than average risk of capsize, and in the initial stages of development it is good to be able to make quick recovery in the pool.
“The pool also allows us to give physical support that is not always possible on a canal or at Pugneys watersports facility at Wakefield.
“Previously we had to travel to Batley to access pool sessions, but this facility right on our doorstep really makes a difference to accessibility.”
Noah Benzen, an Explorer Scout at the group, said: “This is great, we will be able to practise new skills and in a comfortable environment before trying them for real in the open.”
Scout, Pippa Richardson, added: “We are keen to develop better skills and the pool facility helps our instructors support us in the water.”
Leanne Glover, a younger leader at the group added: “This will help me develop my coaching skills and assist me in becoming a kayak coach myself.”
The scout group, which covers the whole of the Upper Dearne Valley, owns and operates the crafts and provides instructors and training for beginners through to moderate level paddlers.
The kayaks and equipment were funded by the Huddersfield Common Good Trust and the Davey Grassroots Fund, with the balance coming from the Canoe Foundation and the scouts’ own funds.
The Huddersfield Common Good Trust is a local trust with the aims of helping local groups.
The Davey Grassroots Fund is a local fund set up to encourage the participation of Kirklees-based children and young people in sport, with an emphasis on team sports and activities.
The Canoe Foundation is a funding body operating in partnership with the British Canoe Union to promote paddle-sports.