Matlock Canoe Club was formed in 1984 and is a member of the British Canoe Union.
The club meets every Wednesday evening at the slalom site.
On Monday evenings we also meet at the Matlock Lido Swimming Pool for general practice sessions.
The club is not just for paddlers, we welcome the involvement of all the family.
We have a number of families where both paddlers and non-paddlers are actively involved.
Access to the River Derwent is available from the car park at Artists Corner to the bottom of the slalom course.
The course is a grade 2 rapid and has approximately 35 slalom gates permanently in place for practise.
The course also has flood lighting facilities.
A division 2/3 national ranking slalom is held at the site every year.
The River Derwent, between Matlock and Matlock Bath (A6).
OS Ref. Sheet 119 1:50,000 SK 296587.
My First Slalom Event
by Glen Cropper
The seat of my kayak was the only comfortable thing in the race. I felt scared, nervous but also excited. My last practice was the best so far, it had left me feeling exhausted. Would I finish the race?
Ahead of me I could see the first 10 gates and round the corner were the other 8 gates. The white foam of fast flowing water and a great challenge lay ahead. My fellow Matlock Canoe Club members were standing nervously at the side of the riverbank. I could hear them frantically cheering me on and this made me feel better and the water was flowing past my boat and down the river.
At that moment, it happened - the countdown: 60 seconds, 30 seconds, 15, 10, 5, 321 -GO!
The first 10 gates were easy but, I was worried that I would fall in the river. Each time I approached a gate I could feel the water splashing up from my paddle and I could hear it more loudly as I rushed down the river.
As I approached the last 8 gates, my arms felt like they were about to drop off. I could not think about anything other than finishing the race. I struggled to keep going and I made a mistake; I leant upstream when I should have leant downstream and the water started to flood into my cockpit. I had to finish with my half drowned boat.
I swam through the last gate taking my kayak with me. I felt worried that my team members would be angry with me but they said that I had done fantastic for my first event.
Despite my failing to finish I enjoyed the race. Kayaking keeps me fit and healthy. I have improved a lot since then and now I don't know why I felt so scared on my first event. I would recommend kayaking to anyone. It is a really enjoyable sport.