The Frank Fraser friendly Sprints & PV short course marathon – Saturday 20th November 2021
Venue: Lake Weeroona
Due to lockdown, we had the run the Bendigo Cup & community FUN paddle in October as a training session.
Victorian paddlers were finally coming out of a long lockdown so it was important to put an event to celebrate an opportunity to meet and paddle. Early this year the club organised some first aid and covid training in preparation for these opportunities.
Bendigo has been running sprint regattas since 1981, and in that time we have seen many changes to the sport and we had to adapt .
A couple of years ago in line with our community sport model we introduced the friendly sprints (as well as the community FUN paddle) with the focus of introducing more people from a range of backgrounds into flatwater paddling .
These events as well as our club trips to other events help support members to be active and engage with the sport.
As Bendigo, had an ideal course, including a floating pontoon, last year PV marathon supported BCC in running the short course marathon as part of the day which was most successful . This year we again had a joint collaboration between BCC, PV marathon and other clubs.
Frank Fraser who turned 90 is a long term member of the club and in honour we named the friendly sprints after him.
- 80 + paddlers on the day from 8 clubs
- A Diverse range of paddlers. All age groups and backgrounds, with many having their first time in sprints
- Good representation of state level paddlers from sprint, marathon, wildwater and single bladers
- The day was very informal with the opportunity to try different partners or craft on the day
- Well run event with official from clubs and PV marathon (some in training).
- Lots of juniors including the Trinity school team( thanks for coming)
- The sprints distances were 400 and 200 metres with the short marathon 3.3 km
- The club provided free morning tea and both the club and Paddle Vic marathon provided some lovely spot prizes
- We have good feedback on the day
“Thank you to BCC , Marathon SC and volunteers for organising a wonderful event. It was a great day out with the sprints in the morning and the short course in the afternoon. The whole day was well organised and ran really well. It’s great to see club events and youth getting involved in a non threatening and friendly place such as bendigo. Hopefully some of the young paddlers will go the bigger events after such a positive day that we had on Saturday. “
The marathon committee are working with the major schools in developing a list of events as part of their calendar .
A similar approach could be used by clubs with to reinvigorate and support their members.