WHO'S WHO?

Board

  • David Wakeling - Acting Chair
  • Eryl Richards
  • Sonja Jones
  • Paul Robertson
  • Andy Booth
  • Jethro Moore
  • Russell Scaplehorn
  • Sarah Williams
  • Joanne Nicholas - Sport Wales Senior Officer

General Manager

  • Jen Browning - General Manager 

Officers 

  • Valerie Ephraim - Administration Officer
  • Nigel Midgley - National Development Officer
  • Paul Marshall - Interim Coaching Manager
  • Jonathan Davies - Talent Pathway Officer 
  • Richard Lee - Performance Manager
  • Thomas Power - Performance Coach
  • Steve Rayner - Waterways & Environment Officer (1 day per week consultancy)

David Wakeling - Acting Chair

As Acting Chair, I see my job as keeping up the momentum generated by Alan Baker to expand the skills and diversity of the Canoe Wales board and our commitment to the Governance & Leadership Fremaework for Wales. I will also strive to keep our members up to date with what’s happening in canoeing, and promoting it at every single opportunity. When I’m out and about, that means listening to paddlers so I can put their views to the Canoe Wales Board – even when those views differ wildly! I try to pick up people’s thoughts and feelings about how things are developing, and how we can improve. I also spend time working with BC to put forward Canoe Wales’ interests at a national level.

It’s not hard for me to promote paddling in Wales – after all, we’ve got so many fantastic places to paddle. Miles of incredible coastline, and rivers for all styles and abilities. 

Jen Browning - General Manager

Jen joined us at the end of May 2017,

As the new General Manager, it’s my job to provide leadership to our experienced staff team and to support our board to deliver our strategic plan – so that we can get more people paddling, provide world-class service to our clubs and members, and bring more Olympic and Paralympic medals back to Wales. As a small organisation with a big remit, our biggest challenge is ensuring that we are responsive to the needs of paddlers at all levels in all disciplines, whilst welcoming new paddlers from a wide range of communities.

 
To do this, I’ll be focusing on making us as efficient and effective as possible so that we can invest more time and resources into exciting new opportunities and events for our athletes and coaches.
Before joining the Canoe Wales team, I spent most of my career at Motivation, an international disability charity in Bristol where I developed programmes to help disabled people get started in sport. I was also a successful Paralympic wheelchair basketball athlete, winning a gold medal for the US team at Athens 2004.
 
After I retired from competition, I was a part of the coaching team for the GB team at London 2012 and I volunteered my time setting up and coaching a youth club in Bristol. Most recently, I spent several years competing in handcycling as part of the British Cycling development team.
 
I’m very excited to be joining the Welsh paddling community, and this year I’ll be on a mission to make my way around Wales to get to know our clubs, members and partner organisations personally – so you should expect to see me soon at an event (or on the water) near you!

Nigel Midgely - National Development Officer

Being National Development Officer is all about encouraging people to get out on the water in Wales – which means bringing together coaching, club development and competition development. My day to day routine is varied, and involves a lot of travelling to clubs, centres and events. At the moment, it means a lot of time organising school clubs and promoting the sport within schools.

I mainly paddle slalom, because I love the challenge of using such precise skills in a dynamic whitewater environment. You can paddle a fast, light boat in so many places, from winning medals (I got a bronze at my first international slalom in Skopje in 1971) to freestyle moves (I’ve hit a double loop in the surf before now) to punching through Hell Hole on the Wye in big flood.

Richard Lee - Performance Manager

Working as the National Performance Manager, with responsibility to develop performance groups in slalom, and more recently in sprint and paracanoe in Wales, a group of committed contracted and voluntary coaches and sport science support staff deliver a programme to about 50 athletes, preparing them to race in National and International races. In a programme funded by Sport Wales, many of the paddlers race for Great Britain as well as the Welsh National team, and it is a privilege to work with such a group  hard working, positive and motivated paddlers and support team.
 
Having been lucky to be involved in sport for over 35 years as a canoeist, club member, sports development officer, administrator and for the last 10 years as a coach with the Great Britain and Welsh teams, the values that we look to create in the squads are guided by the phrase “Work hard. Expect nothing. Take responsibility. Enjoy yourself”. Outside of sport, I can be found with my family, in the country, near a river, with some music
 

Steve Rayner – Waterways & Environment Officer

I have joined the Canoe Wales team at an exciting time, as we keenly await the outcome of the Welsh Government’s consultation on improving opportunities to access the outdoors for responsible recreation!

My responsibility is to lead Canoe Wales’ activities to develop and promote access to the waterways of Wales whilst protecting and conserving the natural and urban environment. This is a part-time appointment, so I regret that I may not be able to get involved in individual access issues, but I would nevertheless be pleased to hear about them at environment-officer@canoe.wales, so I can build a full picture of the current situation in Wales.

I am primarily a recreational white-water kayak and open canoe coach but I also dabble in slalom and polo (and occasionally the sea!). I am currently Chair of Brecon Canoe Club and the Canoe Wales Slalom Committee and am most often seen nowadays hanging around river banks at weekends, watching my daughter compete or train for slalom races!

 

Gareth Bryant - Carmarthenshire Watersports Development Officer

My post is part funded by Canoe Wales and Carmarthenshire County Council, I am based at Llandysul Paddlers Canoe Centre in West Wales. I have been involved with paddling since the early 80’s and over this time I have helped develop the site in Llandysul which is open all year at any time for paddlers to use. 

As part of my role I organise events at the site including the Teifi Tour, River Festival, National Slalom competitions from division 4 – 1, Rens Henllan Falls Race and the French training camp each year. The site is now ideal for running coaching courses and we hold level 1 and 2 coaching courses as well as all the star tests in both canoe and Kayak. Llandysul is ideally set up for Slalom and has produced a number of Welsh and GB paddlers over the years, as part of my role I coach 4-5 sessions a week on site and travel to around 20 events per year supporting the slalom team.
 
I have supported Canoe Wales with a number of projects over the years and am looking forward to the next stage of developments both within Canoe Wales and at the site in Llandysul. 
 
To contact the centre in Llandysul or myself please email bpaddlers@aol.com or call the centre on 01559363209 or my mobile 07900570440 the website address is www.llandysul-paddlers.co.uk 

 

Happy paddling everyone, see you on the river…….
  • Nominations open for 2017 Canoe Wales Awards

    Tell us who should be this year's award winners!

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