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Frome Canoe Club welcomes GB coach

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Frome Canoe Club welcomed British Canoeing coach, Zak Franklin, recently to talk to the club coaches and Young Paddlers committee, before leading a training session with the club’s slalom paddlers.  

Frome Canoe Club say, “Zak coaches some of our Frome paddlers in the British Canoeing’s Talent Academy, which identifies young talent at club and competition level and then coaches them towards selection for the GB team.  Zak is currently ranked GB 2nd in the sport of Canoe Slalom, which has become increasingly successful for Frome Canoe Club in recent years. 

 “Zak started his visit with a tour of the club and a round-table discussion with some of the coaches, where he was able to offer some suggestions for development in the club’s approach, such as off-water fitness training and avenues to approach for potential funding.  

“He then led a presentation to the club’s young paddlers and those up-and-coming in slalom. He talked about how he started in the sport, and his progression through to the Premier division and international competition.  Zak spoke about the challenges in his racing career, and how he worked on his development alongside his younger sister, Mallory Franklin, who recently qualified for the GB Team.”

“To be honest, I love what I do,” he told them.  “I found that I was good at coaching as well as racing, and I think this might have been useful to Mallory in her career.  Keeping the enjoyment in the sport and knowing I’ve done my best when I’m racing helps me pick myself up after a disappointing race result and to get back training again ready for the next one.”

 Zak then led a training session in conjunction with slalom coach John Kent, which saw 12 of the club’s 22 nationally-ranked paddlers on the water, culminating in time-trials and a team race.  “Having Zak here was really valuable,” said John.  “He was able to take a fresh look at what we’re doing and offer some ideas.  Having him at the club has been inspirational for the younger paddlers, and it’s given him a chance to see the broad range of talent that we have, from those entering the sport to those working towards promotion from Division 1 to the Premier Division.”

 Zak was surprised and impressed by the depth and breadth of the coaching and the quality of the club facilities saying,  “I can only think of maybe one other club in UK Slalom that has facilities this good.

“With everything that you provide at the club from new-starters, polo and fun-paddling to white-water river trips and slalom coaching, it’s no wonder that Frome Canoe Club is so well represented in the prizes at national competitions.  Success breeds success, and I predict that you could have maybe three  paddlers in the Premier Division over the next couple of years, which will be a great motivator to those entering the sport.”

 Frome currently has four paddlers training with the Talent Academy; Aimee Collins, Jacob Lines and Finn and Otto Johnson. They train with Zak and his team at the National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham and on the Olympic course at Lee Valley in London.  They said, “It was great to have Zak at the club and show him why we’re so proud of what we have here, and it was great for the rest of the club to meet him”. 

 Frome Canoe Club always welcomes new members and those wanting to try the sport.  For details, visit www.frome-canoe- club.org.uk or visit the club on Wednesday evenings throughout the summer.


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