Outdoor Partnership Taster Day 24th Sept 2011

September the 24th marked the day of the annual Outdoor Partnership festival at the Plas y Brenin centre in Capel Curig. The Outdoor Partnership was set up in 2003 to improve opportunities for more local people in North West Wales to achieve their potential through outdoor activities.
The festival itself is organised with the intention of allowing clubs and coaches the chance to meet and talk whilst giving club members the chance the have a go at a new sport. On the day we saw 150 local people take part in a range of outdoor activities and skills development workshops. Guest Speakers also attended the festival including Junior Skiing Champion Zac Pierce from Llanfairfechan, Extreme Kayaker Elia Wilkinson from Anglesey and Adventurous Climber Ioan Doyle from Bethesda, all of which gave up their time to talk and inspire everyone.
Our day started early with the ‘interesting’ drive up the Nant Gwynant Pass towing a 27 foot trailer, not recommended unless you can guarantee one way traffic !
Arriving at the centre we made our way through the forest to the far side of the lake to launch our boat down a rough track on what was a very grey and wet morning.
Not to be disheartened we took the short cut over the foot bridge and up to the main building to register for the days activities. Simon took the first coaching session and introduced some fellow Partnership members to the wonderful world of Celtic Longboat rowing whilst Sarah, Gareth, Holly and myself had a go at bouldering and climbing on the indoor wall under the watchfull eye of some fellow instructors. Following lunch we sat down to listen to the adventures of young Zac Pierce the hopeful Olympic skier and coming away quite inspired myself, I took over from Simon for the afternoon coaching session. It’s always a pleasure to introduce complete newcomers to the sport of rowing, especially those who already enjoy the outdoors, as they have no pre-conceptions and are “all ears”. During the afternoon the cloud lifted and we enjoyed some fine views of the Snowdon Massif form the boat as we cruised gently up and down the lake without a care for wind, tide or raging river water !
After recovering the boat and listening to another great talk about sea kayaking we all tucked into a very tasty barbecue washed down with a pint. Sorted. Looking forward to next year already. For more information on the outdoor partnership see their website: http://www.partneriaeth-awyr-agored.co.uk/english/index.php
Pete Hughes

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