Beginners and experts ply their trade at Holme Pierrepont

Holme-PierrepontHolme Pierrepont Country Park helps numerous Great British Olympic athletes as well as being home to activities accessible to all levels.

So what do people who aren’t national athletes go there for? Luckily we found out when we spent a day at the site which is situated just ten minutes outside Nottingham city centre.

Taking in over 270 acres of parkland, Holme Pierrepont welcomes a number of school groups every week for activities such as raft building and kayaking.

With children learning the importance of team building as well as having fun, the instructors are mainly focused on the safety aspect when it comes to raft building.

However, that doesn’t mean their job isn’t fun, as chief instructor Luke Austin reveals.

Groups of children test out their raft building prowess

Groups of children test out their raft building skills

“Two groups are never the same depending on the weather and other factors meaning that two work days are never the same. That is why I love working here,” he said.

“I only started here a couple of months ago but already I can see that the venue is getting busier and busier with more activities added all the time.”

A clear indication of the range of activities can be seen from the two ends of the park, one supporting lasertag whilst the other hosts waterskiing. And Stefan Walker, also an instructor at Holme Pierrepont, classes himself as extremely lucky to hold the job he does.

“I have been kayaking for nearly 12 years now and the sport is part of my make up now so to have a job here is a dream come true,” he said.

“I have been coming here since I was 12 and it has always been a brilliant place to be in summer having huge amounts of fun using the facilities.

“When I achieved my coaching qualifications and heard there were jobs going here, I knew I had to apply.”

At the other end of the spectrum are the professionals. Home to some of the best facilities and artificial water systems in the country, the white water and slalom causes are regularly flooded with Team GB kayakers.

GB Kayakers also share the facilities

GB kayakers and canoeists also share the facilities

In charge with their development is Ian Respin, the Great Britain Canoeing coach who believes the facilities at the centre enable him to get the best out of the athletes.

“My work involves the under 23’s with the majority of competitors taking this stage as a stepping stone to reach the podium programme which the Olympic athletes are on,” he said.

“My office is based on the grounds and I will be around throughout the week helping all the canoeists who turn up almost every day as well.

“The facilities make it simple for us to train whenever we want with the water system and gates allowing us to create a challenge tailored to different competitions.”

So there you have it! A site just ten minutes away from Nottingham’s city centre with facilities to rival any other across the country. So what are you waiting for? Go down and try out the wide range of activities they have on offer whether your are a beginner or the next Olympic champion!

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