FAQ – Answers

1. How do I start Kayaking and Canoeing & do I need any previous experience?

If you would like to try kayaking and canoeing with MADCC you should come to a club night to meet us and find out more. We can usually get new people on the water for a try-out “Paddle Start” session on most club evenings.

Our introductory “Paddle Start” sessions and the Discover Award are suitable for absolute beginners and you do not require any paddling experience – just come along and have a go with one of our qualified club instructors.

Club sessions are held on Mondays at Bollington and on Thursdays at Brereton between April and the end of September  – when the evenings are light.

During the winter months (October to March) pool sessions are held on Fridays at Bollington Swimming Baths.

All club sessions are supervised by fully qualified BC club coaches with the help of experienced club paddlers.

If you would like to find out more about joining MADCC or book a try-out “Paddle Start” session, please contact us using the contact form.

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2. What should I bring?

To begin with you do not need to buy any specialist clothing. You will get splashed and dripped on, so wear clothes that you don’t mind getting damp and perhaps a bit muddy. A windproof jacket is also very useful (an old cagoule is perfect).
Don’t wear jeans or heavy cotton clothing as they feel very cold once they are wet.
Try and wear some form of water shoes or plimsolls as larger footwear/trainers may not fit within some of the kayaks.
Make sure that you bring a full change of clothes and a towel in case of unexpected swims!


You should be able to swim at least 50m for our sessions, if you cannot do and still want to paddle please contact a club coach.

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3. What does the club provide?

The club provides paddling equipment for you, a kayak, a paddle and a buoyancy aid. Just bring yourself, a change of clothes and a towel.

Please note that MADCC does not have any changing rooms or toilets at the Bollington site.

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5. Do I have to be a MADCC Canoe Club Member to take part?

We would like you to be a member and this gives a considerable discount when borrowing equipment, but we want you to feel like you want to join so we allow none members to attend three sessions whilst making up their minds. For beginners this could include an introductory ‘Paddle Start’ session, whilst deciding whether they would like to join or not. Those wishing to book onto our British Canoeing Discover or Explore Awards will require a Macclesfield and District Canoe Club membership.

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6. How much does it cost?

Sessions cost £5 for a member and £10 for a non-member per session at Bollington and Brereton for hire of equipment (this includes all equipment and tuition). If you have your own equipment sessions are free. to members. Annual membership fees are Juniors £20.00 Adults: £35.00 Family: £50.00

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7. How long do sessions last?

You will spend a bit of time on the land whilst we find you the right boat, paddle and safety equipment. For our introductory ‘Paddle Start’ sessions, expect to be out on the water for approximately 60-90 minutes depending on how you get on.

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8. What should I bring?

To begin with you do not need to buy any specialist clothing. You will get splashed and dripped on, so wear clothes that you don’t mind getting damp and perhaps a bit muddy. A windproof jacket is also very useful (an old cagoule is perfect).

Don’t wear jeans or heavy cotton clothing as they feel very cold once they are wet.
Try and wear some form of water shoes or plimsolls as larger footwear/trainers may not fit within some of the kayaks.

Make sure that you bring a full change of clothes and a towel in case of unexpected swims!

NB: You should be able to swim at least 50m before canoeing. But if you cannot and are older than 8 then speak to a club coach.

Check the weather before leaving the house to ensure you take clothing to suit the conditions. If it is sunny, do not forget to wear sun cream and bring a cap as the reflection off the water can be strong. 

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9. Will there be other people on the water at the same time?

Yes. We are a busy club and once the nights get lighter many of our members enjoy paddling most Monday & Thursday evenings. There is no need to worry as your coach will provide the appropriate supervision and guidance and you will not be left on the water alone. 

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10. What can I expect in the session?

The aim of our introductory Paddle Start’ sessions and the Discover Award is to teach you the basic principles and techniques of Paddlesport whilst providing you with a fun paddling experience in a safe environment. You may also have the opportunity to try different boats and discover what paddling has to offer. 

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11. Can I turn up on the day without booking?

We need to ensure we have enough coaches available and equipment available, so please get in touch in advance if you want to join one of our  sessions . You can do this by e-mailing us or using the contact form. If you are unsure come along at the start of a session and speak to one of the coaches. and see what we do.

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12. Is there any space on Monday or Thursday night for paddling?

Members can check whether any free slots (during COVID) are available by checking the Forum on the website

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13. Are the sessions on tonight?

Members can check current status and post a question on the Forum on the website

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14. What does the club provide?

The club provides paddling equipment for you, a kayak, a paddle and a buoyancy aid. Just bring yourself, a change of clothes and a towel.

PLEASE NOTE: There are no changing rooms or toilets available at the Bollington location.

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15. Do you hire boats to members/ non-members?

Daily boat hire charges are £5 for a member and £10 for a non-member. If members want to hire a boat outside of normal club sessions then speak to the trip/event organiser or a member of the committee.

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16. Will there be changing facilities and toilets?

Please note that we do not have any changing facilities or toilets at the Bollington site.

We do have facilities and toilets on Thursday evenings at the Brereton site. 

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17. What is the minimum age?

Our introductory ‘Paddle Start’ sessions are suitable for those aged 8 and over. Juniors aged 8 to13 can complete the British Canoeing Discover Award by attending the weekly Youth sessions. Anyone aged 13+ can complete the award via one of our Discover courses. 

Your coach will advise you whether you are suitable to complete the British Canoeing Explore award. 

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18. Do we go elsewhere other than the Macclesfield Canal and Brereton lake whilst completing the courses?

Yes! During both our British Canoeing Discover and Explore awards, we will be holding at least one on moving water. In addition, each weekend there’s a club activity scheduled and can accommodate members who are completing British Canoeing courses.

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19: Can I hire a boat for Thursday night?

To request and book a boat at Brereton, send an e-mail to madcc.brereton@gmail.com

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20. How do I book a pool session?

The club runs pool sessions through the winter months at the Bollington Leisure Centre – a great place to learn capsize techniques, rolling skills and practice support strokes. To book a session contact the Treasurer, Pat Davison.

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21. Can I go straight to completing the British Canoeing Explore Award?

Yes. If you have completed a British Canoeing Discover (or the old 1 star award) with a different club or have previous experiencing paddling, then we may suggest going straight to completing the British Canoeing Explore Award. This is a conversation you can have with one of our coaches after completing one of our introductory sessions.

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22. How do I get in contact with MADCC Chair / Secretary / Membership Secretary?

Chris Wood (Membership Secretary) , Alan Armstrong (Chair), Alan Tonge (Club Secretary)

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