Wednesday, July 04, 2007

It's in the papers...

An increasing number of people in my surroundings knows about my kayak-blogging-addiction and provides a steady stream of new information and inspiration. Very close is Janine of course, and while I was paddling with Govert in Anglesey, she has collected some kayak-related press items in the Dutch papers for me. Thanks Janine!

The first item is a tendentious article in "De Telegraaf" in which the DWD-white water track in Zoetermeer is presented as a very dangerous site where a lot of accidents happen. Some NKB-officials and members and are quoted. As an enthusiast user of the DWD-track and chairman of a NKB-committee: I am not happy with this article! Though most facts and quotes are undoubtedly correct, I disagree with the negative overall suggestion of this article in "de Telegraaf". I don't want kayaksport to be presented as an activity for irresponsible thrill-seekers. Grrrr....
A lot of enthousiast people in and around the NKB is working on making kayaking an attractive and accessible leisure activity. Said that, the white water track in Zoetermeer is serious stuff. It's not a recreational track, but a competition track on the highest (Olympic) level. An addition of high value for our sports, designed for top-sporters, certainly not suited for beginners but very interesting for the more experienced. With the NKB we organized some months ago a series of try-outs for experienced recreational WW-kayakers. Purpose of the try-outs was to find out how to train in a safe setting on the track. DWD and NKB have learned a lot of the try-outs and during the series several adjustments on the track and safety management are made. That's positive isn't it?

The second press item is about the dramatic floodings in England and Wales last week. The temptation is big to write about watermanagement and preparing for climate change, but that's part of my working job, leave it here to kayaking. In the "DAG" (one of the new free tabloids) was a picture of two kayakers paddling along flooded houses. We don't know the story behind this picture: are the kayakers inhabitants of the flooded houses paddling home? are it volunteers helping the victims of the flood? are it catastrophe-tourists? (It reminds me on the discussion about Spencer Platts' award winning picture of residents cruising around in a convertible Mini through bombed Beirut). I don't know, but it's a striking picture.

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