Formed in 1973, the club has always been based in South-West Hertfordshire, originally without a home the club ended up being known as the Nomad Kayak Club for good reason. For many years the club ran pool sessions from the old Watford Central Baths – this ended when it shut for redevelopment. The pool did re-open, but its new form was not suitable for our needs. We are currently on the lookout for a suitable local pool and will then resume indoor training and coaching.
For many years we have had our main base located within the beautiful grounds of the Rickmansworth Aquadrome, until 2009 we occupied a masonry building which was originally the changing rooms for swimmers who used to use the lake. As part of a redevelopment plan our building was then demolished, we currently occupy land opposite the timber building which houses the ‘Café in the Park’ – if you look across the path you can see a gate through to our compound. This is a temporary situation and we are programmed to move into a brand new, purpose built multi use water sports centre in 2014, read more in club future below.
In 1994 the club created a dedicated Canoe Polo training and Sheltered Water Coaching facility, located on Bury Lake it offers our members the chance to train with one of our six canoe polo squads and / or learn to kayak in a safe environment. This facility is not that common among canoe clubs and we are rightly proud of it.
The club has a long association with Canoe Polo and has participated in the national league structure since its inception; our squads have played in every division of the national league with many successes. Over the years our players have been seen competing across the UK and Europe.
Looking back across the years Nomad members have paddled rivers in England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France, Austria, USA and more. There have been many excellent trips away and club members find them very enjoyable. With the new Olympic course now open and only 25 minutes away many trips to this man made facility will take place.
The ’Devises to Westminster’ race is known as the ‘Canoeists Everest’, 125 miles long, with 77 portages, tidal flow on parts of the River Thames and a spring slot on the calendar all combine to make it a real challenge, we have club members that have taken on this challenge and can explain what it takes to complete.
Canoe Surf is not something you would normally associate with a canoe club from Hertfordshire, mainly due to the lack of coastline! However, we have for many years run an annual trip to Croyde Bay in North Devon, a firm favourite with members we always have a great time both on and off the water.Over the years we have entered many Canoe Slalom events, members have represented the club at every level of the national structure.
The club is governed by a committee that meets approximately every six to eight weeks. We encourage our members to make regular contact with them and feedback their opinions, as we wish this to be a club that listens to its members. The following positions currently form our committee:
Chairman, Treasurer, Secretary, Membership Officer, Equipment & Facilities Officer, Webmaster, Youth Officer, Recreational Canoeing Officer, Canoe Polo Officer, Trips Officer and Coaching Officer
The Nomad Kayak Club has always thrived but in 2014 we are going to the next level. In the latter stages of that year we should be moving into a new purpose built multi use water sports facility. The new building will be in the Rickmansworth Aquadrome and front directly onto Bury Lake, we will share the facility with the Bury Lake Young Mariners (BLYM) and Rickmansworth Windsurfing Club. Its spacious modern layout and specification will allow the Nomad Kayak Club to offer the very highest levels of canoeing and kayaking – both on and off the water.
This amazing upturn in the quality of our facilities would only be a dream without the substantial involvement and investment of BLYM and the Three Rivers District Council; we are working closely with them to ensure the building is completed on time and is suitable for our needs.
So, there has never been a better time to become a member of the Nomad Kayak Club.