Samstag, September 08, 2007

Teaching at Sipoon Kanoottiklubi Finland

Clas Hagelstam from Sipoon Kanoottiklub/ Finland/ near Helsinki invited me to teach a weekend at their club.

They provided a nicely heated little pool at a service house, which just took two kayaks afloat. A perfect teaching site!

My room was just in the same building, actually the office of the club. Clas did a lovely job to host me, filling the fridge, putting up fresh flowers and fruit on the table, preparing meals, donating me a *black* (and white striped...) bathrobe, and taking me around Helsinki for sightseeing on Sunday morning. Thanks, Clas! All old school gentlemen's style... :-)

About 15-18 students each day, three days in a row, and my skin looked almost like the baby's who are normally using the pool, too :-)) - but I still had energy for an outside rolling demo in front of their clubhouse Saturday night before the crayfish-dinner-party.

Friday night after a good salmon dinner I held my 2nd "Lost in Iceland" slideshow, which I started to enjoy more and more to do...I guessed talking a slideshow is not my job - but it is actually fun! People asked a lot of questions, thanks for listening!

Amongst my studets was Harry Haapala, a strong disabled guy, who was very keen on learning how to roll. He was paralyzed from the hip, and we figured it was best for him to learn the forward finishing roll, which he almost got! One more session, and he'll be doing it! Good job!

People on the Sipoon Kanoottiklubi encourage disabled people to go kayaking, and take good care about them, encouraging them to be fairly independent.

They built an easy wheelchair-accessible ramp and boat slide, but the main innovation was a (probably the world's first) remote controlled kayak trolley!

The boat slide, ramp and rack, where the disabled person can swing himself from the wheelchair into the self-launched kayak.

Tom enjyed to demonstrate the remote controlled kayak cart.

Not far away from a kiddy's remote controlled car, but this one has a very useful background!

The loaded kayak can drive down to the slide then to launch!

Henrik smiles at the crayfish party

Thanks for inviting me to teach and lecture!