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Here are some stories we have received:

L Burchell -NB Helm Course 

Experienced in skippering vessels on the Tidal Thames, I also wanted to share time with friends on narrow boats on Inland Waterways.  Having never used a tiller I wanted some guidance.  I came accross Islington Boat Club and directed to the RYA Helmsman’s course.
Within 2 days I was on the water with John, a superb Instructor, cool as a cucumber and passionate about boating himself also working and living on the water.

A full day of thorough training and travelled from City Road Basin to Camden Lock then back.
The most enjoyable and relaxing experience training but feeling like it was an idylic trip out.
Left confident with rope work, locks, manouvering in tight spaces and keeping central (most of the time) in tunnels!

I recommend to all who have a boat or considering buying one, there are areas we covered you could not learn by just experience.  Its a safe and fast way to gain confidence for yourself and for others to benefit.

Thank you John for such a great day!


Lily P 13
“I enjoy Islington Boat Club because I love kayaking and we get the opportunities to do offsite trips on white water and learn new skills towards kayaking and paddling to improve our abilities. It’s also a nice place to relax after school catch up with your peers and exercise.”

Sara 13
“Earlier this year we went on a residential trip to Calshot ActivityCentre and did lots of fun new and exciting things like rock climbing, skiing, mountain biking and archery. All these activities gave us certificates”.

Kayne 13
“This year I have been working toward building a Youth Forum at IBC. This will hopefully give all young people the chance to express their views and give us a choice in future opportunities. So far we are learning to fund raise for future possibilities and fun and enjoyment towards IBC”
IBC Youth Forum


Islington Boat Club hasbeen my introduction to kayaking. ‘Freestyle’ soon became my favourite, flipping and cartwheeling the kayak, eventually looping right out of the water. The Boat Club’s regular swimming pool sessions were great practise for this. I paddled all year round, arriving before the gates opened and often the last to leave, breaking the ice through the winter on really cold days. I would practise slalom around the gates suspended over the canal.
Over five years at IBC, I have attended UK river and coast surfing trips, gained paddling qualifications, and represented the club at slalom, being placed 4th out of 79 competitors.
Independently, I flew to Canada for six amazing weeks, tackling some huge rapids on the Ottawa. Once back in the UK, I was able to share what I had learnt with my friends. With my Level 1 coaching qualification, I intend to return to Ottawa for a summer working on the river.
At 18, I now spend less time at The Boat Club; The Olympic White Water Centre, and running many UK rivers with smaller groups taking up more of my time. Having had the ongoing support of the coaches at IBC has opened the door for travel and adventure. Kayaking has become ‘My Way Of Life’ and I intend to travel and explore theworld in my kayak.”
Thank you IBC!
Max Schoonraad
– Club member

“ I took my canoeing to the next level and have made it my life; I fell in love with it as an 11 year old. I started canoeing at the Islington Boat Club at the age of 11, during the six week summer holidays programme. Walking past the Boat Club I was amazed that there was such a cool and exciting centre in London for young people. My first time in a boat I remember I was scared but thrilled at the same time. I was overcome with a sense of adventure. I discovered that canoeing was a sport, and I could channel all my energy into it.
At 16 I reached the premiership division; I was one of the youngest everto do so. I won the junior title and from that day I knew this was the sport for me. It was after that weekend away with the IBC that I wrote in my school maths book ‘Olympic Champion’ and that became my dream. I am now training for the 2016 Olympic Games and World and European sprint championships.
I feel, if it wasn’t for IBC, I would have never found the sport of canoeing, nor a dream I could focus on. IBC gives all young people an environment to build life skills through the common interest in water sports. Many young people have managed to achieve great things as a result of the many challenging experiences IBC offers them.”
George Durden
– Club member


Islington Boat Club,
16-34 Graham Street, Islington,
London, N1 8JX
020 7253 0778.

Registered Charity 287680
Registered Company 01743087