Towergate's VIP Experience at the Canoe Slalom World Cup 2019

This year, we had the honour of an invite from our friends at British Canoeing to attend the first day of the Canoe Slalom World Cup 2019. We were excited to soak up the atmosphere, cheer on Team Britain and watch some amazing athletes compete. So of course, we want to share our experience with you.

Having arrived around 10am after a couple hours’ drive from our Cheltenham office, when entering the centre, we were immediately greeted by volunteers dressed in orange t-shirts. Jaffa – the main sponsors of the event were on hand to direct people to different parts of the course and ensure a smooth running of the event.

Once we entered the centre, we walked straight into the action, there was running commentary on a tannoy system narrating the events taking place before us, school children cheering and shouting and lots of athletes taking on the course one after another. It was lovely to see so many children getting involved and excited about the sport.

Canoe Slalom World Cup canoeing with vigour

The Olympic course, with its five jets, makes it the bigger course at the centre and runs throughout in a curve from top to bottom. A smaller course with three jets is located in the centre too, which the ‘up-and-coming’ athletes were practicing on. They had been invited to take it all in, understand what it’s like for the athletes and generally to get them excited and motivated for their future.

More canoeing

During the torrential downpour, we headed inside the Terrace bar and café, and we were fortunate enough to check out the VIP area inside where we were greeted with pastries, fruit, tea & coffee refreshments. We were able to watch all of the action from the TV whilst we mingled amongst the other VIP guests.

Even more canoeing

When the rain eased off, we ventured back outside, to walk beside the course. The view from the bridge was amazing as we were able to see the whole course and watch the athletes skilfully manoeuvre down it… the atmosphere was electric, and regardless of the weather, the crowds really showed their support, particularly toward the British participants. It was very inspiring to watch and gave real motivation to get out on the water.

Even more canoeing in whitewater

During the break between heats, British Canoeing took us on a tour of the centre. It was so valuable, and we learnt from someone truly passionate about the sport. One of the facts that stuck out was that the hardest gate on the course is gate 2, because it sits right on the first slope downwards where the athlete has lots of momentum to control to be able to pass through it.

After lunch, we headed back out to watch some more of the heats, and also ventured down to the stalls and exhibitors. There was many stalls engaging the school children in the sport, some fun games like Jaffa Pong (giant beer bong, without the beer) and British Canoeing were raising awareness that paddlers are only allowed on 4% of waterways in the UK and how they are campaigning to improve this. Unfortunately, because of the weather, the giant inflatable course was closed, but I’m sure the rest of the weekend it was the main attraction for everybody.

Even more canoeing around

By the end of the day, all the British team had made it through to the semi-finals, and now we know went on collectively to be the top nation at Slalom London and win gold, silvers and bronze, the GB Squads most successful world cup ever! We had a fantastic day and it was very exciting to be a part of, the British squad has so much talent and we were very proud to bear witness and cannot wait to see how much further they go with their careers. We’d like to thank British Canoeing for giving us the opportunity to go down and enjoy it. If you’d like to see more information about the event, or any upcoming events, head over to British Canoeing's website.

Hanging out with the mascot

Towergate Insurance

Date: August 23, 2021

Category: Boat

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