Jessica Riley has a ton of work to do as head coach of the Yorkton Canoe Kayak Club.
Not only is she in charge of training the competitive athletes, running drop-in sessions, chaperoning athletes while at competitions and running the Dragon Boat sessions (new to YCKC this year), she also has to figure out how to get all the repairs done to the clubhouse, the storage garage, docks and club van. “We have a lot of stuff we need done,” offered Riley during an interview at Sunday afternoon’s Toonie Sunday paddling session. “Right now we’re just trying to get the buildings looking nice, hopefully before our Developmental Regatta. We need a new roof. We’re hoping to go with something aluminum or something that’ll be long-term and very durable.
“The clubhouse needs new siding to protect it from the elements and it also needs new gutters as well.”
The YCKC clubhouse also needs new flooring inside, as well as an upgrade on their current interior panelling and a new dock so that the members of the club, who at this point are, for the majority, children, do not injure themselves.
In addition to the clubhouse, YCKC is also in dire need of a new team van, or rather, a team van that solely belongs to the club; something they have not had in years past. “My personal van has been used over the last few years and unfortunately it has decided that this year will be its last year of life,” laughed Riley. “So we do need a new van for next year. We start travelling in May so if there is anyone that can help us with that, we average anywhere from 5-10 kids, we appreciate it.”
But it’s not all doom and gloom out at York Lake. As of Monday last week the club has electricity. Because of the electricity now flowing through the YCKC clubhouse veins, Riley and company have been able to start on a new clubhouse deck; something that was promised to them when they were unceremoniously moved from their previous location this past fall.
They’ve also purchased a new Dragon Boat (on a payment plan) so that they can offer something different to the community, as well as a new motor boat and trailer.
But while there are positives, the clubhouse is far from ‘mint condition’. And while YCKC would greatly appreciate any and all financial donations, they understand that money doesn’t grow on trees and would gladly accept volunteers to help with roofing and putting up siding, or donations in the form of tiled flooring, roofing materials and siding. “We’re looking for volunteers/man power. We need people with experience in roofing and putting up siding,” mentioned Riley. “We’d also appreciate if people could temporarily donate scaffolding so we could do the roof properly.
“Every little bit helps.”
One way that Riley suggests people donate to the club financially is by taking part in one of the many drop-in paddling sessions offered weekly to the general public (Monday-Tuesday and Thursday-Friday 4:00pm-6:00pm) at a cost of $15.00 per session or on Toonie Sunday starting at 2:00pm.
Riley also urges people to sign up for the Dragon Boat races that will take place on Saturday, August 16 at York Lake. People can sign up as single competitors and be put on to a team or register as a team of 10 with 10 friends/co-workers to compete against people who have the same amount of experience. Dragon Boat registration costs $60.00 per person and includes three Learn-To-Paddle Dragon Boat sessions, one individual non-Dragon Boat session and an individual YCKC membership, and according to Riley, is the best way to help the club out. “The best way, honestly, is through our programs. If people can get involved and buy a membership to the programs, our money goes in to keeping the clubhouse going.”
To make a donation, or to ask a question about volunteering, please contact the Yorkton Canoe Kayak Club at: (306) 786 – 7155 or by email at yorktoncanoekayakc...@yahoo.ca.