Canoe club as a club is probably the most inclusive club I have ever been in. From the first day there was never any intimidating hierarchy or separation between those that had been before and the newbies, Freshers and older members (we even have a few people not at uni in their 40's that come along), and experienced and novices, everyone trains at the same time in the same place. The coaching is second to none, you work on a 1-2 basis with someone who probably started the same as you, by joining the club and kayaking for the first time at university, allowing you to focus on your own progress and not compare it to others. Whilst you aren't in a boat everyone always sits in a large group and chats together, making it not only a sports but also a great socialising opportunity. There are no cliques and no real tensions between members, everyone gets on with everyone. The supportive atmosphere is incredible, I always remember my first river rolls I did when I had the whole club screaming and cheering for me as I emerged from under the water having just gone over a 2 foot drop upside down, and remaining in my boat to roll up after. When I told my mum I was going on a 2 week white water trip to the Alps, she expressed some concerns about health and safety. I remember her grilling me on safety procedures, insurance, water safety, what to do if it goes wrong etc, and how impressed she was when I told her about how we had done extensive safety training, insurance and ferries had been sorted months ago, and the plan of exactly where in Austria Slovenia and France we would be staying and camping. To organise this was no mean feat for a group of under 25s but they pulled it off and I had the best holiday I have had. Finally, although we are outwardly not a competitive club, the few competitive disciplines are so easy to get involved in and anyone I allowed o go to competitions, no matter their previous experience, as long as they train hard and show dedication. Overall I could not have asked for a better, more inclusive, and more caring club than canoe.