Balmy Beach Canoe Club


Whether this is your first year or eighty-first year as a member of The Balmy Beach Canoe Club, read on. This is the Club Handbook and your ‘survival’ guide for the year ahead. Here is what you will find inside:

We have four Teams going into this season: The Executive Team and The Coaches Team are enthusiastic; what is needed is the enthusiasm and energy of The Paddlers Team and The Parents Team. Our greatest strength is our Paddlers Team. Welcome to it; encourage your friends to join as well. There is strength in numbers, so come’on, get up, and let’s…


Of significant value to our racing program is our Summer Sports Day Camp which is run out of the Main Club. Information on the camp will also be found in this handbook.

History of The Balmy Beach Club

The Balmy Beach Club, a non-profit organization, has served Toronto, the Beach community and its amateur athlete members for 97 years – getting close to the 100th Anniversary.

The Club land was deeded to the residents of the Beach by Sir Adam Wilson and The Balmy Beach Club was incorporated in 1903 so its members could pursue such sports as "lawn bowling, tennis quoits, rowing, sailing, swimming, shooting, golf, baseball, football and cricket". Construction of the Club House was underway and it was opened for its members in 1905. Fire destroyed the Club House in 1936 but through the efforts of several of its members, it was rebuilt, only to have another fire destroy that Club House in 1963. Again, a number of members wasted little time in rebuilding the Club House and the present Club House was reopened in 1965.

Initially, The Balmy Beach Club was made up of two main sections - The Balmy Beach Canoe Club and The Balmy Beach Lawn Bowling Club. The Balmy Beach Lawn Bowling Club involved just that but The Balmy Beach Canoe Club had under its jurisdiction the operation of other sections, namely, the Rugby Club, the Hockey Club, the Squash Club and other sports such as football, harriers, volleyball, basketball, deck tennis, surf boarding, tennis and anything that the members wanted to take part in. Needless to say the membership of The Balmy Beach Canoe Club kept growing and in 1972 the Constitution of The Balmy Beach Club was rewritten and the Board of Directors became an elected body by all members of The Balmy Beach Club. Incorporated into the Constitution was the formation of five sections of The Balmy Beach Club –

History of The Balmy Beach Canoe Club

Canoe racing has been part of The Balmy Beach Canoe Club since 1905 but it was 1907 when the Club joined the Canadian Canoe Association ("CCA"). Presently, it is one of six clubs that are members of the Western Ontario Division ("WOD") of CCA. Competitive racing is offered in eight age categories, ranging from Atom (under age 10) to Masters (over age 25). Our Club has a rich tradition of successful competition over the years at the international, national, provincial and local levels, including –

Mission Statement

The Balmy Beach Canoe Club is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the sport of sprint canoe and kayak racing in the Beach community. The Club’s goal is to provide a safe and enjoyable, recreational and/or competitive environment, for members of all ages and abilities. Programs are designed to develop both the physical and mental strength of individual members while encouraging team and Club spirit.

Club Administration

The management of the affairs of The Balmy Beach Canoe Club is vested entirely in its Executive Board. The Executive consists of the offices of  Commodore, 1st Vice-Commodore, 2nd Vice-Commodore, Rear Commodore, Treasurer, Secretary, Past Commodore, a Paddlers’ Representative, the Head Coach and Executive appointed Directors. The current Board is listed on the back cover of this handbook.

The Club is a non-profit organization whose expenses are considerably higher than Club registration fees. Fundraising activities are required to maintain operations and to provide professionally coached programs and up-to-date competitive equipment. In order for the success of the Club to continue, involvement by parents and paddlers is essential and is a condition of membership. Commitment to assist and participate in a fundraising event will be requested from each paddler family upon registration.

Social/fundraising events take place throughout the year starting with the Hair of the Dog Run on January 1. Our major fundraiser – the 200 Club Elimination Draw will be held in June this year, followed by a Corporate North Canoe Challenge in July. Glenn Miller dances; bar-b-ques; a CCA send-off will also continue. We welcome new ideas for other events. Watch the newsletters for up-to-date information.

Again this year the Club is requesting that each paddler family commit to officiate at one regatta during the season. Instruction will be provided before the start of the season and posts assigned according to experience. The volunteer base of officials is under serious stress and the Board feels the obligation to assist. Without regatta officials, there would be no regatta. We are hopeful you will understand and participate.

The Club coaching staff is required to have various degrees of accreditation in the National Coaching Certificate Program, training in C.P.R. and Safety and First Aid, and to have the authorized Harbour Commission/Port Authority motor boat license(s). No one without a boat license may drive a boat. All Club coaches, boat drivers and officials are aware of the code of safety of the Ontario Canoe Sprint Racing Affiliation of Canoe Ontario and will enforce it.

Club Coaches

The Club’s coaches are competent and qualified. Feel free to approach them with your concerns. Assistant coaches will be assigned for the Bantam and Masters programs for the summer season.

Here’s the scoop on …..

ROB STOTT - Head Coach
Rob is entering his 21st year as a paddling coach and his 8th year at Beach. He began paddling in Mississauga, and has coached at Orenda Canoe Club in Nova Scotia, Burloak Canoe Club and Toronto Canoe Club. Rob’s fondest achievement was in 1986, the last time CCA was on Centre Island, when he won Junior Mens C-4, Senior Mens War Canoe and the overall Burgee with Missy. Rob is married to paddler Kim Stott and they have one child – a daughter, Willow Beach. Rob practices Structural Integration Bodywork and is a student of the Feldenkrais Method and Aidido.

LEIGH ROWORTH - Bantam Coordinator/Development Coach

In her tenth year as a paddler at Balmy Beach, Leigh is our new Bantam Coordinator. She is also a third year student at York University pursuing a degree in geography, with hopes to attend teachers college after graduation. In her time with the Club, she has spent three years with the Summer Sports Camp, most recently as the camp's onsite director. After helping to coach the Masters Program for the past five years, Leigh is looking forward to working with the Club's up and coming young paddlers.

SHAWN DINN - Masters Coordinator

Shawn began paddling with Beach in 1997 and quickly immersed himself in the sport. In 1999, he was a member of Beach’s winning Junior Mens War Canoe at the Nationals. Last summer, he came on board as the Masters Coordinator and enjoyed the season to such a great extent that he will stay on despite his demanding new career as a firefighter. Shawn is also our chief handyman and heads up our Bay boat house renovations. He has a university degree in physical education.

Paddling Programs

The Balmy Beach Canoe Club offers paddling programs for all ages and at all levels of competitiveness. No previous paddling experience is necessary and the Club supplies all equipment. Two sessions are available: Spring and Summer from May 1st - October 31st and Fall and Winter from November 1st - April 30th. The following programs are offered during one or both of these sessions:

The Club also offers a Kids Summer Sports Camp (Ages 8-12) during July and August. Information on the camp follows the descriptions of the paddling programs.

Practices vary from season to season so please consult the current schedule for exact practice times for each program.

Atom Program

A new 7 week program offered in the summer of 2002 (July and August) for boys and girls ages 8 to 10 to provide an introduction to paddling, and to allow them their own time period separate from the Bantam Program. The program involves learning all aspects of water safety; how to paddle a canoe and kayak; the team work involved in paddling the 15 person war canoe; and game playing to enhance skill. Practices are held on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons from 1:15 p.m. until 3:15 p.m. Participants will have an opportunity to participate in an Atom regatta held at the Mississauga Canoe Club at the beginning of August, but may also be invited to participate in regional inter-club regattas held on most Saturdays until mid-August.

Bantam Program

The Bantam Program is offered to boys and girls ages 10 to 14. It provides an introduction to competitive canoe and kayak racing with emphasis placed on water safety, equipment care, skill development, team spirit and fun. Participants train in singles boats, doubles and fours team boats, and the 15 person war canoe. The program is divided into three segments (May and June), (July and August), (September and October). Participants may participate in one or all of the segments, but there is no reduction in price for limited involvement. In May and June and September and October, practices are held three times a week – on weekdays after school and on Saturday mornings. In July and August, the program runs from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Tuesdays to Fridays. Starting in mid-June, participants may be involved in regional inter-club regattas held on most Saturdays until mid-August. They may also attend divisional qualifying trials where top crews go on to the Cloverleaf Championships (attended by clubs from Western Ontario, Eastern Ontario and Quebec) and the Ontario Championships.

Development Program

Generally but not necessarily, participants in the Development Program are 13 to 16 years and have at least one season of paddling experience. Training becomes more intense with practices held at least three times a week on a year-round basis - on weekdays in the late afternoon, possibly on some early mornings, and on Saturday mornings. From mid-June to mid-August, participants are involved in regional inter-club regattas held on most Saturdays. Emphasis is on "learning to train", especially in singles boats, but paddlers also train and race in doubles and fours team boats and the 15 person war canoe. They attend qualifying trials for the Ontario Championships and National Championships and, if successful, go on to participate at these events. During the off-water season, training involves swimming, running and some weight training.

Competitive Program

Generally but not necessarily, participants in the Competitive Program are 15 years and older and have moved on from the Development Program with a desire to train at this higher level. The theme here is "training to compete" with greater emphasis placed on skill development, technique and personal fitness. Practices are held four to five times a week on a year-round basis - in the late afternoon, early mornings and on Saturday mornings. From mid-June to mid-August, participants are involved in regional inter-club regattas held on most Saturdays. Paddlers train and race in singles boats, and doubles and fours team boats and the 15 person war canoe. They attend qualifying trials for the Ontario Championships and National Championships and can expect to qualify to participate in some races at these events. During the off-water season, training involves swimming, running and weight training.

High Performance Program

The High Performance Program is designed to meet the needs of the Club’s most serious athletes with the highest degree of paddling experience and whose objective is selection to either the Provincial or National Team. Paddlers will attend Provincial and National Team trials. Goal setting is stressed and reviewed regularly, with emphasis placed on skill development, technique, personal fitness and nutrition. Paddlers attend six to eight practices a week on a year-round basis, with practices held weekdays in the early mornings, late afternoons, and on Saturday mornings. From mid-June to mid-August, participants are involved in regional inter-club regattas held on most Saturdays. They train mostly in singles boats but are able to train and race in doubles and fours team boats and the 15 person war canoe. They attend qualifying trials for the Ontario Championships and National Championships and can expect to qualify to participate in races at these events. These paddlers are encouraged to attend a March training camp in Florida. During the off-water season, training involves swimming, running and weight training.

War Canoe Program

All participants in the Development, Competitive and High Performance Programs may and are encouraged to participate in the War Canoe Program, but it is also offered as a stand-alone program. This program is designed to meet the competitive needs for youth 14 years and over. War canoe paddling skills are taught with personal fitness and team building being an integral part of the program. Practices are held at least once a week during May and June and three times a week during July and August. Crews can expect to participate in most Saturday regattas during July and August, and attend qualifying trials for the Ontario Championships and National Championships and can expect to qualify to participate at these events. Selection of crews at regattas will be the decision of the coaches. Skill and participation at practices will be determining factors.

PeeWee/Bantam Winter Training Program

A new program, introduced in 2002 for youth ages 11 to 14, running during February, March and April, with practices on Thursdays from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. and on Saturdays from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. Participants get a head start on the paddling season. The main focus of the program is an introduction to strength training with the use of light implements such as medicine balls and the use of one’s body weight. Restricted free weight lifting is carefully introduced with full instruction and supervision. Other activities include jogging, stretching and game playing.

Masters Program

The Masters Program provides a recreational program for adults age 25 and up, but offers as well competitive opportunities for everyone, including novices. Participants have access to kayaks, canoes, and the war canoe. Practices are held three times a week – on two evenings and on one weekend morning. During the Spring and Summer season, early morning (before work) practices may also be scheduled. There are four regional regattas open to Masters during the months of May to September. The summer culminates with the CANMAS Masters Championships in late August (held on the Sunday immediately following the National Championships) and it is reasonable to expect that a Master will compete in this event in his/her first year of paddling. The Masters Program offers an excellent way to improve aerobic and fitness skills and meet people. During the off-water season, training involves swimming, running and weight training.

Kids Summer Sports Camp

This is the Balmy Beach Canoe Club’s dynamic, high energy multi-sport summer day camp offering a full day program for boys and girls ages 8 to 12, weekly during the months of July and August. Children participate in a wide variety of sports and games, instructional and non-instructional - soccer, lacrosse, swimming, baseball, capture-the-flag, medic, as well as theme days and day trips. An introduction to sprint canoeing and kayaking is provided through an instructional program twice a week to participating camp children. The camp focuses on the child’s self-esteem, active participation, sportsmanship and general fitness. The Camp runs weekly from July 1 to August 23, 2002. For more information, call the Camp Manager, Lynn Roworth, at 416-691-9802 (leave message). Early registration discount date is June 7, 2002.

Club Safety

Safety issues can never be ignored in our sport. Because most of our training is done on Lake Ontario waters, the cold water temperatures present an obvious hazard. Though some boats may appear to be more stable than others, this can never be taken for granted. Our coaches educate paddlers on the risks, on how to avoid them and what to do if the unplanned happens. They are required to enforce the code of safety of the Ontario Canoe Sprint Racing Affiliation of Canoe Ontario and the regulations that follow and paddlers are expected to cooperate fully.

All paddlers must be insured through Canoe Ontario before being allowed to participate in the canoe/kayak program. This is done automatically by the Club after a fully completed Membership is submitted to the Registrar. This cost of insurance is covered in the registration fee, so it is important that forms are submitted by the dates requested.

All paddlers must and will receive safety instruction before going on water.

In addition,

AND in the Ashbridges Bay Training Area….. Managing a Capsized Boat

Remember…. Those who tell you they have never fallen in are lying. It is a part of learning and improving. All involved from paddlers to cox to motor boat drivers must be aware of and comfortable with the proper way to handle such a situation.


Paddlers must :

SHOULD A WAR CANOE TIP ….. Although this is an event that we would like to avoid, it has happened and it will happen again. Above all, everybody must try to


Sun Protection

Parents and paddlers are concerned about outdoor activities in light of research on ozone layer developments, including a report from the UN Environment Program exploring ultraviolet solar radiation effects on the immune system, as well as the more established concerns about skin cancer. Sprint canoe/kayak racing clearly has an exposure to such concerns as shade is sparse on the water but events are of veryshort duration, especially compared to most other outdoor sports, so should not cause any substantial risk. Where regatta sites lack natural shade, the Club will be using a portable canopy and/or tarpaulins strung beside the Club trailer to protect our paddlers both from the sun and the rain.

The Club is committed to staying informed on this topic and will pass along any guidelines, suggestions on protective measures, etc. So far the following facts should be considered carefully:

Care of Boats and Equipment

The Club has a wide range of canoes and kayaks and associated equipment to meet the needs and abilities of all the participants. Please Treat with Care. We all know that a boat in good condition is a pleasure to use (and goes faster!). Some paddlers have purchased their own boats, floorboards, paddles, buns, lifebelts, etc. These are marked accordingly and should not be used without permission. Coaches will determine the appropriate boat for paddlers to use, one of the reasons being there is a maximum weight for different kayaks. Only experienced paddlers may use the boats that are designed for racing.

Before and While Using Boats and Equipment….

Make sure you are instructed on how to carry your boat and place it in the water. Ask a coach if you are not sure. Remember…..

After Using Boats and Equipment…. Repeat this procedure two or three times. CLOTHING

From mid-June on, paddlers are involved in regattas held on most Saturdays, sometimes on Saturdays and Sunday, culminating with the CCA National Championships in late August. Races are 200m; 500m; 1000m in length. They are organized by age groups, with men competing against men and ladies competing against ladies in kayaks or canoes in K-1s; K-2s; K-4s; C-1s; C-2s; C-4s; and war canoes. The following shows the structure of Sprint Canoe/Kayak Racing competition categories under the Canadian Canoe Association.

Competition Categories –
Category Age 

(On 1st of January of the year of the competition)

Atom Under 10  
Peewee 10 - 11  
Bantam 12 – 13  
Midget 14 – 15  
Juvenile 16 – 17  
Junior 18+  
Senior 18+ Based on points accumulated at CCA 
Masters 25+  

Please refer to the regatta schedule in this handbook. Paddlers should discuss with their coach which regattas they will be able to attend. With this information, the coach can confirm which age groups will attend which regattas and plan crew entries. Paddlers should strive to make sure they attend all regattas for which they indicated they were available. Absences can disrupt crews with which a paddler has been training and may even mean a full crew is not available and the entry must be scratched. Such a situation is disappointing and frustrating for fellow paddlers and coaches. Please let one of the coaches know as soon as possible if any new plans interfere with regatta attendance.

Wherever possible, parents are expected to attend out of town regattas to supervise their paddler(s) (under age 19). Where this is not possible, prior arrangements must be made so that a guardian is appointed and held responsible for a paddler and the coach(s) is informed of the arrangements. We encourage the families of our paddlers to join the Club contingent at as many regattas as possible. The events and locales make for an enjoyable family vacation or a day’s outing and our paddlers need all the supporters possible to cheer them on. It is also an excellent way to meet other paddlers and their families.

Regional Inter-Club Regattas

Paddlers compete locally against other clubs in the WOD Division at regional inter-club regattas held on most Saturdays from mid-June to mid-August. The other clubs include Burloak, Mississauga, Richmond Hill, West Rouge and Toronto Island. Please see the regatta schedule in this handbook for details. Clubs attending these regattas compete for points to determine the winner of the particular regatta (for the "burgee"), but there is no ongoing accumulation of club standings or performance requirements to qualify for subsequent competitions.

WOD Qualifying Trials

WOD qualifying trials serve as qualifying races for Provincial and National Championship regattas. Only paddlers and crews that have shown some competitive potential would be entered at this level. Trials are held locally. Please refer to the regatta schedule for details as to where and when each age category’s trials will be held.

For PeeWees and Bantams competing at WOD trials, the first three winning boats in each final race qualify to compete at the Cloverleaf Championships and the first four winning boats in the Bantam category qualify to compete at the Ontario Championships.

For Midgets to Juniors competing at WOD trials, the first three winning boats in each final race qualify to compete at the National Championships and, again, the first four winning boats in each of these age categories qualify to compete at the Ontario Championships.

Ontario Championships

The first four winning boats in a final race at the WOD trials (Bantam to Junior) will compete at the Ontario Championships. This regatta is held at a venue in Ontario and this year will be held at the Rideau Canoe Club in Ottawa.

Cloverleaf Championships

The first three winning boats in a final race at the WOD trials (PeeWee and Bantam) will compete at the Cloverleaf Championships This competition is held between clubs from the Western Ontario Division, Eastern Ontario Division and Quebec Division. The regatta is held at a venue in Ontario or in Quebec and this year will be held at the Carleton Place Canoe Club (Ottawa area). Parents, you can expect your Bantam age paddler will participate at this event.

National Championships

The first three winning boats in a final race at the WOD trials (Midget to Junior) will compete at the National Championships. Clubs attend from all over the country. In the past the Nationals have been held in Dartmouth, N.S.; Whistler, B.C; Ottawa; Lac Beauport, Quebec; this year on Lake Minnedosa, just outside Brandon, Manitoba; and in 2003 WOD will be the host division and the Nationals will be held in Welland. There are no PeeWee or Bantam events at the Nationals; however a Bantam age paddler will often race "up" in an older category and qualify to race in that category, i.e. a Midget war canoe crew would often include some Bantam age paddlers.

Ontario Team and National Team Trials

The Club’s High Performance athletes will attend regattas (team trials) that will earn them points that in turn may put them on the Ontario and National Teams.

Masters Regattas

Masters events are scheduled in some of the WOD club regattas but they are "exhibition" races and may not be counted in the accumulation of points for the regatta "burgee". There are regattas that are specific to masters, for example -

March Break Training – Florida

Just a brief mention here of the March Break training camp(s) that is available to our more dedicated paddlers. The Head Coach will suggest to certain paddlers who have maintained their training over the fall and winter months that they attend a Florida training camp. The cost of this trip is the responsibility of the paddler. Efforts are made to provide information on such camp(s) before the end of November.

Regatta Transportation

Prior to each regatta, the coaching staff will discuss with the paddlers which age groups and individuals will be competing. A notice will be posted at the boat house listing races and paddlers competing, and requesting the names of those who will need a ride. It would be much appreciated if parents driving to a regatta could arrange through their son/daughter to transport other competitors who need a ride. Maps to the regatta site will be made available. The departure and return point will either be at The Balmy Beach Club parking lot or at the Ashbridges Bay parking lot. Time and location of departure will be posted.

PLEASE NOTE: It is important that each paddler and/or parent confirm their transportation arrangements with the coaches prior to the regatta date and keep them advised of any changes. Mismatches of bodies and cars at 7:00 a.m. are frustrating and confusing for all concerned.

Out of Town Accommodation and Transportation

When an overnight stay is required, group accommodation, usually in a moderate price range, will be arranged by our Travel Director. Paddlers will usually be housed four to a room. If families are going on a road trip, they may book accommodation independently or arrange with the Travel Director to reserve extra rooms. It may be preferable for competitors to stay with their crewmates, even though the family is going. Disruptive and excessive behavior by anyone will not be tolerated. Damages to rooms, extra charges for phones/movies, etc. on road trips may be paid for by the Club initially but the Club will definitely recover such expenses from those responsible for incurring them. Where no individuals will admit liability, charges will be applied to each paddler in the room.

When a regatta requires out of town travel with at least one night at the regatta site, either family transportation, a rented van, or a chartered bus will be the means of transport. When a van or bus is required, the Travel Director makes the arrangements and the cost of transportation is then shared by the passengers. If air is the most reasonable means of travel to the National Championships, the Travel Director will attempt to book a block of seats. Flight details will be provided so tickets may be purchased either individually or through the Club.

Every effort will be made to provide information in a timely manner of the details of transportation and accommodation. Travel information meetings will be held and details will be published in our newsletters and by letters home. Advance payment and approval for a paddler to attend an out of town event will be requested so that reservations may be confirmed.


With the help of coaches and parents, our paddlers are closely supervised. It is a team effort – we work together! As mentioned earlier, wherever possible, parents are expected to attend out of town regattas to supervise their paddler(s) and where this is not possible, prior arrangements must be made so that a guardian is appointed and held responsible for the paddler.

CCA Junior Dance

The National Championships ends with a dance for all the participants – a "junior" dance for those 18 years and under and a "senior" dance for those 19 years and over. The Club is required to provide chaperones for the junior dance and will do so from those parents in attendance at CCA. The Club also provides transportation to and from the junior dance for our paddlers (seniors are on their own!). Paddlers are the responsibility of their parent/designated guardian in attendance at CCA before, during and after the junior dance.

Finally, paddlers are reminded that at all times they must behave in a responsible and satisfactory manner and disruptive and excessive behavior by anyone will not be tolerated and will result in a review of his/her membership privileges by the Executive Board.




May 25-26 National Team Trials I  TBA Montreal
June 8 London  TBA London
June 15 Mississauga  Bantam to Masters Mississauga
June 29-30 Ontario Team Trials HP & Comp. Sydenham
July 1 Dominion Day  Bantam to Masters Toronto Island
July 6 West Rouge Midget to Masters Pickering
July 13 Balmy Beach PeeWee to Masters Toronto Island
July 13-14 Canada Cup TBA Pointe Claire
July 18-20 Ontario Summer Games Bantam Kitchener/


July 20-21 National Team Trials II TBA Dartmouth
July 27-28 WOD Trials I Midget to Junior Toronto Island
Aug. 3-4 WDD Trials II PeeWee/Bantam/

Masters/Midget 6K

Richmond Hill
Aug. 7 Atom Championships Atom Mississauga
Aug. 10 Ontario Championships Bantam to Junior Ottawa - Rideau
Aug. 11 Cloverleaf Championships Peewee to Bantam Ottawa –

Carleton Place

Aug. 21-24 National Championships Midget to Senior Minnedosa
Aug. 25 CANMAS Masters Minnedosa
Oct 12-13 OCSRA Long Distance TBA TBA