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Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award culminates in 125km canoeing expedition

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The 2016/17 Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award was a resounding success. Year 2 Biology, History and Psychology student Lucy Coston reports on what the project involves:

“We started the Gold DofE in September 2016 with fortnightly meetings where we carried out first aid training and learned how to plan route cards.

“The first time we went away was for a training weekend at Leicester Outdoor Pursuits Centre. We arrived on a Friday morning and canoed for two days, learning how to steer and how to get the boats through locks. Following the training weekend we felt fully equipped to start the expeditions.

“After further fortnightly meetings we had our next weekend away. This was again to Leicester, where we canoed for three days on the River Soar to Trent Lock to complete our DofE practice. This was challenging as we had to learn the best ways to canoe long distances and navigate around the locks, but was an incredible experience and a great way to develop team-building skills.

“We were then ready for the real expedition in July. We travelled to Wales to undergo an acclimatisation day. For the next four days we canoed down the River Wye, completing 125 kilometres in total.  In one of the days we canoed the equivalent of a whole marathon.

“This was the most incredible experience I have ever had. It was challenging: you’d expect that for the Gold DofE. However, it was so rewarding stepping off the boats at the end and thinking:  “I’ve made it! I’ve completed Gold DofE!”

“I would recommend everyone possible to take part.”