Red Ladies of the USA looking at rafting development long term

When the Red Ladies became Team USA for WRC 2013, they knew that they wanted to do so much more than just race.  We talk to them about what they are hoping to achieve and how they are going about it.

RedLady Dev1

We are multi-dimensional women and our interests outside of the raft are wide and varied and yet somehow we managed to bring them all together to benefit our team.   We feel like good habits are created young and that’s what we wanted to focus on at this clinic we ran.

This particular clinic was aimed at 5-12 year olds. That’s the age range the Breckenridge recreation center takes in for their kid’s camps.  As we started to arrange the clinic, we knew that we were going to have to split up the kids not only due to the numbers that would be there, but also because a 12 year old definitely has different motor skills than a 5 year old.  We wanted to do a clinic that touched on all the things that we did individually and as a team.

RedLady Dev2

Goals: As a team, we found that writing down our goals and revisiting those goals, changing them and growing with them helped us become better athletes and a closer team.  For the kids, we wanted them to have something to take home with them as well.  Since two of our teammates are ceramic artists, and three are or will become teachers we decided to have the kids come up with their own goal that could be represented through a picture or symbol that they could paint on a ceramic “medal”.  Obviously we are a raft team and sports oriented, so a lot of the goals were athletic.  The kids painted baseballs,wrote “hip hop” and made hearts, hockey sticks, and a variety of other things.  Although the drawings weren’t always clear, the intent was there – every kid had an idea.

In the Breckenridge recreation centre pool
In the Breckenridge recreation centre pool

Yoga and environmental stewardship are two ways that we can balance ourselves and keep the world balanced.  As a team, we not only practice yoga as much as we can, we try to keep the place that we love to play in clean.  Cariann Brown from Paddle Yoga, who leads us in yoga, both the physical and therapeutic side, helped out with this part of the day.  The kids were told a story that helped define setting goals and sticking to your intention and then they learned a few yoga poses.   On the way to the yoga – which was held outside, they all did a quick scan of the area to pick up any trash.

For the paddling part, as every team has realized, teamwork and communication are so important inside and outside the raft.  As what we do can have some serious implications, we also wanted to emphasize safety.  Of course, paddling technique was included.

Thanks Red Ladies! Keep this great initiative up and we hope others take your ideas on board and get involved at this level of developing rafting as well. Good luck at the WRC in New Zealand.