Sshhh – it’s a secret! The Pan Celtic

General slalom chatter...rant about the bad, rave about the good
Nick Penfold
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Sshhh – it’s a secret! The Pan Celtic

Post by Nick Penfold » Wed May 15, 2019 11:58 am

The Pan Celtic series ought to be a great event and a brilliant springboard to international competition. But we seem to treat it as an embarrassment.

No-one seems to think it’s worth running in its own right, so it piggy-backs on divisional races, with age categories separated to Prem and Div 1 events so that there isn’t really a “Pan Celtic event” at all. It gets no publicity, and much of the time we don’t see the results - I still haven’t seen any for this year’s Scotland leg. Why would young paddlers want to compete, and be proud to be selected, when nobody’s interested?

Let’s make an event of it: one race a year, free standing, perhaps hosted by each country in turn. Let’s shout about it, let’s publish the results and let’s celebrate the winning competitors!

Or else let’s stop pretending and scrap it.

humphr
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Re: Sshhh – it’s a secret! The Pan Celtic

Post by humphr » Wed May 15, 2019 10:58 pm

Welsh J12, J14 & Masters/Vet leg is only in a few weeks.

I’m looking after the Welsh team and there is plenty of keenness from paddlers & parents.

With pretty much nearly all of the welsh team in div1 hosting it in Div2 brings it’s own difficulties but we have entries and from a Welsh perspective all is positive.

I must confess to not promoting much outside of our Canoe Wales Facebook page.

Hopefully we will have a good race at Bala Mill with lots of enjoyable team runs

I will email around and get the results for the Scottish round published

Jase
Another parent

Arrowcraft
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Re: Sshhh – it’s a secret! The Pan Celtic

Post by Arrowcraft » Thu May 16, 2019 11:23 am

Good idea.

I guess the trick would be to make it a proper international, like an ECA race. In which case, you follow the international competition rules and invite teams from the home nations & Ireland...but also invite other nations perhaps...like the interclubs, teams of 10 or so and make a two-race event out of it. One on Saturday and another on Sunday, perhaps an old fashioned slalom sprint...for those that are wrinkly enough to remember them. 18 gates, any direction, no touch penalties... a straight speed shoot out.

Hold it HPP. Good water, middle of the country and they are keen to host some bigger profile events.

It used to be an international race.

Mike Mitchell
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Re: Sshhh – it’s a secret! The Pan Celtic

Post by Mike Mitchell » Sun May 19, 2019 9:10 pm

The Pan Celtic was an event everyone that didn't make a GB team wanted to paddle in years ago.
We used to even send a team to Ireland.

Now over the years it has got degraded, forgotten or just made unpopular.
The hole Slalom sport now is just looking for the next Olympic Champion.
The bottom divisions are getting forgotten and strength in depth is decreasing.
We need these events to keep as manny paddlers in the sport as we can.
Scotland always put on a good leg and I look forward to winning an easter Egg, but there are no results.
I have just found out after reading the above, there is a race at Bala Mill in Two weeks, do I put a Judges entry in or is there a standalone race.

Its time we took the future of this sport seriously and support the grass roots.

So I am all for a stand alone event and after this Rant I will volunteer to help run it.

How about Llangollen Town.

FCCslalom
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Re: Sshhh – it’s a secret! The Pan Celtic

Post by FCCslalom » Sun May 19, 2019 11:22 pm

Agreed it’s profile seems low.

How about a one of race, say combined with the junior British champs.

That rotates around the country.

A process of qualification for the team with announcements at the end of season might be an idea too.

Look forward to reading other ideas posted here and hope something comes out of it.

CeeBee
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Re: Sshhh – it’s a secret! The Pan Celtic

Post by CeeBee » Sat May 25, 2019 8:47 pm

It's even more of a secret than I thought!

I was going to pull together the Pan Celtic results for the 2 Scottish legs but it's not possible from the results on line as you can't see who was racing for any of the countries.

At the races, you could see from the start list who was racing for Scotland, England and Wales but not sure where this information has now gone.

There are so many ranking races and such a focus on getting ranking results to make national squads that other valuable standalone races such as the British Junior Champs and Pan Celtic races are squeezed out. Do enough coaches place value on these non ranking races or are they too focussed on British Teams which so few paddlers can ever be selected for? I know that in the past, these races were valued by the old Scottish coaches and paddlers actively encouraged to compete. Our younger paddlers are delighted to be selected to race for their country and they get recognition locally by their school and from family and friends.

Running these events alongside ranking races does not need to diminish these races but does need a change of approach.

For example,

For the Pan Celtic races, the Pan Celtic paddlers could all paddle by age group at the end of each class
For British Junior Champs races, the paddlers could race by age group (J12,J13,J14,J15,J16) at the end of the each class.

There also needs to be the ability to separate out the results. For the Scottish Schools event in June , we publish the Division 3 and 4 results separately and then take the full set of results and split them into each of the age groups so you can see who was 1st,2nd,3rd in each age group.

We need to be able to do this for the Pan Celtic races too and publish the Pan Celtic results as a league. Is this something the Pan Celtic Team Managers for each Home Nation could do for the legs in their country?

Mike Mitchell
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Re: Sshhh – it’s a secret! The Pan Celtic

Post by Mike Mitchell » Mon May 27, 2019 10:29 pm

I agree with you Cee Bee.

But we must keep it all quiet as there is a Bala Mill Pan Celtic on June 8/9. So far Wales have entries, England have about 2 and it doesn't look like Scotland have any. Has anyone invited Ireland.

CeeBee
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Re: Sshhh – it’s a secret! The Pan Celtic

Post by CeeBee » Tue May 28, 2019 11:03 am

Mike

Unfortunately, we didn't know the dates of the Pan Celtic legs when the calendar was being agreed. The Scottish Schools event at Alva is the same weekend as the Welsh leg (which my club is organising) and this is the only event in the calendar that all paddlers from all divisions race together.

And the English leg is at HPP Div 2 on 7 July which is during Scottish school holidays and so many of the padders who would have raced are away at the annual trip to St Pierre de Boeuf.

Sorry
Last edited by CeeBee on Thu May 30, 2019 3:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Steve Holmes
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Re: Sshhh – it’s a secret! The Pan Celtic

Post by Steve Holmes » Thu May 30, 2019 3:06 pm

As the parent of a potential J12 team member, then absolutely it should be a thing. I’m not sure of the format it should take, but I am not convinced by the venues for the current format, at least for J12.
Chloe is currently the 4th highest ranked J11 in the rankings, 3rd in England. This would place her on the team, all things remaining equal, next year. Assuming each home nation provides 3 J12 girls, this would put a further 5 competitors lower ranked than Chloe into the competition. Is Chloe going to be ready for Tully div 1 next year? I’m not convinced, she’s going to be a small for her age 9 year old. Will she be ready for HPP div 2 next year? I hope so, but maybe not. And if she’s not ready, how will the 5 paddlers ranked below her fare?
Why not hold the J12 alongside Matlock, Bala and Fairnilee div 2s? I understand the need for it to be challenging, but if more than half the eligible paddlers in one class are refusing to even get on the water then surely it needs a rethink?

CeeBee
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Location: Falkirk

Re: Sshhh – it’s a secret! The Pan Celtic

Post by CeeBee » Thu May 30, 2019 3:43 pm

The Pan Celtic has typically been aimed at Juniors aged J18,J16 and J14 with J12 added for those who were capable of racing at Div 1 and Prem.

It used to always be run at a single race in each home nation but a couple of years ago was split into 2 groups -

Seniors, U23, J18 and J16 categories racing alongside a Prem
J12, J14, Vets and Masters racing alongside a Division 1

The rationale was that this would mean the best paddlers in the age group would compete in the Pan Celtic as they were already attending the ranking race. The Pan Celtic needs to be held at races that the paddlers will attend and realistically paddlers in Division 2 tend to paddle at regional rather than national events.

I think this is the first year that the English and Welsh leg have run alongside a Division 2 race.

The British Junior Champs are being held at the Div 1 at Nottingham this year and so the same applies - very few J12/J11 will compete as it will be too hard for the majority. Our J13 and J14 paddlers are only now beginning to race at Nottingham and found it a challenge at the weekend.

The British Junior Champs were previously held at Llandysul, Pinkston and Teesside which were also Division 1 sites but easier than HPP.

The Scottish leg of the Pan Celtic could be held at the Pinkston Div 1 race as an alternative to Grandtully but paddlers might miss the Easter Eggs though!

Dee
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Re: Sshhh – it’s a secret! The Pan Celtic

Post by Dee » Thu May 30, 2019 4:15 pm

A stand alone event could raise the profile and make it much more desirable to be in the team, but the downsides:
- will paddlers attend? Most seem to focus on ranking comps so this may not work
- unless it replaces a prem/div 1 it could be another weekend that lower division comps don’t run (as clubs haven’t got the manpower)

Could it be run as an end of season/out of season comp - or will this cause volunteer issues?

How about running alongside British Open at end of season with juniors on legacy maybe. Making it something to work towards during the season.
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Steve Holmes
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Re: Sshhh – it’s a secret! The Pan Celtic

Post by Steve Holmes » Mon Jun 03, 2019 5:18 pm

I like Dee’s suggestion. Alongside the British open for J16 and above, and the J14 and J12 alongside the div 2 on the Sunday?

Mike Mitchell
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Re: Sshhh – it’s a secret! The Pan Celtic

Post by Mike Mitchell » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:18 pm

Yes I like Dee's option of holding it along side the Lee Valley British Open and Legacy race.

Nick Penfold
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Re: Sshhh – it’s a secret! The Pan Celtic

Post by Nick Penfold » Sat Jun 08, 2019 5:53 pm

Yes I like Dee's option of holding it along side the Lee Valley British Open and Legacy race.
I would, too, but that's a long way from Wales and Scotland and home advantage for England: maybe one year in three, but I don't think it would be acceptable as the regular venue. Teesside is better placed for everybody: otherwise it needs to rotate.

Steve Holmes
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Re: Sshhh – it’s a secret! The Pan Celtic

Post by Steve Holmes » Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:20 am

i Understand it’s a long way from Scotland. However,the travelling time for one competition in London for a Scottish paddler is less than that of three competitions in Tully, Bala and Nottingham for a paddler based in the South of England. A one off at Tees would be more central, maybe move the British junior champs there at the same time?

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