The youngest kayaker in the country. Perry Cross Merchant Taylors’
Cian Omert is the youngest paddle instructor in the country and completed his assessment on the weekend of his 14th birthday.
After seeing a school notice for a kayaking club he started his kayaking career in the summer of 2019 and after his first trip to the Nene Whitewater center he became “really addicted … to the water. long live “. After hours of rolling practice and trips on the river, he became qualified to teach students in similar situations as he started out. Being the same age as his students makes him more empathetic and understanding of the demands they endure, with a mature understanding of how to “juggle kayaking and school life”. However, he is aware that there are “many aspects of coaching” that he “has yet to master. [his]… belt.”
According to Cian, the most rewarding part of kayaking is riding the waves with “great people around… in the wild”. Despite the inherently lonely nature of being alone in a kayak, teaching other students and going on trips to his local club allows Cian to meet new people through the sport he loves. This increase in social interactions has given him “great leadership skills” that he says will help him in other areas of life. According to him, the most important skill of all great instructors is to “remain extremely calm” even in life-threatening situations such as “the boat.[s] being pinned ”and“ capsized in white water ”. He says these experiences improved his performance at school. As counterintuitive as it may sound, being a demanding sport both physically and psychologically, Cian explains that the ability to “adapt and acclimatize to stressful situations” has positively contributed to his college life.