Club aims to make waves

Leigh Topping (left) and Phil Hawkes, of Rokt climbing gym, Brighouse, who are helping to set up a water sports and canoeing centre on the River Calder in Brighouse
Leigh Topping (left) and Phil Hawkes, of Rokt climbing gym, Brighouse, who are helping to set up a water sports and canoeing centre on the River Calder in Brighouse

THE River Calder through Brighouse is set to become a centre for water sports with the Pennine Canoe Club moving onto the Rokt Climbing Gym site.

The club, which has been based in Mirfield, has already started moving equipment onto the former Sugden’s Mill site and is looking forward to making use of the river and the Calder and Hebble Navigation for training and races this summer.

Chairman David Jefferies said: “The site gives us access to moving water between the two weirs and the opportunity to run short trips up the canal and down the river. It should be possible to put up a slalom course between the weirs and even play canoe water polo on the river.

“We believe the site creates lots of opportunities for us and will also enable us to tap into the facilities at the climbing centre. We will have better storage space and there will be access to changing rooms.”

Mr Jefferies said the club, which has more than 100 members, would be holding talks with Calderdale Council over improving access to the water behind Sugden’s Mill.

Jason Costello, chairman of United Brighouse, said: “It is great news that another exciting activity is is coming to the town. The canoe club will at last give us the opportunity to make use of the hidden gem that is our waterways and will complement the extremely successful climbing gym.”

Leigh Topping, creative director of Rokt Climbing Gym, said he was delighted that the canoe club was moving in. “This gives us the chance to make Brighouse a centre for extreme sports and make use of a lovely stretch of river.”

* Are you looking forward to the new water sports centre in Brighouse? Should more be made of our canals and rivers in the area? Email: stephen.firth@brighouseecho.co.uk