By Ed McKeever, ACCA Student
Following on from the World Canoeing Championships at the end of last season it was a bit surreal to come back into regular life, but I had to adjust pretty quickly and decide which ACCA exam I was going to sit next. I decided to enter the P1- Professional Accountant exam, as most of you are aware this exam largely comprises of ethics, risk and Corporate Governance, I had to do a bit of studying so I enrolled on a course in Reading and I sat the ACCA professional ethics module which in itself helped develop a greater understanding of the underlying principles. The exam itself was a little bit of a shock to the system (I normally race for just under 35seconds) as I wasn’t quite ready for a 3hr exam in terms of fatigue when writing. I managed to answer all the questions and got enough marks to pass (albeit on very modest terms). The weekend after the exam I was invited to attend BBC Sports Personality of the year, a fantastic event and one I have loved watching growing up as it encompasses a video review of most sporting events (There wasn’t any flatwater kayaking on there, not that I’ve got a biased view).
Following on from the exams and into the New Year, it was time to start going on training camps. First came St Moritz cross country ski camp. This sounds great in principle but the skiing is such hard work we were going out for two and a half hour skis and covering well over 30km each session by the end of the camp, but I had a great time and it was nice to take a break from paddling, especially because of the snow and ice we had before Christmas (On Christmas day at Dorney lake there were people ice skating around the Lake).
Then we went from the cold (as low as -22°C in St Moritz) to hot with a six weeks training camp in Australia where we stepped of the plane and it was 40°C. This was a tough camp due to being away for so long, and doing four sessions a day most days, meant that when a rest opportunity came about our training squad were too tired to move let alone visit any of the tourist attractions that area of the World is famous for. But all in all it was a fantastic opportunity to get some speed work done in warmer conditions so early on in the year meaning that we will be ready for when the racing season starts in April.
Then we had a brief week at home and off to Seville on training camp. I’m looking forward to getting my new race boat for the 2011 season and doing some testing in it to find the best set up and where any marginal gains can be made. Although all this jet setting sounds great, I can assure you that on training camps I generally get very little opportunity to see anything other than the river or lake where we are training and the walls of whichever apartment we are staying in.
There are now just under 500 days until the start of the Olympics and the event seems a lot more real now tickets are on sale (only until the 26th of April 2011 so I would order quickly). There are event timetables and I will be competing at the Lake at Dorney (Subject to qualification at this year’s World Championships but I’m quietly confident being the defending World Champion). It will be a dream come true to compete in front of a home crowd as a member of team GB and I would urge people to take the opportunity to see the greatest show on Earth whilst it is on your doorstep.