White water rafting is no longer at the mercy of the tides here on Teesside…you can experience it locally - just as Jacky Stevely and her team mates did…
"After worrying for two weeks, with several sleepless nights of very ‘realistic’ dreams (or nightmares?), about actually taking part in this activity - the bitterly cold day in December finally arrived.
I set myself up in the morning with a Twirl for energy (not the dance – the chocolate) and well armed with my ‘equipment’ for the 300m course. Top of the list? - waterproof mascara of course - plus make up that would have to be sand blasted off (image is everything you know) - the rest I would worry about later.
Upon arrival at the Tees Barrage International White Water Centre I can’t tell you the relief when I learned it wouldn’t be the loneliness of the long distance canoeist. No – I would be in a raft with several others.
I just about passed the first initiative test i.e. manoeuvring myself into a wet suit for the first time in my life. I wore swimwear underneath, as instructed, but if they thought I was going swimming they had another thing coming. After going through the safety rules and regs with our instructor - we set off. My first thoughts were ‘don’t show yourself up Jac - resist the temptation to shriek’
It didn’t work. The peals of my screams resonated across the Tees Valley and could probably be heard in Osmotherley. However, with each encounter of the rapids my confidence grew. ‘Oh yes’ I thought, ‘I can handle this fine – it’s brill!’. That was a bit premature as despite ‘holding on’ as instructed, within a split second I was hurled, like a rag doll, into what felt like a freezing cold washing machine! I had a good tumble round on a ‘quick wash’ - swallowed a good amount of water (which actually tasted ok) and bobbed to the surface. And - survived to tell the tale!
The activity was thoroughly enjoyable – in fact - fantastic! With spring just around the corner it’s a great place to imagine you’re out in the wilds – yet right on our doorstep..
And did the mascara hold out? My team mates confirmed ‘yes it did’ - admirably."
"Our corporate team building day white water rafting at Tees Barrage was excellent. The facilities are modern, comfortable and all equipment is in great condition. Great care was taken by the team of instructors to ensure our enjoyment and safety and we were soon on the water having fun. Every effort was made by our fantastic instructors Luke and Rich to tailor our experience to the confidence of each person in the raft, ensuring that fun was had by all.
The white water course itself is incredible and provides opportunities for all groups, whether first timers like ourselves or seasoned adrenalin junkies. I would highly recommend the team and course to anyone wanting to organise a team building or corporate hospitality event. It was a great morning and fun was had by all."
Dean Benson, Director, Visualsoft