The Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award

Being part of the most active Scout Unit in South Yorkshire, I was strongly encouraged to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme and given every opportunity to complete each section of it, with a decent amount of effort. I worked through the Bronze in my first year when I was 14, went on to the Silver which took me about 18 months, then steadily completed each part of the Gold over the course of about 2½ years while doing my GCSEs and A-levels, finishing the award in September 2007.

For each award, the participant has to complete each of four sections (and a fifth* for the Gold);

  • Volunteering: undertaking service to individuals or the community
  • Physical: improving in an area of sport, dance or fitness activities
  • Skill: developing practical and social skills and personal interests
  • Expedition: planning, training for and completion of an adventurous journey (2 days for Bronze, 3 for Silver, 4 for Gold)
  • *Residential: staying and working away from home doing a shared activity

These things take a long time to process so despite the fact my forms were submitted in September 2007, it took till November 2008 for me to get my certificate. I also achieved the Queen’s Scout Award (which requires the completion of the D of E Gold amongst other accomplishments) at the same time and finally received my certificate from the Chief Scout Peter Duncan last month (see this post).

The Bronze & Silver certificates are merely posted out but the Gold ones are presented at a special ceremony with Prince Philip in presence. I had an invitation (the poshest invitation you’ve ever seen) to go to St. James’ Palace in London to be presented with my certificate, which I attended on Wednesday. I caught the train back to Sheffield on Tuesday night after my lectures, got a coach down to London with my Mum and we made our way to the palace where I saw my friend Annie in the queue to get in; I met Annie while doing my D of E, coincidentally, on my Gold Residential Project where I helped out (as did she) on a kids’ Summer Camp in Huddersfield. I then also bumped into my friend Miles, who is in the same Scout Unit as me; I had no idea he was going, as we’re at different universities and haven’t seen each other since Summer. We were seated together as we were grouped by region (Yorkshire & Humberside II) and we sat chatting about kayaking while waiting for things to begin.

We were given a speech from the guy in charge of the day, who told us all about St. James’ Palace and the room we were in, the Portrait Gallery, which contained dozens of portraits of monarchs. He also gave us a brief history of the palace, telling us facts like King Charles spent his last night in the palace before being beheaded, most of the things he said I’d found out on Wikipedia on my phone on the coach on the way there (maybe that’s what he did to prepare too). He then passed on to Steve Backshall, a TV presenter who makes shows about explorations and expeditions such as Expedition Alaska, and also presented CBBC‘s The Really Wild Show. Steve gave us a few stories of his adventures and congratulated us all on our achievements before handing back to the guy who told us what to do when Prince Philip entered.

Prince Philip entered the room and began to speak to the first of the four groups, we couldn’t hear what was being said until he got to the group before us, when he made a hilarious remark to some girl; he tended to ask people individually what they did for a certain section of their award (“What did you do for your service/skill?” or “Where did you go for your expedition?“) and he asked this one girl what she did for her skill, she replied “I was on the committee at my university” to which he responded “That’s a skill, is it?” which made everyone laugh – I guess it’s only really funny if you’ve done the award; you see, there’s always debate about what constitutes a skill, and some people sign things off claiming them to be a skill, which is cheating really. You’re meant to do something like learn a musical instrument or take up a new skillful hobby and show improvement over time. He’s perfectly right to have said that because she’s clearly signed it off unlawfully, and what a way to be told! There is no higher authority than Prince Philip himself! Miles & I thought it was brilliant how he came out with it! Completely BURNED!

He got closer and as he moved on to our group, the last group, and he immediately spotted me and Miles on the end; he asked us if we were from the same Scout group, and commented that he noticed we were in the same uniform with the same necker colours (the necker is a group identifier). He then noticed another lad in Scout uniform and presumed aloud that he was from another group, and started to ask other people where they did their award through, some did it through schools & colleges, one from the St. John’s Ambulance, but most of them seemed to be from Scouts. He asked a few more questions to the group, asked if anyone had done their expedition abroad, which Miles had, so he told him that he’d done it in Slovenia, and explained that they climbed Triglav which he described as “that big hill” which made everyone chuckle. Prince Philip then got hold of the pile of certificates and said “Are there enough here? They must be very thin!” to which Miles’ wit leaped out as he said “It’s that credit crunch” which was hilarious at the time, and had everyone laughing.

It was great to meet Prince Philip (or to use his full title since 1957: His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh & Philippos of Greece and Denmark), and at age 87, is doing great. He is the patron of the University of Cambridge, as well as the D of E Award and had a great military career which he was forced to give up on becoming consort to Queen Elizabeth II when her father George VI died (I read on wikipedia today that he was the one who broke the news to her while on holiday in Kenya in 1951). With my Queen’s Scout and D of E certificates I now have the complete set! Signatures from them both.

I couldn’t get any photos inside the palace as it wasn’t allowed, but I got some just outside, and there’s a good one of the London Eye from the bridge in St. James’ Park.

London, baby!

I’ll try and be quick because I’m mega busy at the moment – got a massive week ahead of me and time is precious but I’m trying to keep up the whole ‘frequent blog post’ thing I’ve mentioned in the last few posts so here I am writing this from my brand new ASUS laptop which I set up last night. It’s always interesting to know what the first thing a person does when they get onto a brand new computer; mine was to download Google Chrome (a new web browser made by Google – it’s amazing – try it!) which since it was released last month has been my new primary browser, knocking Firefox down to second (followed by Safari then IE).

I had a great weekend in London with my parents, who I haven’t seen since I moved out a month ago, so it was nice to let them know what I’ve been up to and how my course lectures and my halls life are going. The trip was primarily arranged due to my invitation to London Zoo to be presented with my Queen’s Scout Award but seeing as it was my parents’ wedding anniversary that weekend, we decided to make a weekend trip out of it. I caught the train home after my computing lecture on Friday afternoon and spent the evening at home and we got the coach from Sheffield to London early Saturday morning, a lovely four hour journey, and checked in to our hotel and after a nap we spent the evening in London; we went on the London Eye which I took many many pictures of (and from).

Sunday morning we got up early to get ready for the presentation, headed out for the tube in the pouring rain and made our way to the Zoo! We checked in there and spent some time wandering about checking out the animals and exhibits, then when it was time we went over to the Mappin Pavilion which is where the presentation was held. I hadn’t really any idea what the presentation was going to be like – I hadn’t really thought about it; all I knew was that I would be being presented with my Queen’s Scout Award certificate from Peter Duncan, the Chief Scout (head of the Scout Association) and former Blue Peter presenter. Despite being bang on time, I was the last to arrive (at this point I discover there were just four of us being presented at this time) and was immediately ushered into a sofa while having my coat removed by some sort of organising person, and before I had a chance to take in my surroundings I saw Peter Duncan just ahead of me, shuffling four creamish certificates in his hand to see who was to be first. “Ben Nuttall” he called out, and asked me to step up to join him at the front. I stood up and looked out at the dozens of people applauding – I’m still not really sure why they were all there.

I was put on the spot and suddenly asked by Peter Duncan what I did to achieve my Queen’s Scout Award (for those that don’t know, the Queen’s Scout Award is the highest accomplishment in the Scout movement, and is patroned by the Queen (formerly King’s Scout Award) and achievement involves completion of the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award as well as various other tasks). I completed mine over a year ago; with the most talkable bits happening over a year ad a half ago, so having to reel off a nice little speech about a four-day walking expedition I did in April 2007 was rather awkward but with it being such a memorable four days I managed to share a few entertaining short stories about the hike and mentioned what the purpose of the expedition was and how we ended up finishing it at the pub from ITV’s Heartbeat while they were filming. Peter asked me a few more questions, and we had a good chat about Scouting and the future of the world and I was presented with my long-awaited and well-deserved certificate, photographed a few times, and I took a seat to listen to the next three people and their adventures.

After this we got a chance for more photos and I had a good chat with Peter; I told him about my Grandfather (94 next month!) who met the very first Chief Scout, the founder of the worldwide movement, Lord Baden-Powell. We then talked about the media and their tendency to ruin good news stories with silly headlines and pictures that make the articles lose their point about what Scouting today is all about; outdoor pursuits, adventure, opportunities galore, making something of your youth, preparing for adulthood and showing future employees and such that you have made the most of your youthhood by getting out there and doing something.

We thanked Peter and the organisers for a great presentation and I was congratulated on my achievement once again by those present as we departed. We had a look round the rest of the zoo before heading back via tube to the coach station. Another four hour journey back to Sheffield and a couple of hours chilling out at home before having to get the train back to Manchester, only to find that it had been cancelled. I had to get a train out to Hope in the peak district, wait for a bus there which took me to Stockport, then waited for a train to take me to Manchester (an hour later than planned at quarter-past midnight). I had a maths test in uni at 9am this morning, so I had to do a spot of last minute revision on the train, but without any spare paper I had to take notes on the back of a bank statement I had in my bag!

So after my morning lectures and the maths test today I got my new laptop set up and here we are. I took many photos in London at the weekend.

BCU Student Safety Seminar

I was asked by the chairman of the canoe club if I would like to attend the BCU whitewater student safety seminar with him and the vice chairman, being a fresher who is keen to commit to kayaking and to the club and likely to be seriously involved in the club over the next few years. I jumped at the chance and we went last weekend and had a great time – it was at a whitewater & mountaineering centre called Plas-y-Brenin in North Wales, hosted by some of the greatest kayakers in the UK. It was a great experience for me to hear the opinions about gear, techniques and advice from these well-accomplished paddlers, without it being dictated to me like it has been in the past – it’s great when someone can just give you their personal opinion for what it’s worth, explain and justify it and leave you to hear opposing views and make sure you get the facts, rather than hammer it into you that their way is right.

We arrived at the centre before 9:00am (having got up at 5ish to set off by 6:00am). Not much to report about the journey other than us finding the following joke hilarious at the time (mostly due to lack of sleep):

I spent all yesterday in the garden with my step-ladder; not my real ladder, my step-ladder…

On the Saturday we sat through a seminar with Tom Parker about the importance of safety and avoiding at all costs the chance of an accident happening where you could be left to blame, by simply making using common sense and being sure not to take inexperienced paddlers down rivers beyond their abilities and leaving them in positions where they would be vulnerable to an accident. Then we did a session on ropework where we tested some throwlines (bags of rope used for  rescues by pool lifeguards and canoeists) to see how easily they break, which was interesting! Things like this are really worth sparing no expense on to ensure you’ve got a good one. We did some work on how to manufacture a harness from a short length of rope and use it to climb or abseil a vertical face to get to, our out of, a river and manoeuvre boats in such a situation. Then I attended a talk on how to plan trips abroad from your club, which I think I’m going to pursue this Summer, probably the Alps.

We ended up staying in a grotty bunkhouse with some paddlers from Birmingham University and on the Sunday I put myself down for the session on how to lead and run steep river creeks, where we drove out to some grade four sections of rivers and chucked ourselves off some mental waterfalls and drops. The sort of experience where you do something, then look back on it and think “Woah … that was a bit mad” but it was cool ’cause the session was aimed on how to run it safely, so we got out to inspect each difficulty when uncertainty laid ahead, and spend much time discussing our strategies, choosing our own lines through the water and watching each other to learn from each other’s actions.

The quality (and presence) of safety equipment was very much stressed at this seminar; I now know I need to go out and spend a lot of money on new gear. I underestimated the need for good shoes (yes, canoeists need to wear shoes while boating) because you need to ensure you’re safe when getting out to inspect difficult unfamiliar sections of rivers, and also when getting from the car/van/minibus to the river, and back again, as this can often prove difficult and may require a bit of climbing, lifting boats and setting up rope & pulley systems to get the boats to where they need to be. Another thing I’d overlooked was my helmet, which is perfectly suitable for paddling about on flat water (where the only likely dangers are maybe banging your head on a boat, getty or paddle) but for the sort of thing I’m doing these days I need a good quality full-protection one (not a full-face helmet – but some paddlers do choose to). One of the guys on the course said he doesn’t mind spending £100 on a helmet because, quite frankly, his head is worth more than that. How true.

I haven’t got any pictures from the seminar but here’s one of me (looking rather angry for some reason) on the River Kent in Kendal in the Lake District last weekend:

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Plenty of trips planned for this year. I’m going to try to run as many beginner trips as I do advanced in order to build the confidence in the less-experienced members of the club and get them up to a higher standard so they can paddle higher class rivers. Teaching is just as important as learning. This brings me onto the subject of the link I recently realised between my attitude to parkour and my attitude to kayaking; in parkour I train individual moves and practise everything as much as I can, trying to do vaults on both sides, always working on my weaknesses to try to improve all-round, all this with the aim of linking each individual movement to another in order to execute smooth parkour runs in any situation; in kayaking I train individual skills and practise them on both sides, always working on my weaknesses to try to improve all-round, and then take this to a river where thse skills become needed to execute lines through difficult rapids as well as falls and drops. In both activities I thrive to experiment with different ways of moving, to demonstrate to myself what happens when I make slight alterations in bodily positions and seeing for myself what difference it makes. In both activities I tend to stick to pure methods which help me get from A to B, occasionally dipping into more alternative ways of moving simply to experiment and see if I can learn new moves.

I’ve treated parkour as a discipline over the last three years (my first year of parkour was more about finding my way and realising what I wanted to do than actually training – how are you supposed to train towards something if you don’t know where you’re going?) and now I’ve decided to treat kayaking the same. I’ll be training & coaching every Wednesday evening at the Aquatics Centre and trying to do a river every weekend, sometimes I’ll do a beginner trip on the Saturday and an advanced trip on the Sunday.

I’ll be updating this blog more frequently now and I’ve got my next post planned for after the weekend, so watch this space. I’m seeing my parents when I go home on Friday and we’re spending the weekend in London which will be awesome. I’m also getting my new laptop when I go home – I’m sure that ever since I confirmed purchase of the said laptop (using this desktop PC), and it realised it was being made redundant and replaced by a younger slimmer more portable model, it has purposefully and maliciously decided to boycott me and has been ever so slow. It’s been great these last five years – its spec isn’t anything to shout about but it’s done everything I’ve needed it to do and it’s brought you many blog posts and several videos! But it’s the end of an era and I’m scarily moving on to Vista (dual-boot Linux) and may the new era of portability live long (until it gets replaced by the next technology, of course).

A Fresh Start

I’m now at the end of my third week of university. I’ve moved away from home and now live in halls of residence in Manchester, which is a completely new experience for me. I can cook and generally fend for myself but it’s still very different from being at home. I’m having a wicked time out here and loving the whole Manchester scene – the parkour’s awesome, the bars and clubs are pretty cool, my flatmates are a great bunch of people and I’ve also joined the canoe club which is brilliant.

There are ten of us living in my flat – five boys and five girls – which sounds a lot but I think it works fine. We’ve each got our own room on the corridor and we share a sizey kitchen which we all use at different times so there’s only ever a maximum of two or three of us cooking at once. I couldn’t have asked for a nicer group of people to live with. We’re all from different areas of the country (even one girl from France) and we’re all completely different in person which makes us gel in that we all have something to bring to the group and there are plenty of questions bouncing off each other about all our hobbies, interests and ways of living. We all went out together the first few nights and got to know each other and the city, but now we’re tending to do our own thing in smaller groups (a few of us joined different union clubs) and we’re all settling in to our own ways.

In Freshers’ Week I had no lectures, just introductory sessions. So after two weeks of lectures I’m feeling like I’m definitely on the right course; it’s exactly what I was hoping for and I can see it being challenging enough to be worth doing, I feel like I’ll be learning useful things rather than stuff that’s pointless. My degree title will be BSc (Hons) Mathematics and Computer Studies – I opted for the Combined Honours programme where you pick two separate subjects and do the core modules of each rather than a single course where you do lots of extra modules. This was because I wanted to keep my options open by doing a combination of two subjects and develop a wide range of skills in two fields. Interestingly, the Maths course at my uni is very programming-oriented, and the Computing course is very Maths-oriented, so they’ll go together very well. I’m having to learn two new programming languages: MATLAB and Java.

My modules this year are:

  • Mathematical Fundamentals
  • Programming (Java)
  • Discrete Mathematics
  • Linear Algebra
  • Programming (MATLAB)
  • Computer Platforms
  • Statistics
  • Learning & Employability (lol)

I have the option to select a major and minor next year (i.e. do more Maths modules and fewer Computing, or vice-versa) or just leave it at 50-50. I’ll see how I get on.

Maths started easy (C2) on Day One, then zoomed ahead to FP3 on Day Two, which is way more advanced than I did at A-level, but I understood the lectures and managed to do the questions afterwards so that’s good. I did ICT at GCSE and A-level and learned nothing of any real use to me – everything useful I can do on computers has been self-taught. Schools just don’t teach anything that’s useful to people today. I’m glad to say that so far the Computing lectures and practical classes have been interesting and I can see me getting a lot out of the course.

Yesterday evening I had the best midweek parkour training session for such a long time! There were about 15 of us out, and even Sam Corbett had come over from Sheffield to see a Swiss guy called Tobias who he had met in Lisses who was staying with Scott McQuade. We did some great training for about three hours, we chatted about parkour and there was a brilliant atmosphere within the group. Then Sam departed for his train home, which he missed and so ended up staying the night at mine. We did some more jumps on Oxford Road on the way home and chilled out with a pizza and watched some Futurama! Unfortunately Sam had to set off first thing in the morning to make it back for his lectures but it was nice to have him round. The first overnight guest at my halls.

I absolutely love the location of my accommodation. It’s a maximum of five minutes away from where my lectures are, ten minutes from a massive ASDA and ten minutes from the parkour meet-up spot. Oh and canoeing takes place every Wednesday evening at the Aquatics Centre across the road. I love how I can nip home in between lectures for food or if I forget something – it’s so convenient. I can’t imagine any other way now! I went on a beginners’ river trip in Bury with the canoe club last weekend to get the freshers started (in fact, due to my experience and qualifications they asked me to help lead the trip) and I’m going on an advanced trip on the Kent this weekend! They’ve also asked me to take one of the three places on a BCU Event where you learn how to run a uni canoe club, which should be really informative and exciting! Tomorrow I’ll be showing prospective students around the halls of residence (like I looked round last year).

I can see it’s going to be a wicked three years. Watch this space.

Trace Gathering 2008

Trace is a Parkour gathering in the peak district organised by Jason Matten and Dave Sedgley. The first proper one was last year (Trace Gathering 2007) and we had a smaller one the year before called the Northern Parkour Gathering 2006. I came back a few days early from my trip to the Spanish Pyrenees for this event and it was well worth it. This year was HUGE as there were 250 places available as the entire campsite at Edale was booked out for us, so there were about twice as many attendees as last year (and about 5 times more than 06), which I felt played against us at times. It was too big. The rain fell throughout the week which left us unable to perform the training we would like to be able to do, but nevertheless we had a great gathering and did the best we could to train in the wet, which is simply a matter of working on smaller-scaled jumps and making them much more controlled, which is an integral part of parkour training. (What’s the point only training in good weather? What if we needed to put our skills to practice and it was raining?)

We all arrived on Monday to pitch our tents at Edale and meet and greet the traceurs who had mostly come from around the UK but some from Europe, America, even Australasia! I made my way by train from Sheffield and found a huge bunch of young people in tracksuit bottoms with big bags and camping equipment that happened to be getting the very same train as me. While waiting at the station in Sheffield the group were looking at a sizey precision jump across the single-train rail line which I have been wanting to try for quite some time, and I decided to go for it. It’s just about far enough to push my comfort levels, but I found it was easily doable. I think it’s about 11 feet.On the walk from the station to the campsite I saw my good friend Jin, who recently returned from a year in China, so we hugged and had a quick catch-up on the way to the gazebo that had been set up on entrance, where my good friend Blake from South London’s Saiyan Clan (see their awesome-but-not-frequently-enough-updated blog here) was ticking names off the list, and spotted me out of the crowd and came over to shake my hand and say hello, it was great to see him again, so we had a chat once the crowd had died down. We trained a bit on the park round the corner that night and got settled in before being grouped for the next two days. I was to be in Jin and Liv’s group with a mix of guys (and 3 girls) from all over the UK, none of which I knew at that point.

The first day was a late start and we warmed up and trained on a wet and slippery Padley Gorge for a few hours before heading to the other peaks in walking distance from Grindleford Station. We got the train to Hope to go to the shop to stock up on supplies for the week, and with about 100 other traceurs with the same idea, we packed the shop out and formed a queue that actually filled the shop, so on entering the shop, you had joined the queue and basically had to pick things up on your way to the front of the queue, which took about 45 minutes. We missed the train and a group of us decided to walk back rather than waiting 2 hours for the train. It was only 1 stop on the train and was a 7 minute journey that took well over an hour if you walked it.The next day was an early start which began with us trekking all the way up Higger Tor in the pouring rain, where we ate some food before doing some weaselling while the weather passed. Some of the gaps we had to force our bodies through were incredibly small, some even crushed your chest making it hard to breathe in and out. One of the guys there said that this was useful training as if you got caught in a building on fire or under terrorist attack or something and needed to climb through a vent to get out, you might have to force yourself through an awkward gap. This gave me reason to try some hard ones. One of them made you force your chest through a gap and struggle through upwards with little to push off, you got your skin caught at the front and back and had to relax as much as possible, breathe in and out slowly and you had to breathe out massively in order for your chest to be small enough to fit through, which was still a struggle, especially during shallow-breathing. I managed to squeeze through to applaud from the motivating group led by Daniel Ilabaca (one of the things I love about the way Danny trains with groups – he encourages people to work towards what they are trying to achieve and applauds and congratulates them on completion or good attempt).

Once the weather had cleared up we did some parkour runs over the rocks. Danny came up with a run with no preparation, he simply went forwards and came up with appropriate movements as he went along, and got us all to try and follow suit – it turned out to be a great run that everybody could do (some faster and smoother than others) and we had great fun fine-tuning and perfecting it. Later on in the afternoon when everyone was starting to get tired out, Danny asked who wanted to do some barefoot training, and those who did took off our shoes and socks and followed him on a course of keeping to the rocks and off the grass, all round Carl Walk, until we jumped to a massive rock where the path ended, and once three of us had got to where he was stuck, he asked the rest to find new paths. Danny decided to come up with a team activity where the four of us helped each other to get back from the big rock (impossible to do individually) so he formed himself into a bridge across the gap and I had to climb up him to get to the next rock, then help the next person up and then between us, pull Danny up to join us. We managed it and Danny asked for another team of four to work together to do the same, and three or four groups had a go. I think all but one made it back, and one with a little cheating, and Danny was trying to emphasise the importance of the task, to try and make it more real and more desperate so that we should treat it like we had to do it without falling and take it deadly seriously as if it was a matter of working together saving our lives. Some disregarded this but some took it on board and took the exercise seriously.The fourth day, and third full day of training, we had the choice to do what we wanted, so I trekked up to Higger Tor with a small group of other traceurs (most people just stayed at Padley Gorge out of laziness, some because they genuinely preferred it) and when we arrived there it chucked it down with rain and all we could do was take shelter and wait for it to get better. It only got worse, and we were given warnings of more bad weather, so we walked all the way back to the gorge where it was wet but some of the people were training. I joined Will and Blake on a tree/rock manoeuvre and added my own ideas to the route they were trying. They loved my idea (it was a sweet movement involving getting from one rock to another by means of a dive to a branch, swinging to another branch and swinging off onto the landing rock) and the three of us tried out our different techniques and took note of what we liked about each other’s way of moving and choices of methods, and were all getting close to landing it with different methods, but then Blake swung from the first branch and it snapped off completely. It looked as if he landed flat out on his back on a big rock, so I went over to see if his back was ok, which it was, minus a bit of a scrape, but he’d actually taken a chuck out of his arm on the way down! He had cut the skin on the inside of his arm at the elbow level, right where the bone sticks out, and the skin had ripped apart and looked quite deep, maybe to the bone. I rushed to get my first aid kit (the best of which is still making its way back in a trailer on a minibus from Spain with the rest of my kit) and cleaned the wound up and bandaged it and used some of Will’s tape to hold the cut closed so it could heal easier. He was ok and will be getting it checked out when he gets home.

Then we headed back to Edale and to the campsite where we had been informed flood warnings had been issued, and Dave was making plans to move the group to the village hall for the night rather than risk it at the campsite. Seeing as I live in Sheffield, I thought I may as well just pack up and go home, since the gathering had finished and people were only staying to go home the next day. I packed up quickly and found out the train times and just about had time to help Will pack away and say goodbye to some people. It amazed me how many mini-Ilabacas there were at Trace. Soooo many people with the same hairstyle and dressing habits. I actually witnessed (on several occasions) people picking up tips from Danny and telling their mates about them, and trying to copy every little thing that he did because they thought that it would make them better. One guy a few of us were helping with his cat pass technique actually admitted that he wanted to do it a different way just to be like Danny and that he thought it was justifiable to copy him merely because if Danny did it then it must be the right way. Apparently Danny’s years of practising and downright natural ability and skill don’t come in to it! I didn’t get many photos as I was too busy training. Thanks to Jason and Dave and all the reps for the event. And to Blake and Cable – please update your blog! I look forward to reading your version of events at Trace soon! I also hope we can arranged to meet up to train together soon. All the best, guys. Stay safe (and I hope your arm is ok, Blake!).