Courses

We offer a range of courses depending on your preferred development path:

Participation Courses have been created to introduce people to the sport disciplines and offer a gentle progressive path for the novice to become a competent sheltered water paddler.

Our Personal Performance Awards are suited for those who wish to excel in the sport and are more suited to paddlers who wish to move towards moving water and the competition disciplines.

Our Leader and Instructor courses offer a route for progressive development route for those who wish to become run their own activities as Group Leaders or run activities as Activity Instructors.

Our Coaching Awards are suited to those that wish to teach, to pursue a career in watersports or become a club coach.

Participation Courses

These courses encourage any novice aged ten plus to establish a basic level of competence. The scheme is divided into three levels. The British Canoeing levels are; Start, Discover and then Explore and can be completed in Kayak, Open Canoe or SUP.

The Paddle Start Award is designed for the complete novice or someone who has been out paddling a few times. This course will get you paddling in a straight line, performing a few basic manoeuvres, and develop your confidence. This can be booked in kayak, canoe or SUP.

Paddle Start Award – Canoe is an introduction to open canoe with you buddying up and taking turns to paddle at the front, putting in the power strokes and at the back paddling and steering.

Paddle Start Award – Kayak is a introduction with participants learning to paddle forwards and backwards and side to side. Participants will be taught how to use the correct safety equipment, how to correctly carry the kayak and paddle and how to safely launch and recover the kayak at the end of the session.

Paddle Start Award – SUP is an introduction and includes how to carry the board and paddle, paddling technique, different types of turns, self-rescue and how to safely fall. You will also be taught how the environment affects you,and how to plan tours on rivers and canals.

Personal Progression – Kayak

On completing your Paddle Start Kayak award there are three levels to further develop kayaking skills.

Paddle Start 2 – Kayak Getting Wet is a course that teaches the skill of safe capsize and the use of a spray decks. We also introduce basic support strokes to prevent capsize.

Paddle Start 3 – Kayak Polo is a great course to develop and practise previously learnt skills. The course teaches the basics of the sport starting with passing skills, ball possession, tactics, attack, and defence. The session is concluded with a game. To attend this course you must be able to capsize whilst wearing a spray deck or have attended a Paddle Start 2 – kayak Getting Wet course.

Paddle Start 4 – Kayak Wet & Wild consolidates the skills that you have acquired this course includes lots of new games and challenges to test your skills. Expect to get wet but also expect to have loads of fun. Note that we only run this course in July and August.

Personal Progression – Canoe

Paddle Start 2 – Canoe Going Solo is a course that develops the skill of paddling a canoe solo.

Paddle Start 3 – Canoe Wet & Wild consolidates the skills that you have acquired this course includes lots of new games and challenges to test your skills. Expect to get wet but also expect to have loads of fun. Note that we only run this course in July and August.

Personal Progression – SUP

Paddle Start 2 – SUP Polo is a great course to develop and practise previously learnt skills. The course teaches the basics of the sport starting with passing skills, ball possession, tactics, attack, and defence. The session is concluded with a game.

Having completed a Paddle Start course you can progress onto the Paddle Discover Award or you may choose to try another craft to complete one of the other entry level Paddle Start courses.

Paddle Discover & Paddle Explore Awards

The Paddle Discover Award in either kayak, open canoe or SUP is run over two days (three hours each day). These courses aim to encourage participants to become independent paddlers, whilst having fun and a safe time on the water. It aims to develop an understanding of the factors which affect paddling; decision making, practical skills and increasing confidence on the water. Skills will include capsizing a kayak or a canoe, swimming your craft to the shore and developing your paddling technique so that longer journeys can be completed. On the second day we will take a tour to Harefield where you will be introduced to moving water.

The Paddle Explore Award in kayak, open canoe or SUP is the final participation encouragement award that consolidates the skills learnt on the Paddle Start and Paddle Discover courses. These courses prepare you for ownership of activities further afield, looking at how to prepare for trips, what should be worn and taken with you, develops rescue techniques and the skills you require to be a safer paddler. This award encourages you to be a confident and valued member of a paddling team.

Leader and Instructor Courses

Many of the courses are nationally recognised and are transferable between activity centres.

Foundation of Safety & Rescue Training (FSRT) is designed to provide paddlers with the key safety and rescue skills when on the water and when coaching. It is designed to inform paddlers safe ways to operate and deal with common emergencies and rescues of themselves and others. This is the prerequisite for all British Canoeing instructor courses.

First Aid – Recreational 1 This 1 day entry level outdoor first aid course is ideally suitable for anybody considering outdoor pursuits as a personal hobby and is also fully compliant with the requirements of British Canoeing instructor awards and the Scout and Guide Association.

Uniformed Self Run Instructors & Staff Training

Leaders Paddlesports Days are bespoke days where leaders from uniformed groups can come and experience all the activities on offer, qualifications required and learn about the site.

Activity Instructor & Group Leader Training provides group leaders and activity instructors with the basic knowledge to organise and deliver safe activities. The course requires a first aid qualification and have attended an FSRT course in the last five years.

The course covers preparation of the facility before a group arrives, the safe management of the group whilst on the activity and how to deal with issues that may affect the session. It will cover how to secure all the equipment and lock up the site after the last group has left. You will become familiar with the rules that govern our operation and the processes we are required to follow to ensure all activities are run safely.

Activity Instructor Assessments for an instructor wishing to deliver activities for the Trust. The assessment will include coaching a session. Instructors need to demonstrate how they organise the group, provide instruction, ensure group safety, how they dealt with any incidents and overall management of the session.

Base Supervisor Training is a course for experienced Group Leaders, Instructors and Coaches and takes an in-depth look at our operation with a view to identifying better and safer ways to deliver activities. The course draws upon first-hand experience of those attending the course and looks to improve the organisation and management of the operation.

Coaching Awards

Paddlesport Instructor Course is the first stage of the British Canoeing coaching scheme and teaches prospective coaches the skills to deliver safe paddlesport activities. The course is suited to candidates wishing to pursue an career as a watersports instructor or wish to become a club coach.

Paddlesport Leader and Paddlesport Tour Leader courses are organised annually in the Autumn and are the second level of coaching award with the emphasis moving from supervision of activity to focussed teaching on entry level courses such as the Paddle Start and Discover.

The Canoe Coach Award is our highest level of coaching award and runs over 5 days recognising the wide range of 22 disciplines in paddle sport, with courses tailored to each specific discipline. At the Canoe Sports Trust we are able to deliver the Coach Award in Kayak, Canoe, SUP and a joint Canoe/Kayak discipline. Following this course, you will possess the qualifications required to run a centre and deliver the Paddle Explore.