Summer Volunteers

Each year we attract new volunteers, instructors and coaches that help the Trust deliver a wide range of Paddlesport activity and courses. To prepare our volunteers before they get qualified we run a range of courses aimed at developing new talent, ensuring high standards are achieved and maintained.

The activities delivered by the Trust attract young people that want to get involved, with new hopefuls joining us initially as volunteers, who are then provided access to in-house training. Volunteers that demonstrate an aptitude to lead paddlesport activity are required to undertake safety and rescue training and obtain a first aid qualification before working as assistant instructors. Assistant Instructors continue to work alongside qualified instructors whilst they obtain more experience.

The Trust operates a bursay scheme to encourage new talent with initial training opportunities that kicks off in April each year. Throughout the season, opportunities are available for aspirant instructors to obtain further qualifications.

Most volunteers ascend to become formal instructors within one season after which their contribution to the organisation is recognised and they get to wear an instructors shirt.

You may wish to get involved in a volunteering role as part of your Duke of Edinburgh scheme or you may be looking for some holiday employment when you are back from university, many of our instructors get qualified and come back each summer.

Older volunteers may have enjoyed participating in paddle sports and now you want to give something back or just like spending time outdoors, whatever your reason for getting involved, we hope we can offer you access to a rewarding pastime with many opportunities to maintain your interest.

People who lack qualifications are classified as Volunteers and are used to assist in the delivery of activities or assist with other land-based tasks. Volunteers will not be placed in a position of unsupervised responsibility. Where volunteers are over the age of 18, they will be required to have undergone a DBS check, if under 18 they will be assigned to work alongside a nominated DBS checked adult who will be ensure their safety at all times.

Where volunteers participate in water activities they will be considered as participants with regards to operational ratios as defined in our Operations Manual. It is recognised that not all volunteers will wish to become instructors with some very happy to remain in a supportive role rather than leading the activities, where a volunteer wishes to become an instructor, they will be required to obtain the following qualifications in addition to their DBS certificate:

  • Hold a valid First Aid Certificate (minimum 6 hours)
  • Hold a BC FSRT or PSRT qualification.
  • Attend a BC Paddlesport Instructors Course or (for Scouting attend a Scout Leaders Paddlesport Leaders course including PSR before later satisfying an in-house Instructor Assesment.

Volunteers may wish to get involved in administrative roles or get involved with the maintenance teams that include regular inspections of boats and equipment and undertaking fleet and facility repairs and site maintenance.

If you wish to volunteer and get involved in the work of the Canoe Sports Trust, you are very welcome to join us.

Young Leaders Training /Assistant Instructor Scheme

The Young Leaders Training Scheme is an opportunity for young people in academic Year 11 who will be sixteen years old before the end of August, or in Year 12 who will be seventeen before the end of August to get involved in the delivery of a range of paddlesports activities and work towards obtaining a CST Assistant Instructor (AI) qualification.

The Trust was created to extend the reach of paddlesports to the wider community and by joining the scheme you will be able to receive the training required to take an active role in the delivery of activities. You will initially engage as a volunteer and following basic training whilst working alongside others, recording your coaching experience before presenting yourself for a local assessment to become qualified as an Assistant Instructor.

Some Young Leaders may choose to undertake all the training on offer and pay to get fully qualified as soon as they are able, in such cases this scheme may not be for them. With a duty of care to all of our instructors, the Trust ensures that all young instructors work alongside supervising adults until they reach their 18th birthday.

Recognising a young person’s commitment to their GCSE and A-Levels, the Trust has created a programme of courses and training opportunities that strives not to interfere with an applicant’s studies.

Assistant Instructors will be encouraged to obtain nationally recognised qualifications as they approach their 18th Birthday so as they come of age, they are able to assume full responsibility for activities they lead.

Six places are funded each year for those wishing to qualify for places on the scheme and following your application, you will be invited to attend a Meet the Team Day, where the full scheme will be explained, and you will get an opportunity to participate in a variety of water activities and workshops with you expected to actively participate. During the day you will be assessed by the team, so we are able to determine your suitability for participation in the scheme and before the end of the day we will explain the agreement that subject to your selection, you will be required to commitment to.

All candidates will be provided with feedback following their attendance on a Meet the Team Day, with successful candidates being invited to an Induction Course that is similar to the Paddlesport Leaders Day (see website for details) where you will be introduced to your mentors who you will work alongside for the first season, who will provide you opportunities to improve your paddlesport skills, expose you to opportunities to improve your leadership and get you involved in assisting them in the delivery of activities. Unsuccessful candidates will be invited to reapply the following year should they wish to.

Once qualified, Assistant Instructors can rely on reliable and regular summer employment should they wish to forfeit a poorly paid summer job for one outside supporting paddlesport activities.

If you wish to be considered for a place om the Young Leaders or Assistant Instructors Scheme for 2024 write, a quick resume via our enquiries email address (100 words max) telling us about your paddlesport experience and why we should pick you over other applicants.

The Meet the Teams take place towards the end of June.

One of our younger instructors hoping to stay dry.