Any upcoming training courses will be advertised on the club calendar and via the regular Notes from Canalside which is emailed to members.
BC offers training and awards in pretty much every paddlesport discipline you can think of, from SUP to canoe polo. For Regent’s paddlers the White Water Kayak and White Water Canoe awards will probably be the most relevant. There’s a lot of information on the BC website, but a summary of the basics is given below for the whitewater kayak awards.
Personal Performance awards
These awards are about improving your personal paddling skills. This includes decision making and group skills as well as technical ability.
- White Water Award (grade 2 skills)
- Progressive White Water Award (grade 3-4 skills)
- Advanced White Water Award(grade 4-5 skills)
These recognise the additional skills you need when leading others. Three levels are relevant to Regent’s club paddlers:
- Paddlesport Leader (sheltered water)
- White Water Kayak Leader (moderate water)
- Advanced White Water Kayak Leader (advanced water)
All these awards focus on personal paddling skills, rescue skills, safety, leadership and group skills. There is a two-day training course for each award followed by a one day assessment, though you will need experience as well as training to pass.
The training can be an excellent way to improve your river skills and we’d recommend this for all members looking to feel more confident on the river, the assessment can be taken up to 3 years after the training.
These awards are about teaching kayaking. This could be helping complete beginners to learn the basics, or helping more advanced paddlers improve. Either way you would learn to plan and deliver progressive coaching sessions. Coaching well is a real skill and a lot gets covered in this training, from understanding different learning styles to assessing progress and making sure your coaching is enjoyable.
To do these awards you would first do core coach training, which is not discipline specific. Then there are awards for many different paddlesport disciplines. For white water kayaking the awards are:
- Kayak Coach (sheltered water)
- White Water Kayak Coach
- Advanced White Water Kayak Coach
Becoming a coach takes time and commitment – as well as completing the training you need to show that you are putting what you are learning into practice and keep a diary of your coaching experience.
What other training could I think about doing?
White Water Safety and Rescue
This is another BC course which is strongly recommended for anyone who is paddling white water regularly. It covers safe paddling strategies and a variety of different rescue skills. It’s typically a two day course.
Also strongly recommended. Any first aid is useful but Wilderness First Aid is a popular choice, as we often paddle in rural locations where help could be several hours away. This is a requirement for the leadership and coaching awards.
Personal Paddling skills
There are lots of ways to improve your own paddling skills, starting with paddling regularly at the canal to strengthen your forward paddling (the foundation of all white water skills!) If you are thinking about paying for coaching, Lee Valley offer some good evening courses or you could team up with some friends to hire a coach. The BC Personal Performance awards have replaced the old ‘star’ awards and offer progression in personal skills from flat water to advanced white water (grade 3/4 (5))
OK I’m keen – what should I do now?
It depends what you’re interested in. If you want to do a course (leadership, personal paddling, first aid, safety and rescue – whatever) it’s cheaper to team up with other members interested in the same thing and hire a coach together, see our suggested list of providers. Do some research into courses and work out what you want to do. You can contact [email protected] to put a shout out in NfC to see if anyone else is interested.
If you think you might be interested in becoming a coach, get in touch with our safety officer – [email protected] – who can talk you through what’s involved in more detail. There’s also a heap of information on the British Canoeing website.
If you have any other questions about coaching and leading, or about training generally, get in touch with our safety officer – [email protected] – who’ll be happy to help.
Members who wish to undertake professional paddle sport or first aid training and/or assessment can apply to the committee for discretionary subsidies. Members will need to demonstrate that they are active members of the club and that the training will be of benefit to the club rather than solely for the individual.
Examples of suitable training courses include:
- British Canoeing UKCC coaching courses, e.g. Level One training and/or assessment
- British Canoeing Moderate Water and/or Advanced Water Endorsement
- First aid courses (recognised as appropriate by British Canoeing)
- British Canoeing Four Star and Five Star courses
- Foundation Safety and Rescue training (FSRT)
- White Water Safety and Rescue Training
- Advanced White Water Safety and Rescue Training
Courses organised by RCC and run by club volunteers will not generally be eligible for subsidy.
- BC Safety and Rescue training (e.g. White Water Safety and Rescue, Advanced White Water Safety and Rescue)
- BC Leadership awards
- First aid courses
- BC coaching awards
Your application must be received by the Safety and Training Officer within a period of three months of the course’s finishing date or before the next Committee Meeting (whichever is the longer). You can apply for a subsidy before your training, but no subsidy will be paid until after the course and you have submitted an article outlining your experiences from the training.
If you have any questions regarding subsidies, please contact the club’s Training & Safety Officer on [email protected]
Expenses for coaches
A designated coached trip is one which has been presented to and discussed at a Training Meeting and then ratified by the committee.
Coaches and experienced paddlers who coach on such designated trips may, if they wish, claim transport and accommodation expenses.
For full details, see the section on Coached Trips on the Organising Trips page