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PaddleSport Leader Award

Canoe Sport Coaching are very proud to be able to offer this new and exciting British Canoeing Leadership Award. Please have a look through the new award overview to see if it's for you. 

Where can the Paddle-sport Leader operate?

We recommend that the Paddle-sport Leader is an appropriate qualification for taking on formal leadership responsibilities in benign, sheltered water. The overall ethos is that the group will be able to quickly and easily land, avoid hazards present and stay within the chosen safe working area. This may include trips on canals, ungraded sections of slow moving rivers, open water (e.g. lakes and lochs), small enclosed bays or harbours, defined beaches or slow moving estuaries, in conditions that are appropriate for the group but not more than 200m off-shore or in wind strengths exceeding Beaufort force 3.

What is the Paddle-sport Leader qualified to do?
Lead, supervise, or facilitate safe, quality, enjoyable trips (in benign, sheltered water environments), based on their group’s needs and aspirations. This may include:
Leading club trips
Leading journeys that are part of a school or outdoor education experience
Leading social paddling trips
Taking people to visit or explore new places
Looking after groups who wish to practice their skills (staff/club training trips)
Supporting a Duke of Edinburgh group on a journey The award does not include progressive coaching of technical skills but focuses on learning through experience.
British Canoeing recommends that the Paddle sport Leader could work with groups of up to 8 boats (reduced to 6 with open canoes), and no more than 12 people when using tandem/crew boats.Actual group size will depend on the specific group needs.

What formal training is required?
None. Direct entry to assessment is available to those aged 16 or over who have valid first aid training (1-day) and Home Nation Association Membership. Candidates will be responsible for making decisions about what preparation they need prior to assessment. Optional British Canoeing Paddle sport Leader Training courses will be available for those who wish to access them. This is something we also offer so please get in touch to see how we can tailor your training for hopeful a successful assessment in the future.

How will it be assessed?

Candidates’ leadership, personal and safety and rescue skills will be assessed in both wind affected open water and slow moving water; this could involve rivers, inland open water and/or tidal waters.Each candidate will be seen leading a group of real students, paddling a mixed fleet, in both environments.

Assessment courses will normally run over 1 or 2 days. This will depend on the course ratios and logistics relating to access to suitable environments. 1:1 or 1:2 assessments may take 1 day, whilst 2 day assessments can run at a 1:4 ratio.

There is lots of information on these links below. If you have any questions at all, please get in touch.

Paddle Sport Leader FAQ'S

Paddle Sport Leader Overview

.Assessment Guidance Notes

Leadership Registration Form

Paddle Sport Leader E-learning

Paddle Sport Leader Downloads

2 Day PaddleSport Leader Training course.

Price : individual price £165.00

This two day course will be accredited by British Canoeing , and candidates will be given a full individual action plan to help them progress towards a successful future assessment. There are many options for training, depending on individual needs. This is a minimum of two days, but if you think you may require additional days/ sessions then please get in touch to see how we can help tailor a course for you.


1 Day PaddleSport Leader Assessments:

Duration: 1 day for up to 2 persons - 2 days for 3 or 4 persons)

Accommodation: Not provided

Price: Individual assessment price £165.00


Candidates can book assessment dates directly with us as this is usually easier.

British Canoeing additional Training Modules/Days can be provided to meet individual needs in all areas of the award. Please get in touch for more information.