Start Award

The Start Award is exactly what it says on the tin, it’s a place to start your paddling journey. If you’re brand new to the sport and really want to learn the basics to get started, then this is the award for you. You’ll cover everything from getting in and out of the boat, what you need to wear and paddling forward.
Who is it for? Pretty much anyone of any age who wants to learn how to get started on the water. You don’t need any previous experience to take your Start Award, just the desire for fun! You can take the award in any craft, from kayaks, canoes and SUPs.



Discover Award

If you’ve completed a Start Award and want to learn more……
The Discover Award is perfect for you.
It’ll help you develop a better understanding of the fundamentals of paddling. During this award, your instructor will work with you to evolve your decision making and practical skills, giving you confidence on the water.
What is the Discover Award?
The Discover Award allows you to develop your decision making and practical skills for a fun and safe time on the water, as you become a more skilled and independent paddler. Through this award you will learn how to choose and effectively use equipment, whilst developing an understanding of the factors which affect your paddling.
Who is it for?
Anyone of any age who want to develop their skills on the water. You don’t need any previous experience to take your Discover Award, just the desire for fun and learning! You can take the award from any craft, from kayaks, canoes or SUPs.
When can you do this award?
April to September: Following on from Start sessions throughout the summer season on the river Eden at the Sands.  Two 2 hour sessions per week, Tuesday and Thursday evenings, 18:00 to 20:00. October to March: One 2 hour session per week on Saturday mornings, 10:00 to 12:00 at the Sands. 
Why should I do the Discover Award?
If you want to develop your skills from your Start Award, or feel like you need to expand your basic paddling knowledge further, this is the award you need.  The award covers topics such as: Encouraging independent decision making on different bodies of water  (moving river, canal, estuary, harbor), covering safety and weather aspects too Preparing for self-guided adventures Equipment you will need for a variety of paddle trips Further developing your canoe, kayak or SUP paddling and rescue skills


What next?
Looking to hone in your skills before you head off on a paddle trail? If you’ve completed the Start or Discover award, want to develop your skills before moving on to Personal Performance Awards, or just want to build your confidence, the Explore award is for you!


Explore Award

What is the Explore award?
If you want to become independent on the water, go on self-guided adventures and know how to control your craft and stay safe on the water, this is the award for you. If you’ve never been paddling before, it might be worth starting with the Start and Discover awards. In this award you will take ownership of your own decisions and learn to make confidence choices, based on the places you paddle, wind and weather.
Who is it for?
Anyone can take the Explore award.  Designed to help you gain confidence on the water It is aimed at any craft, age and ability.
What does it involve?
There’s a strong emphasis on independence with this award, and the Explore award will fill in the gaps of knowledge you might have so you can get out paddling safely on an adventure!  The award covers areas like: On the water etiquette and how to share the space with other water users Different environments you can paddle (lakes, rivers, canals, estuaries) Controlling your kayak canoe or SUP safely Clothing and equipment needs for different environments and weather Safe exploration
Club river trips tend to take place between October and March and are used to improve skills or just have fun. These sometimes are pre-arranged organized club trips, but mostly these are trips arranged amongst individuals on the day given the varying nature of river levels


We have over 12 active coaches at the club who together with a number of volunteers will happily help you develop your paddling skills. If you are interested in getting involved on the coaching side of the club please contact John Storr. We as a club are committed to helping individual paddlers develop their coaching abilities and value everyone’s contribution. We would encourage all our paddlers to develop down the coaching pathway. However if coaching is not for you at the present time, obtaining a Leadership award could be a useful alternative. Ask John Storr about potential pathways you could go down. The British Canoeing website has a wealth of information on personal development and coaching awards.