We know it can be intimidating taking your first step into a new hobby, but there’s nothing to worry about, this is going to be fun! Take your worries away with this award and start with the very basics, including an enjoyable practical session. First time on the water? The Start is the award for you! See our Awards page for further information on the British Canoeing’s Start Award, and also further Awards that you can move on to.


If you are a beginner you need to pre-book onto one of our Start Award sessions. The Start Award sessions run from April to September on a Tuesday evening between 18:00 & 20:00. If you cannot manage a Tuesday, don’t be put off, as it may be possible to make arrangements for you to attend a Thursday evening session instead. Contact our club by going to the Contact Us page to pre-book on to a course 


Please scroll down for more information.




As well as contacting us to book yourself on to one of our Start Award sessions by entering your details on our Contact Us page ) you will need to pay a new starter fee of £10 per person (payable on booking your place), preferably by direct transfer to the club bank account. This new starter fee is non-refundable but will be deducted from your membership fee if you join the club after your first session. 

You will also need to complete a registration form. If possible bring a paper copy of this form with you fully completed to your Start Award session.

Please click here to download a copy of the form. If you do not have the means to print a copy of the form at home a paper copy will be provided to you to complete just before the beginning of your Start Award session; please be sure to arrive at the Club in good time to allow for completion of the form.

Please note that the form is in fact the ordinary membership form, but you will not be committed to becoming a full member of the Club unless you decide to join the Club following your first Start Award session, at which point there will be no need to complete any further paperwork, only to pay the balance of the membership fee. Click here for membership fees.


If you are a beginner it is assumed that you will not have any equipment of your own. The Club has suitable equipment for you to borrow, to include boats, buoyancy aids, paddles and helmets.
Please be sure to arrive at the Club in good time before the beginning of your Start Award session so that you can be fitted out with equipment that is appropriate to your size.



If you do not already own specialist paddling gear, then follow these simple guidelines:  You need to avoid cotton and denim clothes as you will get wet and these materials hold the water and make you cold.  Manmade fibres and wool are the materials of choice.  As a minimum you need a warm top, trousers and pair of old thin trainers that you don’t mind getting wet, together with a cheap nylon cag to keep the wind off.  If you have a pair of neoprene or plastic beach shoes they will be fine. If you have a wet suit, that’s fine but you still need a cag for the wind. However Long John type wet suits without arms are best for paddling. Most importantly, bring a towel and a change of clothes as you will probably get wet. 
Obviously everyone is different and you need to choose the layers that suit your own body and will keep you warm enough.

If you still have any questions after reading this page please contact us by going to our Contact Us page