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About British Canoeing

We are British Canoeing, the national governing body for paddlesports in the UK. Read on to learn our past, our present, and our plans for the future.

Expand A Little History

A Little History

We have been around since 1936 as the British Canoe Union. In 2000 we federalised to become the umbrella organisation for the home nation associations in Scotland (Scottish Canoe Association), Wales (Canoe Wales) and Northern Ireland (Canoe Association Northern Ireland). 

We are still the membership body for England and are responsible for developing the sport within England.

Today British Canoeing is responsible for leading and setting the overall framework for all the National Associations and includes areas such as coaching, competition and representing canoeing interests at a UK level.

Paddlesports For All

Since 1936 there have been many wonderful, significant changes and advances in our sport. Canoeing now covers a wide range of interests and passions as a sport and a leisure activity. 

We want to support and provide opportunities for everyone to enjoy and realised their potential within all aspects of canoeing regardless of their age, background or ability.

Expand Vision 2020

Vision 2020

Our Vision 2020 for the sport is to be the first choice watersports for all. Behind our Vision are our clear messages:

  • Do it – join over 300,000 households who go canoeing
  • We aim to be the number one Olympic and Paralympic canoeing nation

Our Mission is to help and inspire people to go canoeing

To help us achieve our Vision 2020 we have five strategic objectives:

  • Increase regular participation
  • Internationally successful
  • More and better places to paddle
  • Raise our profile
  • Strong governance and leadership with quality operations

To help us achieve this we rely on a large number of volunteers who commit time, expertise and dedication across a wide range of roles, committees and groups.

Without their commitment we simply would not be where we are and could not achieve our Vision 2020.

Expand Stronger Together

Stronger Together

In March 2017 we launched Stronger Together, the new strategic plan for British Canoeing.

Stronger Together is a plan for the whole of the sport and will guide our work until 2021.

It is not only for the Board and the executive team but also for clubs and centres, regions and disciplines, and many other committees.

It is also for the national associations, and for our many national and regional partners.

Only through us all working cooperatively we will be Stronger Together.

Our plan seeks to better harness the skills, enthusiasm and commitment of all of those individuals and organisations who want to play their part in building an even brighter future for the sport in England and throughout the UK.

Stronger Together presents a clear purpose and vision for British Canoeing. It also sets out 11 ambitions to be delivered by 2021.

Our Purpose

  • Inspire people to pursue a passion for paddling; for health, enjoyment, friendship, challenge and achievement

Our Vision

  • A united British Canoeing, focused on our people and ambitions and excellent in delivery

Our Ambitions

  • Increase regular participation in paddlesport
  • Attract new members and improve member engagement and satisfaction
  • Create and promote more opportunities for exploration, adventure and challenge
  • Develop a stronger network of clubs and centres
  • Create more places to paddle and improve facilities
  • Improve access and promote environmental awareness
  • Provide excellent competitions
  • Improve pathways to performance and international success
  • Develop volunteers, coaches and leaders
  • Strengthen governance and financial sustainability within the sport
  • Improve the profile of paddlesport and communications throughout the sport