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Coaching & Leadership Conference

2019 Coaching and Leadership Conference

The eagerly anticipated 2019 British Canoeing Coaching & Leadership Conference took place at the 23rd and 24th November at Eastwood Hall, Nottinghamshire with over 250 delegates across the weekend, the biggest conference to date! 

Throughout Saturday, the keynote speakers engaged the audience in their talks with Professor Sophia Jowett discussing the Coach Athlete Relationship, Marianne Davies talked through 'Re-weaving the Coaching Rainbow' and Steve Macdonald shared 'What's best next?' and how the group could apply what they have heard. 

During Saturday evening, the conference hosted the Coaching and Leadership Awards, which included presentations of the Award of Honour, Outstanding Contribution and Coaching Diploma graduates. 

During Day 2 of the conference, coaches and leaders attended a range of classroom based workshops, including the Guide Module, Camp Craft and Expedition Skills, which included starting fires and setting up tarps, as well as Smash and Bash, where coaches had the opportunity to fix boats. Over at the National Water Sports Centre, delegates took to the water to participate in a range of workshops including the NEW Stadium Safety and Rescue training, Coaching in a Dynamic Environment and Open Water SUP Skills. 

Throughout the weekend, delegates also had the opportunity to speak to a range of exhibitors, including representatives from Red Paddle, Peak UK Kayaking, Pyranha Kayaks, Surfplugs, the RNLI and Silverbirch and Tootega, to name a few. 

2018 UK Coaching & Leadership Conference

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Throughout Saturday, the keynote speakers engaged the audience in their talks, Andy Abraham compared coaches to Cooks & Chefs and Wolves & Vampires. Mark Delaney shared his journey from athlete to high performance coach. Doug Cooper explored leadership and how our behaviour’s and actions can make all the difference. Myles Farnbank finished the day, reminding us all how important customer experiences are.

During the Saturday evening, the conference hosted the British Canoeing Coaching & Leadership Awards, which was followed by the epic journey of the first ever circumnavigation of Britain in a canoe by Colin Skeath and Davis Gould Duff.

Day 2 of the conference, coaches and leaders attended the NEW Guide modules, which included starting fires, setting up tarps and the use of flares. Over at the National Water Sports Centre, delegates took to the water to participate in a range of workshops including the Polo, SUP and Freestyle workshops, as well as Provider Rescue Moderations.

Throughout the weekend, delegates had the opportunity to speak to a range of exhibitors, including representatives from Red Paddle, Peak UK Kayaking, Palm Equipment Ltd, Hou Canoes, Surfplugs and Silverbirch, to name a few. 

The best I have ever attended - a buzzing atmosphere, positive networking and an optimistic feeling for the new approach from our Governing body - stronger together.

– 2018 Conference Delegate

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2016 Coach Conference

The 2016 Coach Conference took place on the 19th and 20th November, featuring a range of keynotes and workshops around the theme 'Coaching Chaos - making sense of the Coach's Learning Journey'. 

The focus of the weekend was to celebrate and investigate the complex journey a coach undertakes to develop their craft.

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With a host of guest speakers, workshop leaders and exhibitors throughout the two days, attendees were able to network, listen to presentations and actively get stuck in to the practical sessions on the Sunday.

Coaching is complex; to develop and make sense in a reflective manner takes a considerable time and exposure, working with others, mentoring, being part of a community and continual professional development are all ways we can start to develop our coaching craft. Professor John Lyle set the scene and invited attendees to explore ‘Crafting Knowledge - Developing Expertise’ providing an insight into research as well as practical applications. John promoted and supported that knowledge research had its limitations and application research was essential in the development of our experience.

Throughout the first day various presentations and workshops followed the theme with Dr. Bill Taylor discussing the Coach as Educator, Ed Christian and Matt Berry from Chichester University exploring the Coaches Journey and Doug Cooper from Glenmore Lodge examining how to create the Optimal Environment to support learning and performance.

Before the social conference dinner, Martin Chester provided an engaging presentation looking at the multi-dimensional view of participants needs and how we as coaches can engage with performers and athletes.

'We love getting out of our comfort zone and pushing ourselves... I think it’s the best thing in the world to stretch yourself as a coach. If you really want to know what it’s like for your paddlers, go and do something that scares you'. Martin Chester

On day two of the Coach Conference, attendees were given the option to continue exploring the themes from day one of the programme or to attend the Discipline Support Modules on the water at the National Water Sports Centre.

Despite the weather and torrential rain, the modules went ahead and by mid-day, to the delight of attendees and workshop leaders, they were treated to calm winds and blue skies. Modules delivered included Stand Up Paddleboard with National Trainer Darren Sherwood, assisted by Chris Brain and Scott Harrand, using a variety craft from racing, general purpose and crew craft.

Polo coach Zoe Anthony delivered an up-beat and energetic session at the purpose built Polo facility providing coaches with an insight into the progressive sessions and strategies that a coach can adopt to introduce polo to paddlers.

Marathon, Sprint and Slalom Discipline Support Modules were facilitated by Mike Chandler, British Canoeing Performance Coach Manager, Russell Smith, Slalom Coach and Richard Ward from Exeter Marathon Canoe Club. 

A stimulating event and great opportunity to network and catch up with old friends.

– 2016 Coach Conference Delegate

2015 Highlights

The 2015 Coach Conference held on the 21st-22nd November and hosted by Cranage Hall, explored the theme ‘The Multidimensional Role of a Coach'. Thank you to all the coaches who were involved in making this event so memorable.

The conference featured keynote presentations from Loel Collins who explored ‘Decision Making and Judgment in Paddlesport Coaching’, drawing on the findings of a 5 year study into coaching adventure sports, specifically paddlesports, and also Sonja Jones and Chris Brain, who explored their journey to freedom. 12 months after Sonja developed MS, with the help of her coach Chris Brain, they paddled Scotland Coast to Coast in just 3 days. They proved that with the right determination and the right coach, anything is possible.

Across the weekend, 25 workshops looked into the many roles of a coach, including workshops focusing on older paddlers, talent identification, women’s coaching and whether learning styles are fact or fiction. The Sunday programme featured on the water workshops, including the Polo Discipline Support Module.

Throughout the day, delegates had to opportunity to speak to exhibitors including representatives from Peak UK Kayaking, Palm Equipment Ltd, Hou Canoes and Pyranha, to name a few.

2015 Image Gallery

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