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Paddlesport Activity Assistant

The Paddlesport Activity Assistant supports the delivery of paddlesport activities by developing volunteers. 

The Paddlesport Activity Assistant (PAA) is an endorsement recognised by British Canoeing to support clubs, organisations and volunteers. Paddlesport Activity Assistants can facilitate activity at any time; within the lines of their organisations' Standard Operating Procedures.

The endorsement is targeted towards volunteers, aged 14 and over, within a paddlesport setting to support the menu of activities an organisation has on offer. The Paddlesport Activity Assistant can be for existing volunteers or new volunteers. There is no required previous experience and training and support will be provided through the mentoring from the Paddlesport Activity Assistant Coordinators.

Expand Overview

We already have a huge number of fantastic volunteers who offer invaluable support in various ways in order for paddlesport to happen and with the introduction of the Paddlesport Activity Assistant (PAA), British Canoeing have a way of formally recognising their hard work.

The programme is designed and endorsed by British Canoeing to support volunteers at our partner organisations such as Clubs, Centres, Scouts, Sea Cadets, Guides, YMCA groups, DofE and more, by developing volunteers to support the delivery of their paddlesport activities. The sessions a Paddlesport Activity Assistant can lead must be identified within the organisation's Standard Operating Procedures and be fully risk assessed. The endorsement aims to engage individuals of all paddling abilities to support specific sessions, both on and off the water. There is a one-off fee of £50 per organisation, and once training is complete, organisations can train as many Paddlesport Activity Assistants as they need. 

It is most likely to be used where sessions are repeated on a regular basis and a Paddlesport Activity Assistant could become, for example, a 'warm up lead', ‘family group lead’ or 'slalom session timer'.

Further details can be found in the Paddlesport Activity Assistant Endorsement Summary

Click here to watch our short video from Paddleplus, a Canoe Club in Leicester, about how the PAA has benefited their club and their volunteers. 

Expand The journey through the programme

If the following statements relate to your organisation, here are the steps you need to take to start using the Paddlesport Activity Assistant Endorsement...

  1. We have identified a need for more volunteers to support our paddlesport activities. 
  2. We would like a volunteer to help run an identified session/activity. 
  3. We would like more support to grow membership & support our new members. 
  4. We want to recognise and support our volunteers and ensure that when they are asked to step up to support our paddlesport activity, it is done safely and is endorsed by British Canoeing.
PAA Journey Through The Programme
Expand The PAA

The endorsement is aimed at individuals who may either be looking for greater involvement within the paddlesport community or a more formal recognition for their current commitment, but do not yet feel ready or the need to take the leap to become a qualified coach. 

The Paddlesport Activity Assistant could quite simply be anyone over 14, an interested parent, sibling, an active paddler or qualified coach. Their primary role is to facilitate safe and engaging paddlesport related activities. The nature of the session/activity would depend on the needs of the organisation or club where the Paddlesport Activity Assistant is active. There is no required previous experience and training and support will be provided through the mentoring from the Paddlesport Activity Assistant Coordinators. 

Paddlesport Activity Assistants will be signed-off to run their specific session, at their designated venue against the British Canoeing Paddlesport Activity Assistant 7 criteria areas. The sign-off will be done by the Paddlesport Activity Assistant Coordinator who will receive training on building, delivering and signing–off of the Paddlesport Activity Assistant. This will be endorsed by British Canoeing/Home Nation at the end of training. The candidate would complete training (as per individual requirements and the RA/SOPs) delivered in-house or identified externally either by the Coordinator or appointed experts within their field. 

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Expand PAA Coordinators

The Coordinators role is to facilitate and plan the training programme for the British Canoeing Paddlesport Activity Assistants. Coordinators will be nominated by their organisation and submitted for training.

The Paddlesport Activity Coordinator should be an individual with the relevant experience in mentoring others. They should be able to identify the training needed to develop the Paddlesport Activity Assistant and be able to support them through the process. The Coordinator does not necessarily have to have the expertise in every area of development and should be able to call upon other experts for advice.

The ideal person for this role would be someone who has a sound knowledge and understanding of how their organisation works and has experience of providing training/facilitating opportunities for others to learn. They should also have experience in supporting and mentoring others. Additionally the person would be someone who is a good communicator, exhibiting good judgement, commitment and problem solving skills. The Coordinator needs a good understanding of the best practice for the relevant activities being undertaken. Whilst a coaching qualification is not essential, a qualified coach is likely to meet some of these knowledge requirements and have the personal attributes required for the role

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