The focus of introductory courses is to allow participants to develop their paddling skills in a relaxed and enjoyable environment.
Once participants have had a first time experience, giving them the chance to progress easily will encourage them to continue within the sport. Running a Go Canoeing introductory course, which is made up of progressional sessions can be an ideal way for you to make them feel more confident on the water.
The content of these courses can be flexible in order to support the participant’s needs and the environment you operate in. Running them over 4-6 sessions is recommended to allow time for participants to consolidate and develop their skills.
The focus of introductory courses is to allow participants to develop their paddling skills in a relaxed and enjoyable environment. Courses can be offered in a range of boat types or a specific craft/ discipline dependant on the individual’s interests.
Your course could cover skills, knowledge, awareness of other water users, the environment and safety. If you feel participants skills have developed enough, you may wish to consider recognition with the British Canoeing introductory awards*.
Consider ways to build confidence and make people feel valued and enthused to continue beyond this course. This could be done by simply organising a social event, mini trip or fun challenge. If you are a club look at how you introduce them into a wider club based activity or groups in a supportive way.
For 2018 we have introduced a scheme that uses a credit based rewards system, based on the number of activities you are running. Credits can be used to redeem free resources for your activities. The more activities you run that offer clear progressional activities throughout the year the more credits you accumulate.
5 top tips to for planning an Introductory Course
- Ensure it’s a welcoming and fun
- Logical sequencing (ensure one session builds on the next)
- Bite size chunks (Less is more)
- Focus on the individuals needs and interests
- Focus on development and next step opportunities
To find out more about how to run Introductory Courses and how they link into the rewards system please see the download of the Go Canoeing for Clubs and Centres booklet below.
*In 2018 British Canoeing introductory awards include Star awards and Paddlepower. From January 2019 there will be new personal performance recognition awards launched.