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Duke of Edinburgh Scheme

Canoeing activities fit well into the structure and aims of the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

The success of the Award is based on a partnership between adults and young people. For adults, this provides an opportunity to share skills and experiences with young people. This in turn leads to better understanding between the young and not-so-young, and strengthen co-operation within their community.

Paddling suits the four sections of the Award which must be completed:

  • Service
  • Skills
  • Physical Recreation
  • Expeditions

Canoeing can be used just to complete the Expedition section as an alternative to more traditional expeditions such as walking. For the Physical Recreation section appropriate goals can be set through canoeing-related activity. In addition, the Service Section now includes British Canoeing Lifeguard awards, British Canoeing Safety training, Paddlesport Instructor, U Canoe Activator Award and the Coach Award.

Canoeing is also an appropriate activity for progression through the Award’s three levels:

  • Bronze for those over 14
  • Silver for those over 15
  • Gold for those over 16

The Award programme demands more time and an increasing commitment and improvement - as the participant progresses through the levels. At Bronze level, participants need strong support from adult helpers; but at Gold, they should be largely responsible for organising their own Award Programme with the guidance of adults.

Full details of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award are available from