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How To Get Involved

There are several ways your school or college can get involved with canoeing across a range of age groups, below are some programmes and activities designed specifically for schools and/ or colleges.

U Canoe

A British Canoeing programme which is designed and delivered by young people for young people. U Canoe is an informal youth based activity that can be delivered to a wide range of young people aged 14-25 years and provides a broad range of skill development opportunities for pupils beyond just taking part in sport. U Canoe can be enjoyed indoors, in your own sports hall or gym with U Canoe Wired and outdoors with U Canoe Unleashed.

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U Canoe offers a participant centred individualised programme where young people lead the process and their outcomes for the session. You can use U Canoe in a variety of ways to suit the needs of the pupils and your aims as a school or college. This could be:

  • Developing employability skills and links to the curriculum
  • Increasing participation in sport.
  • Providing a different option away from the traditional sports to engage the ‘non-sporty’.
  • Improving health and fitness.
  • Extra-Curricular Activity/ Enrichment. E.g. Session planning, leadership skills, health and safety knowledge and understanding.

    Click here for more information around U Canoe

Paddle Awards

The NEW Paddle Awards are for those getting into a boat for the first time, enabling them to feel confident in their chosen craft in a sheltered water environment. The awards help empower the paddler, enabling them to start their lifelong journey into paddlesport.

School Games

School Games is a celebration of competitive intra and inter school sport for pupils that provide opportunities for all young people regardless of their experience, talent or ability.

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A year-round sporting calendar is created in each sub-region that is specifically designed to get young people competing at intra-school and inter-school levels, culminating in local, regional and national events.

Duke of Edinburgh Award

Aimed at 14-25 year olds, the popular Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme can be completed using Canoeing. Canoeing activity fits into the structure and aims of the Duke of Edinburgh Award’s four section; Service, Skills, Physical Recreation and Expeditions. If your school or college is keen to start providing, or already does provide, Duke of Edinburgh Award opportunities to your pupils- Canoeing is a great activity to consider!

Cross Stream Challenge

A FUNtastic, Flexible, Paddlesport Challenge

Cross Stream Challenge is a tool paddlesport instructors can use to add variety and fun to their coaching repertoire. The aims are to develop and challenge boat handling skills, develop strokes and moves, whilst blending Slalom, Freestyle, Polo, with a touch of Wild Water and Flat Water Racing maybe a bit of surf. The Cross Stream Challenge has been designed to offer something for everyone.

What underpins the Challenge is the total flexibility in its delivery, focusing on the paddler, not just the boat. The challenge will help to provide paddlers with developing skill based around a predetermined course in managed and measured environment. The challenge will fully open the doors of our sport for all paddlers, providing an opportunity to experience the many different disciplines and helping coaches spot where an individual is most motivated.

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How does it work?

There are 5 starter challenges and a further 25 mover Challenges. Each Challenge has that little extra that will make a difference just when you really need to make that move happen. Team Challenge, designed for two or more paddlers to paddle together over the same course. Head to Head, some of the challenges will allow 2 boats (or teams) on the water at the same time. First team across the line is the winner.


Any Canoe or Kayak will do; single or double. You will also need 5 sets of markers such as slalom gates and 3 lines  or, 5 sets of buoys if you cannot hang slalom gates. An alternative system has been designed for sheltered open water and can be downloaded by clicking on the 'Gate Plan' link below.

Where can I deliver Cross Stream?

The challenge has been designed to fit in to a variety of sheltered water environments. The challenge has the flexibility to be adapted for use on your local stretch of water or swimming pool.

Who can deliver the Challenges?

Paddlesport Instructor 


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