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Awards & Recognition

Volunteers are extremely valuable and deserve considerable praise and thanks. It's essential for the good health of paddlesports that volunteers feel that their role and actions are important. This means feeling welcome, needed, useful, part of the club and thanked.

If your club is thinking about how it can ensure your volunteers feel valued and rewarded for their time, we can help with a broad range of different schemes.

If you want more information on rewarding volunteers? Email and we will help you with your enquiry.

Expand Recognising Volunteers

Rewarding and recognising your volunteers

So how can you reward your volunteers? Sometimes it's the simple things that make a difference - just saying thank you or offering praise while they are doing their role. Ways you could thank your volunteers include:

  • Nominate your volunteers for the annual Regional Volunteer and Recognition Awards
  • Have an interest in how your volunteers are getting on
  • Praise your volunteers for what they are doing
  • Ensure volunteers are formally recognised at committee meetings/presentations
  • Acknowledge your volunteers in club/centre newsletters and on the notice board
  • A thank you goes a long way
  • Download the volunteer recognition certificate and give this to your volunteers
  • Make sure you nominate your volunteers for local awards
  • Nominate your volunteers for other National Awards
  • Send them birthday and Christmas cards
  • Listen to their ideas and implement their suggestions where possible
  • Organise a social event for volunteers
  • Pay for your volunteers to attend relevant skills and training events
  • Provide deals on club/centre membership
  • Give them complimentary tickets to special events and functions

It is also worthwhile to ensure that club/centre members understand the impact that volunteers have. This can be done through raising awareness of what the volunteers do within your organisation. You could produce articles in the newsletter which focus on a particular role - for example, 'a day in the life of your club secretary'. You could also create a notice board that explains the different roles at the club/ centre. Most volunteers get pleasure from volunteering but we all like to be treated well and thanked when we give our time for free. Rewarding volunteers is an essential part of retaining your club or centre workforce - it can't be left to chance!

Expand Rewards Scheme

Paddlesport Rewards Scheme

British Canoeing’s Paddlesport Rewards Scheme is a great way to recognise your volunteers free of charge. The Scheme is a great way for clubs, centres, disciplines and committees to recruit and retain volunteers. When volunteers reach each level they can then receive their reward from British Canoeing. It's the perfect way to reward your volunteers with no extra cost to you!

British Canoeing’s Paddlesport Rewards Scheme recognises the hours which our thousands of volunteers across the country are dedicating to their canoe club or centre. The Paddlesport Rewards Scheme recognises the hours you dedicate to volunteering in our sport. Whether you are new to volunteering or an existing volunteer, the scheme allows you to log the hours you spend volunteering in order to gain your bronze (25 hours), silver (50 hours) and gold (100 hours) awards.

Every time you reach an award, send back your log book to British Canoeing and we will send you a certificate in recognition of your achievement. Once you reach the gold award, you will receive a pin badge and certificate. Volunteers can choose whether to work towards one level of the scheme or continue through the scheme to gain all level of awards.

Registration & Logbook

Register for the scheme by clicking here and filling out the registration form. After registration you will be sent your logbook to start recording your hours.

Expand Long Service Award

Long Service Award

The British Canoeing Long Service Award recognises the long standing contribution of volunteers who have committed 25 years or more to Paddlesport regardless of their role - from coaches and committee members to those behind the scenes.

All volunteers receiving this award will join the roll of honour and will be presented with their Long Service certificate and lapel pin badge.

Nomination Process

Nominations should be made on the official British Canoeing form, click here. Nominations will be accepted from the volunteer themselves or from someone on their behalf. Nominations can be submitted throughout the year.


Those nominated for this award will be considered against the following criteria. The nominated person should: - have completed 25 years or more volunteering in England - live and undertake the majority of their volunteering in England Volunteers will be considered against their contribution to the sport and the frequency of their volunteering over the 25 years. On occasion, British Canoeing may present the Long Service Award to those who may not have completed 25 years of service but where they have made a significant impact on the sport.

Take a look at our Long Service Award Roll of Honour to view all of the people who have been awarded this great honour so far.

Expand National Volunteer & Recognition Awards

National Volunteer & Recognition Awards

Nominations for the Recognition Awards are closed for 2017. Book your place at the awards evening on the 24th March, Eastwood Hall, Nottingham here!

The National Volunteer & Recognition Awards will take place on Saturday 24th March 2018.

There are 6 awards in the 2017/18 Volunteer & Recognition Awards; 

  1. Young Volunteer
  2. Volunteer of the Year
  3. Impact on Equality & Diversity
  4. John MacGregor Outstanding Challenge Award
  5. Club and Centre of the year
  6. Outstanding Contribution 

There are 5 awards at the Coaching & Leadership Conference on 17th/18th February 2018 (one of these award winners will be put forward for the Geoff Good Coach/Leader of the Year award):

  1. Impact on Coaching Award
  2. Performance Coach of the Year
  3. Community Coach of the Year
  4. Junior Coach/Leader of the Year
  5. The Geoff Good Coach/Leader of the Year

To nominate a Volunteer for a Volunteer Recognition Award or a Coach for the Annual Coach & Leader Awards, please read the below award categories and fill out the necessary forms below. 

British Canoeing may chose not to present an award should less than 3 nominations be received.

Award Categories

Young Volunteer

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A young person who is under 19 on 1st January 2017 who commits time and effort to the club, centre or community throughout the year in one or more unpaid roles. Consider young people who volunteer behind the scenes as well as those who have made the successful step on a coaching/leadership pathway.

Volunteer of the Year

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Volunteers working behind the scenes and those working in the community and regions who have made a significant difference through their time and effort. This will include a range of roles such as safety, events, safeguarding, club officials, access, environmental, regional and discipline volunteer roles.

Impact on Equality and Diversity

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Recognition of outstanding contribution and commitment to increasing opportunities for under-represented groups of all ages to participate in canoeing.

John MacGregor Outstanding Challenge Award

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Endurance - Adventure - Exploration - Performance

This National award celebrates the achievements and the pioneering spirit of John MacGregor, the founder of the sport of canoeing in the UK. 

This award is open to individuals or groups who have undertaken or set themselves an exceptional challenge in 2017 or the latter part of 2016. This is a wide ranging award to recognise 'an outstanding challenge' for those whose experience is inspirational to others.

It recognises any of the following: Endurance, Adventure, Exploration, Overcoming Adversity and Performance.

Club and Centre of the Year

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Open to all British Canoeing affiliated clubs and centres, this award recognises an exceptional club and centre that: provides opportunities for everyone to experience high quality paddlesport; excels in the management and development of volunteers and coaches; presents an innovative approach to working with schools or any other partners or projects; has a positive impact on the access and environment in their area. 

If you feel that your club or your centre deserves this award then nominate them by filling out the online form here or download the form below and submit it via email. There are awards for both the winning club and centre as well as two runners up.

Outstanding Contribution 

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An award reserved for recognition of outstanding service, commitment and major contribution to the sport over a number of years, in any branch of the sport at club, region or national level. It includes service by specialist and regional committee members.

Annual Coach & Leader Awards

The Annual Coach & Leader Awards will be awarded at the Coaching and Leadership Conference at Eastwood Hall on the 17th & 18th February 2018. To find out more about the conference click here.

Geoff Good Coach/Leader of the Year

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The Geoff Good Coach/Leader of the Year is a National Award that honours an outstanding and exceptional coach or leader. The award recognises the overall Coach or Leader of the year, chosen by the panel from one of the winners of the Coaching and Leadership Awards and between the home nation's overall winners.

Impact on Coaching Award

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This award with recognise a Coach/Leader who has made an exceptional contribution to the development of coaching and individual coaches through the delivery of effective education programmes. The focus of this award is on a front line tutor or volunteer leaving a legacy through the development of others, the lasting opportunities now available or alternative enhancement within the sport or environment.

Performance Coach of the Year

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This award will recognise a coach supporting athletes at the elite level. This coach has made an outstanding contribution to the development of their paddlers through exceptional coaching, demonstrating creativity in their coaching methods that fit the needs of the participants. This coach has established a positive culture within their coaching environment, supporting and encouraging athletes to improve their performance and inspiring them to reach their goals. This coach has demonstrated commitment to their own personal development through accessing formal and/or informal learning opportunities linked to their role. This coach also mentors and supports other coaches in their development.

Community Coach of the Year

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This award will recognise either a qualified coach, paid or voluntary, who works from entry level upwards across all types of Paddlesport whether with young people or adults and who is invaluable within their club, centre or local area/region. This award recognises the outstanding contribution of the coach towards getting more people starting, staying and/or succeeding in the sport through excellent coaching. This coach is an outstanding role model for others.

Junior Coach/Leader of the Year

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This award recognises a young coach or leader who has demonstrated commitment to their own development, showing a desire to up skill themselves and learn from others. This coach or leader has shown dedication and regular commitment to their paddlers. This person is creative, enthusiastic and motivational in their approach to coaching and is a great ambassador for young coaches or leaders and British Canoeing. Nominees should be 25 or under on the 17th February 2017.

Download your nomination form here:

Or fill out our online nomination forms here:

Volunteer/Outstanding Contribution/Coach Awards Nomination Form.

Club and Centre of the Year Nomination Form.

John MacGregor Outstanding Challenge Award Nomination Form.