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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 [email protected] 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 Volunteer Recognition Awards

Volunteer Recognition Awards

The Volunteer Recognition Awards will take place on Saturday 19th November 2016 at Eastwood Hall, Nottinghamshire. 

There are 9 awards in the 2016 Volunteer Recognition Awards; Young Volunteer, Community Volunteer, Event Volunteer, Impact on Disability, Coach of the Year, Outstanding Contribution, Club of the Year, Centre of the Year and the MacGregor Challenge Award. 

To nominate a Volunteer for a Volunteer Recognition Award please read the below award categories and fill out the necessary form below. 

Award Categories

Young Volunteer

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A young person who is under 19 on 1st January 2015 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.

Community Volunteer Award

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Club volunteers working behind the scenes and those working in the community and regions who have made a significant difference through their time and effort.

Event Volunteer

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Recognition of volunteers who work behind the scenes at local, regional, national or international events. ICF, international and national officials across all disciplines should be considered as well as those who contribute highly to the success of Go Canoeing, DW and club events, etc

Impact on Disability

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Recognition of outstanding contribution and commitment to increasing opportunities for disabled people of all ages to participate in Paddle-Ability and Paracanoe.

Volunteer Coach of the Year

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Recognition of a qualified voluntary coach who works at all levels of the pathway across all types of Paddlesport, whether with young people or adults, and who has made an outstanding contribution to a club, centre or community

Outstanding Contribution

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Recognition of outstanding service to paddlesport. Includes long service, commitment and major contribution to the development of paddlesport. Those whose gallantry or devotion in bringing assistance to others in an aquatic situation shall also be considered.

Club of the Year & Centre of the Year 2016

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These are designed to recognise Clubs and Centres that; provides opportunities for everyone to experience high quality paddlesport; excel in the management and development of volunteers and coaches; have an innovative approach to working with schools or any other projects and that stand out against others on their efforts to improve the environment around them. If you feel that your club or your centre deserves this award then nominate them using this form. There are awards for both the winning club and centre as well as two runners up.

John MacGregor Challenge Award

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This award is to mark the pioneering spirit of John MacGregor and is an award for an "outstanding achievement" that has inspired others. You can find more information about the John MacGregor Award in the below download. 

Useful Downloads