Meet Craig Walmsley, one of the first to qualify as a NEW Paddlesport Leader!
My paddling background started way back as a Scout in the mid-eighties, where we were given a mould and built own fibreglass kayaks. Fun and games and lots of getting wet followed!
10 years later, a Scout Leader at the local Sea Scout Troop introduced lots of water activities including sailing, power boats, canoeing and kayaking. I completed a few of the Star Awards, a Proficiency Award and a Canoe Safety Test in a very cold December, chilly was an understatement but it was all really fun!
I then started working as an Outdoor Instructor, mainly with land based activities such as climbing and mountain biking, with water activities taking a bit of a back seat. I was recently asked to run more water based adventures, which is where the Paddlesport Leader Award fits in!
The Paddlesport Leader Award helps to formalise some of the work I have been doing over the past few years. and fits in well with the industry as we generally take groups out on fun yet very safe sessions or journeys with very little coaching needed.
My Paddlesport Leader Award will be used primarily at The Bendrigg Trust, to enable people with disabilities to enjoy journeys of various lengths at different venues, to build confidence and teamwork, while enjoying the natural environment.
This award suited my learning style very much as it was run in a relaxed atmosphere with very useful pointers and techniques shared along the way.
For full details of the Paddlesport Leader Award and assessment information, check out the Leadership section of the British Canoeing website.