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Totnes Canoe Club: Personal Performance Award Coach Update

Last November, at a Regional Update held at Mountbatten Water Sports Centre in Plymouth, Julie Perren, Totnes Canoe Club Chair, invited Lee Pooley, British Canoeing Head of Coaching, to come to the club to help their coaches delve into the new Personal Performance Awards.  After a few emails suggesting dates, logistics and content of the day, it was agreed that the 1st February 2020 was prime time to get down to the South West and jump on the river together.

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The day started at the Salmon Leaps Café, positioned perfectly on the edge of the River Dart. Eighteen volunteer coaches arrived, giving up their weekend to spend time exploring the delivery of the Personal Performance Awards, considering approaches as well as the standards expected to certificate individual paddlers.

Throughout the day, the coaches investigated and experimented with providing an empowering experience and options for individuals to become a competent paddler on grade two white water, exploring how to set practices for learning and reflection to take place, as well as introducing constraints to highlight limitations.

Whilst on the water, there was time to think how our biases could influence both the way we deliver, as well as the standards we may expect rather than base it around the content of the award.

A year ago TCC club coaches met to discuss how to adopt the new BC Awards scheme and decided to continue basing the courses offered on the star system, as there was confusion and a lack of confidence on how to deliver the new Awards. Several members attended a BC South West Coaches Update Event in October which gave us an insight into the ethos of the awards and clarified their content but still left us feeling unsure how to communicate this to our twenty six plus voluntary club coaches who weren’t able to attend the event and were juggling busy working lives. Lee provided the answer by offering to spend a day on the water with us, putting the awards into context, answering questions and discussing coaching remits and levels. It proved a great opportunity for eighteen of us to enjoy a day on the water learning, supporting each other and blowing away the coaching cobwebs ready for our courses season. Judging from the feedback I feel sure that our coaches are better equip to deliver the new awards scheme now.

– Julie Perren, TCC Chair

Although a tall order delivering a practical white water workshop to eighteen coaches, I was delighted to see and hear the coaches from Totnes Canoe Club embrace the Personal Performance Awards. A highlight of the day was when a coach approached me and commented, so you just want us to coach paddlers to become better, and once we are confident they can do the content of the award we can give out a certificate - Perfect!

– Lee Pooley, Head of Coaching and Qualifications
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NEW Personal Performance Awards

The NEW Personal Performance Awards are designed for paddlers wanting to gain recognition of their learning and development, in the craft and environment they choose. 3 awards available in every discipline from Touring, Slalom and Rafting, so you can choose your next steps! Find out more here.

Interested in becoming a Provider? Every Instructor, Coach, Leader, Bell Boat Helm and Raft Guide will be able to run some of the NEW Awards. Find out more about the Personal Performance Awards Provider eLearning, which also providers 3 years' CPD, the British Canoeing Assessor Training and a range of logos for your marketing! Find out more here!