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David Joy to step down as British Canoeing CEO

British Canoeing has announced today that David Joy will be standing down as CEO after six years leading the organisation.

David joined British Canoeing in January 2016 and in his first year led on the development of a new strategic plan, Stronger Together.

Under David’s leadership, the organisation has delivered against the ambitions and action plans within the strategic plan to strengthen governance, improve the financial position and achieve notable growth and success, including;

- A growth in British Canoeing membership from 32,000 in 2016 to more than 90,000 members.

- The launch of the Clear Access, Clear Waters campaign – calling for a change to rights to access, rivers and waterways for paddling activity.

- Success on the international stage for our athletes and teams across the competition disciplines, and achieving performance targets at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

- Delivering a digital strategy and the creation of new products, including Paddles Up Training, the Clubhouse, Members’ Hub and the Go Paddling website for recreational paddlers.

- A full review of coaching, leadership, instructor and safety awards and qualifications, and the creation of new eLearning and online resources for coaches, leaders and instructors.

- The hosting of international events and winning the rights to host the ICF Freestyle World Championships in 2022 and the 2023 ICF Slalom World Championships.


David, who will be leaving British Canoeing in May 2022, said:

“It has been my privilege and pleasure to work with our board and dedicated and talented team of staff and volunteers for the last six years.

“In 2016, I was invited as CEO to lead the creation and implementation of a new strategy for British Canoeing. I am very proud to have played my small part in the significant progress that we have made in so many areas of British Canoeing.

“Now feels like the right time for change, both for me and the organisation and I wish my successor and everyone within British Canoeing continued success in the future.”


British Canoeing Chair, Professor John Coyne CBE said:

“David has made a transformational contribution to British Canoeing during the last six years.

“He has worked tirelessly to lead our multi-faceted organisation through a period of modernisation and re-shaping to create a highly effective national governing body and a growing membership organisation. We are currently reaping the benefits from this work and are poised to accelerate.

“He will leave the organisation in robust good health. We have strong governance in place, a growing membership and members’ satisfaction at an all-time high.

“He has led huge progress on access and environmental concerns, a growing range of support and emphasis on recreational paddlers and a record of medal success across our Olympic, Paralympic and non-Olympic disciplines, including achieving our Tokyo targets.

“He will leave as we launch our next Strategic Plan and begin the Paris Olympic cycle so that his successor will have an optimal period to make their mark.

“We go into that period in a much stronger position financially than in 2016 and enjoy positive and fruitful relationships with our key stakeholders.

“We are an organisation with momentum and positive plans – in no small part because of David Joy’s leadership. The organisation and committee structure in place is populated by excellent colleagues, employees and volunteers that serve us exceedingly well.”


The search for the new CEO will commence immediately, so that there can be a handover period between David and the new CEO once they are appointed in the New Year.