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British Canoeing to become a recognised body for Stand Up Paddleboarding

British Canoeing has been formally recognised as a National Governing Body for Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) after receiving confirmation from Sport England.

Aquaplanet Image For Sup Recognition

Going forward, Sport England will recognise SUP as a discipline of Paddlesport. This decision applies to England only.

It is the first time that Sport England has given ‘recognition status’ to two governing bodies in different sports for a single discipline.

Phil Smith, Sport England’s Executive Director of Partnerships, said:

“We are very pleased to recognise British Canoeing as a national governing body for Stand Up Paddleboarding.

We are confident it will bring its considerable resource and expertise to the sport, and we look forward to working with Surfing England and other stakeholders to ensure positive and safe environments for all stand-up paddlers, regardless of where they take part in the sport.

– Phil Smith, Sport England’s Executive Director of Partnerships

Over the last three years British Canoeing has seen a huge growth in Stand Up Paddleboarding, including;

  • Over 50,000 British Canoeing members having an interest in Stand Up Paddleboarding
  • An increase in SUP activity and SUP specific clubs across the 380 British Canoeing affiliated clubs in England
  • The number of SUP participants accessing British Canoeing Awarding Body regulated qualifications and awards, with over 25,000 SUP specific certifications issued
  • Increased safety messaging and support, including a review of the use of SUP leashes and attendance at a Parliamentary Reception to discuss SUP safety and awareness
  • Support for entries to compete in the team events at the 2022 ICF SUP World Championships, including the development and promotion of the selection policy and process

In response to our new recognition status, British Canoeing is proactively seeking to appoint a new Stand Up Paddleboarding Lead with the skills, knowledge and experience to lead and manage the development and implementation of a national strategy and operational plan.

Speaking of the announcement, Ashley Metcalfe CEO of British Canoeing said:

“I am delighted that British Canoeing has been recognised by Sport England as a national governing body for Stand Up Paddleboarding.

The growth of SUP within the paddlesport and surfing communities has been unprecedented and this is a hugely exciting and important opportunity to build on the work we have already delivered.

– Ashley Metcalfe, British Canoeing CEO

“We will work closely with Surfing England and other key partners and stakeholders to ensure the SUP community can enjoy their sport and recreational activity in the safest and most appropriate manner.

“Being newly recognised, we very much look forward to improving our understanding and working in collaboration with the coaches, competitors, recreational paddlers and commercial partners within the SUP community to provide greater opportunities, good governance and shared knowledge, especially around safety which will hopefully develop and enhance the discipline further.”

Discussions between British Canoeing and Surfing England, who will continue to be recognised for surf-related SUP activities, have led to several key focus areas being identified in a memorandum of understanding, including;

  • Creating a joint authority to provide governance and development for SUP in England
  • Evidence-based safety messaging for the SUP community, working with manufacturers, retailers and stakeholders to promote messaging
  • Regulated standards for those coaching and leading SUP activity
  • Codes of practice for SUP providers including hire, clubs and commercial operators
  • A clear pathway for talent including establishing a framework for competitions that supports the development of athletes and coaches

With recognition now confirmed, British Canoeing will be looking to meet with key stakeholders, to enhance relationships and build collaborative partnerships for the benefit of the SUP community and recreational paddlers who enjoy Stand Up Paddleboarding.