Earlier this year we asked you to nominate your unsung heroes for our Annual Awards. Out of hundreds of nominations, our independent panel have shortlisted three finalists for each category. Voting is now open for all six categories! Congrats to all the shortlisted nominees.
You decide who wins with our 100% public vote. Read the shortlisted nominations below and cast your vote via the category voting forms.
Voting closes at 23:59 on Sunday 10th December.
This award recognises an individual or group who has quite literally gone above and beyond to make a difference in their community in 2023. Choose from three nominees and cast your vote HERE.
Amanda has gone above and beyond at Colchester Canoe Club. Amanda joined the club in the last few years and has since gone on to become the club’s first female chairperson. Amanda thinks big and doesn't do things by halves, she is always thinking of ways to propel the club forward and has been a breath of fresh air within the club.
David is very much focused on sharing his knowledge, expertise and experience to benefit others through his time and commitment given to British Canoeing and its members. He has been passionate about raising the profile of the SUP discipline over a period of years, and has engaged widely across the paddlesport network to bring together a force to assist British Canoeing to make the progress it has to date in SUP.
Jamie consistently goes above and beyond within the Wildwater community. The multitude, variety, and effectiveness of his contributions, coupled with the time invested and his unwavering commitment to canoeing and the Wildwater community, are noteworthy. His involvement has increased in recent years as he tirelessly carries out a wide range of activities that have not only kept the sport of Wildwater Racing alive but have also contributed to its resurgence and growth. Jamie is active both domestically and internationally.
This award recognises an outstanding young person(s) who have contributed to their club, local group or community as a volunteer, coach or leader. Choose from three nominees and cast your vote HERE.
Megan is a quietly determined individual, often taking the lead in organising all the adults during our white water rafting trips, as well as working out the logistics of all our shuttles. Megan is keen to develop the opportunities that young paddlers get within the club and has contributed to coaching sessions with other youngsters especially during our family days in school holidays. Megan is enthusiastic about supporting coaching sessions at our club and can be found at the club sessions most Saturdays (unless she is paddling elsewhere). She has helped out at the pool sessions and worked with other youngsters to support their confidence in kayaking, coaching other young people on how to get in the kayak in deep water.
Finn joined Wiltshire Youth Canoe Club after participating in one of our introductory courses last year. In 2023, Finn has come out of his shell and is now almost unrecognisable as the same person. He inspires his peers and anyone he meets to challenge themselves through his leadership style which his peers find inspirational and fun. Other juniors at the club have been heard to say they want to be like Finn or asked for his help over that of other coaches because he communicates in a way that resonates with them. Finn has made an invaluable contribution to the club activities through his volunteering which is valued by everyone at the club.
To represent younger members on the Viking Kayak Club committee, under 18 year old members were invited to vote and Anwen, age 15, was elected as the Youth Leader. Anwen actively participates in monthly online committee meetings, where she advocates for the interests of the younger generation of paddlers, offering a fresh perspective. Anwen's contributions go beyond committee work. Anwen recently achieved her British Canoeing Paddlesport Instructor qualification, enabling her to lead club members on the water.
She is also a founding member of the newly established # ShePaddles group within the club, where she collaborates on initiatives to promote female participation in paddling and club activities. She is a valuable asset to the club, and we eagerly anticipate her future accomplishments.
This award recognises someone who has inspired and led others into taking action and protecting the places we all love to paddle. Choose from three nominees and cast your vote HERE.
Ralph is head of the Waterway Pickers Staines. He leads cleanups in rivers in his local area but his main focus has been shopping trolleys. Once he and his team fish them out of the water he returns them to the supermarkets. He has so far fished out 110 trolleys which otherwise would have remained in the water. He has partnered with the charities Intercultural Roots and Third Sector Renewables in order to raise funds for an installation.
He wants to commission artist Ptolemy Elrington to transform some of the extracted trolleys into sculptures of the wildlife seen in our waterways. The sculptures will explore the relationship between humans and nature and how we can regain our connection in positive and constructive ways.
John is a member at Wombourne Kayak Club and has been a passionate supporter of British Canoeing’s Clear Access, Clear Waters campaign since the charter was launched in 2018. He actively fed into consultations during its development.
John has taken clear actions to improve access at Dale End car park in Ironbridge on the River Severn. John’s passion for improving access for the community has continued as he is now a moderator for Paddlepoints. Throughout all of his volunteering, John has continuously championed the Clear Access, Clear Waters campaign, encouraging his club members to get behind the campaign and as a result more recently leading the way to Wombourne Kayak Club becoming the first to achieve Clear Access, Clear Waters accreditation. As a result, John has inspired a number of club members to take on key roles supporting and championing the campaign, focusing on specific aspects from communications and media to an externally funded water quality project engaging the wider community.
James is a member of Kingston Kayak Club and has been kayaking for 7 years. At just 19 years old, he has taken part in every river and canal cleanup undertaken. Probably the most significant was the one on the weekend of 18/19th September 2021 when he played a huge role in removing 60 trolleys and 250 bags of rubbish from a badly littered inner city drain in Hull, which is integral to Hull’s flood drainage. James’s enthusiasm means he doesn’t just get the easy to reach items, he clambers up banks and into thick shrubbery to ensure that the area is as clean as it could be. His energy and enthusiasm is contagious. He is a beacon of hope for the younger generation and the well-being of the planet and oceans.
This award recognises someone or a group of people who have made a difference in engaging paddlers and/or the wider paddling community. Choose from three nominees and cast your vote HERE.
Holly’s contribution to flatwater racing in 2023 has been outstanding. She is a member of the Marathon Racing Committee, volunteering her time to help plan and deliver a number of events, co-ordinate the social media comms, as well as contribute to the future direction of the discipline. Holly is also a member of the Junior Development Squad planning team. Her commitment and dedication has been quite remarkable. More importantly, her positive attitude, athlete centred approach and pragmatic way to problem solving has led to a much more collaborative approach between the marathon, sprint and England talent committees.
Kelly is a great teacher and our local Aquapaddle captain, always organising a great event with her team. Even if you are just out for a paddle when you see her, she will always engage and give you advice if needed. She always encourages the younger team members by giving them the opportunity to co-host events too. She’s amazing and an inspiration to everyone around her!
Brian is our club founder and manager at Mid Cheshire SUP. He works tirelessly to grow and develop our club from a small group of friends to around 120 members. In his ‘day job’ he works for Deafness Support Network, becoming fluent in British Sign Language. This summer he developed sessions for deaf people, successfully delivering them over the summer months. The sessions ensured participants were safe, learnt the basics of SUP but above all had fun during their introduction to this amazing sport.
This award recognises someone who has inspired others around them, whether that be through performance, adventure, adversity or other. Choose from three nominees and cast your vote HERE.
In the past Clare battled with the impact of a head injury and last year overcame cancer. Clare is very open and honest about her mental health experiences and brain injury whilst promoting the benefits of paddlesports. She is very active on social media making her an excellent role model for the LGBTQ+ community and for those who might be struggling with their mental health, providing encouragement and inspiration in a very professional and consistent way. She always ensures that her message is one of inclusivity.
Lisa has been on an incredible journey. In 2016, she couldn’t swim and was scared of water. She now kayaks on white water for fun and is a qualified Paddlesports Instructor and White Water Leader. Lisa became a #ShePaddles Ambassador in 2021, helping to close the gender gap in paddling. Lisa’s leadership, her calm and patient personality has helped many overcome similar challenges she has experienced, coaching other women to overcome their fears and boost their confidence. Lisa uses paddling as a way of overcoming loneliness, to build a community and improve her mental health.
With her One Planet Patrol and through clever media promotion, Lizzie is busy inspiring a huge amount of people to take action to deal with inland water pollution throughout the whole of the UK. Not only inspiring litter picks but also encouraging paddlers to sample and test water quality there by collecting factual data to enable her to lobby the UK Government with hard evidence to encourage them and corporations to deal with this national issue.
This award recognises an outstanding individual who has made a significant difference through coaching. The winner of this category will be the English nomination to the UK Geoff Good Award. Choose from three nominees and cast your vote HERE.
Rebecca’s coaching style is one of patience, explaining things in a way that gives confidence. This allows paddlers to believe they can easily achieve their goals. She encourages the building of skills progressively, making sure fun is had along the way. Rebecca has been exceptional in teaching children with disabilities, taking the time to understand their needs and the best way to coach them.
Tamsyn has made a marked change in the British and Midlands freestyle community. She has inspired a whole array of young kayakers to take up freestyle, building their confidence to some seriously impressive skills. She has supported all types of people from current and prospective GB Team members to beginner juniors and adults. She has worked with #ShePaddles events, GB Freestyle Academy, Holme Pierrepont Canoe Club and PaddlePlus.
Dennis Newton, the GB Freestyle Kayaking Performance Director, couldn't be described as anything less than an outstanding coach. Dennis' role within the GB Freestyle team is voluntary, but with the passion and energy he puts into the team, you wouldn't assume he was anything less than a top paid coach. Over the past 2 years, Dennis has developed the GB Freestyle Kayaking Academy, the first of its kind within the discipline of freestyle.
Once again as a volunteer, Dennis has created pathways for young paddlers across the country to be inspired, mentored, and coached and to hopefully fulfil their dreams. Dennis's commitment to coaching is unprecedented; he is a true trailblazer for freestyle kayaking and an inspiration for coaches across the globe.
Good luck to all our shortlisted nominees! And a huge thank you to everyone who submitted their nominations this year.
Voting is open until 23:59 on Sunday 10th December, with the results being announced on the British Canoeing social media channels and website the following week.
Cast your votes: