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Sprint Performance Strategy

British Canoeing is working with the whole sprint racing community to create a long-term Sprint Performance Strategy that is owned and shared by the whole sport and which leads to greater success on the water for athletes. 

Expand Introduction


Sprint Performance Strategy

Whilst British Canoeing has had some outstanding individual successes in sprint racing in each Olympic cycle since 2000, we have not yet been able to deliver the consistent success that would establish Great Britain as a leading Sprint Canoe nation and that would indicate that we have a system which maximises the passion and talents of our athletes and our community.

The recent Sprint Situational Analysis Report explored why this is the case and challenged us on a number of fronts; to better understand how athletes develop and how we can measure and assess their development, to ensure that we develop and deploy outstanding coaches alongside our best athletes, to ensure that our national programmes deliver outstanding experiences that meet the needs of our highest potential paddlers, and to ensure that our community of clubs have a clear role to play in the development of our elite paddlers. 

Furthermore, it challenged us to ensure that we have a clear vision and long-term performance strategy for the sport and that the whole programme should be well coordinated and led.


Stronger Together

In response to the Situational Analysis we now plan to spend the next few months working with the whole racing community to determine the changes we need to make and to build a system which delivers greater success. 

Our aim is to create a joined up, long-term Sprint Performance Strategy that is owned and shared by the whole sport and which leads to greater success on the water for athletes. We want the new strategy to resonate with the whole community, to lead to the creation of a more united system from club to podium and to generate a sense of excitement and optimism throughout the sport.

To achieve this aim we are setting up a process to release the expertise, passion, experiences and the ideas from throughout the whole community and draw this into the new plan.

These web pages will be regularly updated, so that everyone with an interest in this process can monitor progress and review the key documents. Individuals can make suggestions through this comments form.

Useful Downloads

Expand Creating the Strategy

Creating the Strategy

We recognise the importance of providing clarity for all around the process and timelines for the production of this Strategy. In creating a strategy that is owned by the whole sport, it will be important not only to ensure that it has the right content, but that there is a thorough engagement with the paddling community in its creation.

We are aiming to create a performance strategy for sprint racing from club to podium. Whilst the Strategy is going to be wider and more inclusive than ever before, there remains a need to align this process with the UK Sport funding submission in October 2020 as this funding will be crucial to the successful delivery of the Strategy. 

Certain elements of the Strategy have to be well developed by then, in order to inform this submission and to secure the maximum funding available. The Strategy will also inform the funding submissions for the Talent programmes which will also be made to the Home Country Sports Councils late in 2020.  

The key dates in the development and consultation of the strategy are shown below;

Date Action
May/ June 2020 Strategy Group and Task and Finish Groups established
June/July Vision, Mission, Goals created to form the Strategic Framework
End July Consultation of Strategic Framework
Aug/Early September Draft Strategy and UK Sport submission developed
Late Aug/September Focus Group consultation of emerging strategy
September/ October Board approval Draft Strategy and UK Sport submission
October Focus Group consultation of emerging strategy
Oct/Nov/Dec Work to complete Strategy
Dec/Jan Consultation on Final Strategy
Feb/March 2021 Final Strategy approved

The key elements of this process are summarised in the Strategy Groups page.

Expand Strategy Groups and Consultation

Strategy Groups and Consultation

The Sprint Performance Strategy Group

This Strategy Group will be responsible for drawing together the work of the Task and Finish Groups, to draft the new strategy and to recommend it to the Board of British Canoeing for approval.

 Canoe Sprint Performance Strategy Group terms of reference

Task and Finish Groups

Six Task and Finish Groups have been established in the following areas;

  • World Class Programme and performance athlete development
  • What it takes to win and progress
  • Coach development
  • Competitions
  • Clubs and talented athlete development
  • Facilities

A range of stakeholders are involved in each group and each group member will have the potential not only to share their own thoughts, but also to gather and reflect the views of others within their respective community and to ensure these are considered within the group.

Ensuring external input and check and challenge

The process will also ensure that we look outwards to learn from others who have best practice established. Task and Finish Groups will be encouraged to consider this aspect very seriously from the outset and ensure that they engage external experts in discussions and explore best practice in others sports or situations.


Focus Groups

In addition to the Task and Finish Groups, we will also be setting up the Focus Groups listed below. They will be invited to meet twice to consider and comment on the proposals emerging from the Task and Finish Groups at two key stages;

  • Community coaches
  • Athletes
  • World Class Programme and Talent Programme staff from across the UK
  • Women’s Focus Group
  • Sprint Racing Committee, Regatta Committee, Marathon Racing Committee
  • Independent Group of leaders from other sports
  • Chair, President, CEO, PD of British Canoeing

Community Consultation

This Strategy development will actively seek out the views of many, and will regularly update key stakeholders on progress;

  • The notes from each meeting of the Strategy Group will be published, together with a Progress Report on the project
  • There will be two community wide consultations on the Framework and Emerging Strategy in July and the Final Draft Strategy in December 2020/January 2021
  • In addition, we will share key documents within our web pages and have a comments form open throughout this process.

Timelines And Consultation Process For The Sprint Performance Strategy

Group composition

Expand Strategy Reports and Updates