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Talent Programme

Launched in April 2013, the England Talent Programme aims to develop a world leading talent infrastructure for athletes throughout England. It is led and managed by British Canoeing and funded by Sport England.

Our Vision

To become a world leading talent programme, built on exceptional club partnerships and structures, contributing to Great Britain becoming one of the best nations in the world by 2028.

Our Mission

To support talented athletes, coaches and clubs to be the best they can be and to equip athletes for successful transition into the Olympic and Paralympic World Class Programmes.

England Talent Programme

Investment and support of promising young athletes remains crucial to the continued success of our sport and our aim is to help drive the development of a world leading talent pathway. The England Talent Programme is passionate about developing athletes not only to become elite performers but also to becoming better human beings. 

We know competitive sport isn’t a zero sum game. Participation at every level in our pathway presents a host of opportunities and challenges that can have a significantly positive impact on our aspiring athletes in the long term, regardless of what level of the sport they eventually achieve.

Success is a journey not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.”

– Arthur Ashe- American Tennis Player; US Champion 1968, Australian Champion 1970, Wimbledon Champion 1975.
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Inclusion on our programme presents a host of opportunities, challenges and learning events. Being part of our programme will not always be easy, it is designed to be difficult and place demands on athletes. The Talent Programme will positively support athletes in their development on and off the water. As such, it is important to acknowledge the ups and downs of being part of our programme:


• Help build important life skills

• Teaches perseverance towards attainment of long term goals 

• Supports and promotes athlete independence, ownership and commitment of their own development 

• Increased physical fitness and mental resilience

• Develops Intrinsic Confidence 

• Strengthens peer relationships and the building of social skills.   


• Not everyone will progress through all levels of the programme

• Around 10% of talent programme paddlers will make a GB team

• Training requires sacrifices and commitment from both the athlete and their family

• Training and competition requires financial investment 

Talent Programme Detail

The England Talent Programme is supported by funding from Sport England. One of the most significant programme aims is the number of English boats qualifying for the Junior or U23 GB team and the number of English talent athletes that qualify for the British Canoeing World Class Programme (WCP). 

The WCP mission is to develop athletes to win medals at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Currently the minimum performance standard for a junior athlete to be considered for the WCP is to finish within the top 10 at a Junior World or European Championship.  

More detail about the World Class Programme is available here. Developing athletes to a top 10 world standard is the performance level that all provision and development environments within the England Talent Programme are ultimately striving to achieve. 

Developing athletes to a Top 10 world standard is the performance level that all provision and development environments within the England Talent Programme are ultimately striving to achieve. 

The onus is on us managing the pathway to not only identify and nurture promising athletes, but to make the experience positive and rewarding for all. It is hoped that some paddlers will become world class performers, however for those who do not, through supporting their development, we hope to build a competence and enjoyment of the sport and to have a positive impact on their development as a person.