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The British Canoeing Sprint Athlete Pathway aims to provide a seamless transitional pathway for talented athletes from Junior and Talent Programmes, into the Senior Sprint Podium Programme.

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The England Canoe Sprint Talent Programme aims to develop a connected and collaborative pathway that supports young athletes, coaches and clubs. Our programme provision is designed to create a collaborative approach supporting and developing young athletes focused on developing clubs, coaches and the wider environment where athletes spend the majority of their time.

In January 2022 the England Canoe Sprint Talent Programme released its programme strategy for 2022-25, which outlines the direction and focus of intent for the next three years. The England Talent Programme provision is shaped by the Sprint Performance Strategy and aligned to British Canoeing’s ‘Stronger Together’ strategy.

More detail can be found in the full document.

Watch Richard Ramsdale (Head of Talent), Charlie Barwis (Flatwater Pathway Lead) and Imogen Collins (Pathway Development Coach) explain the 2022-25 England Sprint Talent Programme strategy. 

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The Talent Club Partnership (TCP) programme strives to support young paddlers through an effective club network and help them fulfil their potential. 

In addition to the TCP programme, we have developed the Club Support Scheme which is available to any affiliated English flatwater racing club. The scheme has two main elements, Club Coach Support and a Club Development Fund. 

The two types of support provided through the club support scheme aim to develop clubs and coaches as we recognise this is the environment and the people with which paddlers spend the majority of their time developing.  As a programme, working in partnership with those who have the most contact and influence is a cornerstone to our approach and allows us to better direct resources where requested and required.

For full details of the Club Support Scheme please click HERE

England Talent Flatwater Club Development Fund Proposal Form

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Athlete Development Framework

The Athlete Development Framework identifies the key foundations that underpin long term potential in the Olympic and Paralympic disciplines, across genders and classes detailing technique, physical preparation, psychological characteristics and behaviours along with racing and training experiences.

This is a guide of principles and offering a reference point for decision making to help coaches create effective and appropriate learning environments suitable to the needs of their paddlers and the constraints of the environment that they operate within. It does not provide a readymade solution to training programmes or problems due to the individual nature of the athlete development puzzle. There are multiple skills and attributes to develop on the journey to becoming a paddler and people develop at different times and at different rates.

Use of this guidance at a group level will require coaches to consider their training environment, areas of development and motivation for their group as a whole, as well as the ages and stages of development of the individuals.

Key Resources

You can find the framework and supporting documents for sprint and paracanoe below:

Download the Athlete Development Framework 

Access the ADF High Performing People Resource 

Access the ADF Physical Preparation Resource 

Access the ADF Crew Boat Skills Resource 

Access the ADF Learn to Race Resource 

Canoe Technical Model Videos

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James Train, Senior Women’s Canoe Technical Coach, takes us through the Canoe Technical model and looks at the 3 B’s in Canoe (Boat, Body and Blade).  

The videos provide clear principles and highlight some of the key areas that should be looked at when developing Canoe technique.

Strength & Conditioning Videos

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Supporting the athlete development framework, our What It Takes To Progress (WITTP) model, English Institute of Sport Strength and Conditioning Coach , Helen Shipman, takes us through some of the key lifts and exercises of a youth strength and conditioning programme. 

The exercises are designed to build the foundations of athleticism (motor control, mobility, strength, coordination) for both healthy development and long term sporting performance.

Stage 1 Fundamental Movement Skills

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Supporting the athlete development framework, our What It Takes To Progress (WITTP) model, BCAB have been working with the English Institute of Sport to provide a series of videos covering Stage 1 Fundamental Movement Skills targeted at paddlers. 

Athlete Ed McDonald demonstrates a range of exercises covering the topic areas of double leg exercises, single leg exercises, hinge exercise and upper body exercises.

These videos are useful for all paddlers, instructors, coaches and leaders. 

Click here to watch the Stage 1 Fundamental Movement Skills videos
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Great Britain Junior Training Squad

The Great Britain Junior Training Squad (GBJTS), is a collaboration between the Sprint Racing Committee, the National Associations and British Canoeing’s World Class Programme.

The GBJTS has been set up to establish, create and deliver an annual series of coaching events and camps that are additional and complementary to club provision. 

The ambition of these events is to bring the fastest Juniors in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland together to provide opportunities to train and develop together. In doing this, we want to help equip young paddlers - up to and including U18 - with the skills to successfully perform at international events and to help establish new friendships across Great Britain. 

In creating the squad, we want to foster a sense of pride amongst paddlers who are part of the GBJTS, while also recognising that being named as part of the squad will also support athlete grants and university applications. 

The addition of the GBJTS enhances the pathway offering to support developing athletes. This level of provision sits between the Junior Development Squad (JDS) and below the Academy programme, which is mainly aimed at U23 paddlers. We recognise that for some athletes, engagement in these opportunities is not the best path for their development and success can come from many different avenues. As such, we strongly recommend that once eligible, an athlete should discuss the opportunity with their club coach/s and parents to assess how it fits into their current programme. 

The GBJTS will also support coach development for any coach in the racing community, with opportunities to attend, learn and share knowledge at each weekend. Coaches interested in attending should complete THIS form. 

For further information about the GBJTS, including athlete standards and dates please click HERE.

Junior Development Squad

The Junior Development Squad (JDS) is a jointly coordinated programme, supported by the Marathon Racing Committee, Sprint Racing Committee and the England Talent Programme.

JDS training days are aimed at junior paddlers who are looking to develop their flatwater racing skills. A series of training days offer paddlers the opportunity to learn new skills, meet new people and paddle in new waters. JDS is also aimed at coaches seeking to develop their knowledge and engage with like-minded coaches that have a desire to learn, engage and share ideas.

There will be circa 4 camps per year at regional locations. 

More information and detail is available via the JDS Training Days site