The British Canoeing Slalom Athlete Pathway aims to provide a seamless transitional pathway for talented athletes from Junior and Talent Programmes, into the Senior Slalom Podium Programme.
This pathway provides the best possible development of our future podium athletes and maximises our chances of Olympic success. The stages of the Slalom pathway are:
- The Senior Rio Programme - focussed on athletes aiming for Olympic success in 2016
- The Podium Potential Programme - for athletes focussing on reaching the Olympic podium in Tokyo in 2020
- Home Nation Talent Programmes - for athletes aspiring to reach senior international level over the next 10 years
The Talent Programmes underpin our UK World Class Programme and in English Canoe Slalom we have created a tiered, progressive squad structure with three clearly defined levels and selection criteria:
- England National Talent Squad (ENTS)
- England Super Regional Squad (ESRS)
- England Regional Talent Academy (RTA)
Each tier builds on the previous one, to provide a clear pathway for athletes to develop from club level with a step by step approach which recognises and rewards athletes at each level of their journey.
There are currently three Super Regional Squads (Southern, Northern and Central) and three Regional Academies (South, Midlands and North).
A fourth squad, the England Performance Squad (EPS) will support a few athletes who fall outside the criteria for the England National Talent Squad or the Podium Potential Programme but are on an upward performance curve and show the potential and commitment to progress to Podium Potential level. It is not envisaged that this squad will support athletes who are former members of the UK Sport funded World Class Programme.
What comes after the Talent Pathway?
The next stage of the Athlete Pathway that athletes in the Talent Squads are striving to reach is the Slalom World Class Podium Potential Programme. This sits just below the World Class Podium Programme and provides support for athletes aiming for Olympic success in 2020.
At this level, whilst there is a focus on delivering results, the key emphasis is on development of the athlete and transitioning them from being a promising junior/talent athlete into a robust and high performing senior athlete with the knowledge, skills, and experience required to be successful within the GB Senior Squad.
The Podium and Podium Potential Programme coaches and support staff work together closely to share technical expertise through the programmes and to ensure that athletes can move seamlessly between the two as appropriate.