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.
This pathway provides the best possible development of our future podium athletes and maximises our chances of Olympic success. The stages of the pathway are:
- The Senior Programme - focuses on Podium and Podium Potential funded athletes aiming for Olympic success in 2020
- The 2020 Olympic Development Programme (ODP) - for athletes focusing on reaching the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020 and beyond
- Home Nation Talent Programmes - underneath the ODP, 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 Sprint we have created a tiered, progressive squad structure with three clearly defined levels and selection criteria:
- England Performance Squad (EPS)
- England National Talent Squad (ENTS)
- England Super Regional Squad (ESRS)
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 is one England National Talent Squad, and now four Super Regional Squads (Central, Lee Valley, South West and London).
A third 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, based at the High Performance Centre in Nottingham, 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.
The first formal stage of the pathway with named athletes is the Super Regional Squad (SRS).
The Regional Talent Academies will be replaced by a Flatwater Skills programme focusing on both Sprint and marathon skills, open to all clubs in a region to bring their athletes and coaches to (there will be a basic minimum standard but these will be less rigid and there will be no fixed squad members).
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 Olympic Development Programme (ODP). This sits just below the Olympic Podium Programme and provides support for athletes aiming for Olympic success in 2020 and beyond.
This group includes athletes with Podium Potential funding from UK Sport and those that are close to achieving this e.g. England Performance Squads and selected junior athletes at the top end of their respective Home Nation Talent Squad.
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 ODP and Senior 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.