Sprint and Paracanoe Selection events cancelled

On Wednesday, 18 March British Canoeing announced the cancellation of the Sprint and Paracanoe Section events:

In order to protect the health and well-being of everyone involved in our events, British Canoeing has today confirmed the cancellation of the sprint selection event planned for 28/29 March and the Paracanoe selection event planned for the 25/26 April 2020.

It has been agreed that subject to any further external influences beyond our control, the British Canoeing Olympic and Paralympic selection events will take place on either 4 or 5 June. Further details will be released as soon as they are available.

The ICF has today released news of the cancellation of the European Olympic Qualification event in Racice. It has also confirmed the postponement of the sprint and paracanoe world qualification event due to be held in Duisburg on 21-24 May, with the possibility that this may be staged at the end of June. The full ICF release can be found HERE

  Womens England Development Programme – 14/15 March Training Weekend

The England Canoe Sprint Talent Programme are pleased to announce details of their upcoming Womens England Development Programme (WEDP) training event.

This training weekend will be taking place on Saturday 14th March & Sunday 15th March 2020 at Reading Canoe Club, The Warren, Reading RG4 7TH.

The purpose of the Womens England Development Programme (WEDP) is to help female athletes learn what it takes to be an elite female in sport, build a community of like-minded people and increase the female-specific knowledge of what they need to thrive and excel in our sport.

It is the hope of the talent pathway that this can be used as an educational starting block within a young female’s journey in sport.

A key component of this programme is around learning and equipping athletes with a toolbox of thoughts, capacities and expectations to allow them to continue their hard work at their club with specific focus for them as individuals.

This weekend will be building on the first Women EDP training day (report HERE). More information about this training weekend can be found HERE.

Sign up for this camp fo athletes can be found HERE, sign up closes on 10th March.

  International Coach Programme 2020


The England Talent Sprint Programme is pleased to announce ‘The International Coach Programme’, a new addition to programme provision for 2020.

This programme is a key part of the England Talent Canoe Sprint Talent Plan and will support the development of a national talent system based more strongly in clubs, under pinning and driving our Athlete, Coach and Club development programmes.

The International Coach Programme provides a structured and supported learning opportunity for club coaches to experience Canoe Sprint competition at an international level working alongside Great Britain Team coaches at the Olympic Hopes regatta durint the 2020 Canoe Sprint international season. Coaches will be supported in this process by the Talent Coach Developer who will hwlp to structure and facilitate event attendance in a manner designed to support the learning needs of the individual club coach.

It is intended that exposure to the international racing standards will enable the club coach to better understand and appreciate what is required to race at this level, in order to help them best support and develop their own athletes within their club. For more detail and how to apply please see the full Policy HERE

  George Oliver 1948 – 2020

It is with great sadness that we bring you the news of the death of George Oliver, long term member of Nottingham Kayak Club and friend to paddlers all over the country and abroad.

He came to Nottingham as a cabinet maker at Stag in 1970, joining the club in the autumn of that year. He was already a paddler, having sea canoed in the North East. On joining the club he took particular interest in Long Distance Racing, now known as Marathon. However, his interest in other branches of the sport remained and he brought his skill in boat building to designs in sea boats, canoes, racing kayaks, polo and slalom boats. Up until his death in February this year he was still working on new designs for both outriggers and marathon canoes.

Without George, Nottingham Kayak Club would not be the club it is today. With his help we were able to develop a fleet of racing kayaks and canoes, general purpose and canoe polo boats. Club membership also benefitted from George’s guidance in making their own boats. Income generated by the club under his guidance allowed developments way beyond anything the existing members could have managed, including replacing old wooden outdoor boat-racks and a crumbling wooden shed with our current building.

George worked at a number of jobs including a laminator for a local plastics company, building much bigger boats than canoes. Meanwhile, he continued to develop his coaching skills and paddling prowess including winning Liffey Descent in K2, DW Canadian Trophy and DW Mixed K2 & Home Built Boat. He also went to Eaton Hall College, Retford and qualified as a teacher, although young people in canoeing benefitted from that move more than those in classrooms or workshops.

In 1980 George took on the role of Administrator to Canoe 81 Nottingham, the Sprint World Championships. After this very successsful event had taken place, he took the job of Canoe Coaching and Development Officer for Nottinghamshire County Council, giving support and help to schools and clubs all over the county. He kept this role until the funding for Leisure Services dwindled and ceased when he retired. He had also travelled abroad with the national sprint and marathon teams, and it was in 1982 at the sprint World Championships in Belgrade that he met his wife, Radmila.

Throughout his involvement in other areas of paddlesport, George continued to support NKC generating funding in the club workshop and producing entry level racing boats. Few paddlers at events like DW or Watersides can have failed to spot the multitude of boats he made. All have his trademark rib along the centre of both front and back deck. The “stable K2” started life as a slightly longer version specifically for DW, but could not be used in other events, so the standard K2 length version emerged soon afterwards, remaining popular to this day among paddlers wanting a stable K2. Trimmers also remain popular as a stable K1. In recent yearshis main developments have been canoes or outriggers. Most outrigger paddlers in this country using his 01 boats know little of his legacy to the rest of the paddling world.

Many paddlers in the UK have a great deal to thank him for, often unaware of his support for paddling in disciplines other than their own. Sea canoeists, slalom paddlers, sprint, marathon, freestyle, polo – the list goes on, but George made contributions to the development of most disciplines. It didn’t matter if you had known him for 5 days or 50 years, George offered his skills, guidance and friendship in his own quiet, unassuming way.

Although dogged by health issues over the past few years he remained an active paddler at NKC and continued to do some of those “hidden” jobs that make up a club’s existence. The weekly “Clifton Race” in its current form is mainly a legacy of his, and he contributed to timing it until the week he went into hospital.

Over the years he collected many awards: Nottingham City Citizen of the Month; Bravery (for rescuing people from the Trent); Volunteer Awards; Lifetime Achievement Awards, but more important than those, without his guidance, support and friendship. many developments in our sport would not have taken place when and how they did. More importantly, as tributes to him attest, many of our lives would have been completely different. We owe George a great deal.

Nottingham Kayak Club, February 2020

  Stronger Together 2021-2025 High Performance Strategy Consultation – opportunity to have your say

A letter from Paul Ratcliffe, Performance Director, British Canoeing:

Stronger Together 2021-2025
During the next 10 months we will be consulting on and finalising the new strategy for British Canoeing for 2021-2025. Stronger Together 2021-2025 will set out the vision and plans for the entire work of British Canoeing for the next 4 years.

New Talent and Podium Strategy for Sprint, Slalom and Paracanoe 2021-2025
Running parallel with this we also need to develop our new strategy (2021-25) for the development of talent and podium success in our Olympic and Paralympic disciplines. This process needs to align with the timescales of the funding submissions to Sport England and UK Sport, as most of this work is funded by these two organisations.

As part of developing this strategy, we would like to hear your views on our current thinking for the Vision, Missions, Ambitions and Key Drivers for the British Canoeing Olympic and Paralympic Performance Strategy.

The Situational Analysis of Sprint
You may be aware that we currently have an analysis underway (to be completed by March 2020) around the future potential of our sprint system to be even more successful internationally. The findings of this situational analysis of sprint will feed into this strategy process later in the year.

A change in emphasis
This Strategy will take a longer term view than the previous 4 year plans and will set out a Vision for 2032 and milestones for 2024 and 2028.
The strategy will be shaped to include the work at club level as well as within teams and squads and the lottery-funded programmes. It will present a framework for a joined up system rather than simply a focus on just the lottery-funded Podium and Podium Potential programmes.
As we develop this strategy, we would like to hear your views and receive your comments on the first draft Vision, Missions, Ambitions and Key Drivers.
We will evaluate and consider all of the feedback, and plan to consult further as the broader talent and performance strategies emerge.
We would be grateful if you could complete this survey by midday on Friday 21 February.
We would love to share this as widely as possible so please don’t hesitate to send this to anyone you feel might want to contribute. Thank you i advance for taking the time to comment.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Ratcliffe
Performance Director