Category Archives: National

  National Association Junior Crewboat Training Opportunities

The National Associations are offering the opportunity for athletes interested in trying crew boat combinations, bringing together high performing junior paddlers to match up into K4s and explore potential crew combinations for the June and July regatta. Any athletes who have already chosen crew combinations for the forthcoming regattas are also welcome to attend as a regatta lake based training day.

Any athlete that has achieved the results within the following races at the 2022 April Regatta are invited to attend:


  • U18 Boys K1 1000m Final A
  • U18 Girls K1 1000m Final A
  • U18 Boys K1 500m Final A or B
  • U18 Girls K1 500m Final A or B
  • U18 Boys K1 200m Final A
  • U18 Girls K1 200m Final A


  • U16 Boys K1 500m Final A
  • U16 Girls K1 500m Final A

The training will take place at Dorney Lake, Eton College Dorney Lake, off Court Lane, Lake End Road, Dorney, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 6FJ on May 30th, 31st and June 1st 2022. 

Further details about these training days will be confirmed shortly, if you are interested in attending please can you complete the expression of interest form below by 17:00pm on Friday 20th May 2022.

  Expression of Interest form

  A tribute to James Smythe

Many of you will have known James Smythe, one of the stalwarts of canoe racing. James was the secretary of the Marathon Racing Committee and he died, too early, three weeks ago from cancer. Here is a tribute to James, copied from the Marathon Racing Committee website and, lower down, another tribute on the Bishops Stortford Canoe Club website.

Copied from the Marathon Racing Committee website:

This week the marathon racing community said farewell to James Smythe.  On Saturday we held the first British National Short-Course Championships.  This event was James’s brainchild, and he put all the initial planning into place last year, continuing to work on it for as long as he was able, before handing over the responsibility to Evan Shephard and the rest of the Marathon Racing Committee.  Thanks to James, and all those who took part, this was a spectacular event, with the best of British marathon racing on show – along with the best in the world, as James had also arranged for the current World Champion, Jose Ramalho, to come over from Portugal.  With un-forecasted wall-to-wall sunshine, James’s presence was felt throughout the day, and particularly so when his wife Katie and son Ollie came for the afternoon and presented the new trophies – in James’s name – to the first National Champions.

On Tuesday, many of us were together again at James’s funeral.  As people walked in to the chapel, someone was overheard to say “I never knew he was such a figurehead in his sport”, and that’s exactly what he was.

As well as being a high-class paddler, James was also instrumental in helping shape and develop the sport, particularly through the MRC.  Having first joined it in 2006, James took on many roles during his MRC years.  An innovative and progressive thinker, he constantly pushed for the organisation to keep moving forward, but always with the athletes and the sport at the forefront.

He supported paddlers of all levels and all ages and was a vociferous advocate for athlete development – both juniors and seniors.  He worked hard to ensure the sport kept developing to be more inclusive, whilst never detracting from the competitive level.  This included the para class at the Short Course Championships, and initiatives to improve the sport for women and girls.  He recognised the part played by masters paddlers and helped and supported the development of their GB team.

As chair of the selectors James navigated the, often difficult, selection process with a calm charm, and that ever-present smile.  He was instrumental in moving the selection policy forward and improving trust between selectors and athletes, whilst always keeping the balance between athlete development and fair selections in mind. He changed the format of the selection events and developed the shape of the committee to bring in both athlete and independent representatives.  As team manager, no one was more supportive or fun to be with, in often tense and heart-breaking situations.  He could always put disappointment back into perspective and ensure, above all, racing for your country at any level was both an honour and fun.

Behind the scenes (and as one of the younger and more technically experienced MRC members) he helped modernise the MRC’s procedures and operating systems, pushing forward technological and digital developments, including involvement in the HRM system and the MRC website.  As Secretary he ensured the MRC is one of the most efficiently and correctly run of British Canoeing’s disciplines.  For those of us left behind, both on the MRC and in the sport, we have a very hard act to live up to, but we will endeavour to continue his work and maintain his high standards.  But our loss is nothing compared to that of Katie, Ollie and the rest of his family.

… and on the Bishops Stortford Canoe Club website:

  James Smythe

  Junior International Coaching Expression of Interest

With the 2022 International season fast approaching. The Home Nations team are hoping to work in collaboration with club coaches to create a strong Junior coaching support team to attend the 4 Key Junior international events this season. We are looking to gain clarity on coaching availability to create a strong staffing pool, enabling us to involve coaches able to create the optimal environment for the team.
Sign up for closes at 23:59pm 12th April following the team announcement.

Click on the image or here to access the Expression of Interest Form

(Click here to download the flyer)

  U23 K4 Crew Boat Training Day – 5th March – HPP Nottingham

The Sprint Academy Coaching team will be running a planned training day for eligible U23 athletes to provide technical and crew boat development opportunities in support of their preparations ahead of the 2022 competitive season.

Further details and eligibility can be found HERE.

To express interest in being included within the March day please complete the application form HERE by Monday 21st February 2022. 

  Colin Radmore to depart British Canoeing

After more than 25 years in the sport, Paracanoe Senior Technical Coach Colin Radmore will be leaving British Canoeing at the end of March. During Colin’s 10 years in the Programme, the team has won more than twice the number of medals than any other nation and has topped the table at every World Championships and Paralympic Games. He said: “I will always be proud of my time in Paracanoe, it has been a huge part of my life over the last 10 years and being part of this amazing team has been incredible. “We wish Colin all the best in his new role”. Read more

  12th February U23 Winter Crew Boat Training Day at Wey Kayak Club

The Sprint Academy coaching team will be running a training day at Wey Kayak Club in February, for eligible U23 athletes to provide technical and crew boat development opportunities in support of their preparations ahead of the 2022 competitive season.
This training day on 12 February will give the athletes the opportunity to train together whilst developing their technique, individual and crew boat skills, and understanding of preparing to race. Specific workshops will be provided covering a range of relevant topics.
Coaches working with athletes at this level are welcome to attend in order to help develop their knowledge and experience of working with crew boats. Athletes can indicate their coaches’ attendance on the application form. 

For more information and to check your eligibility to attend these training days please read the following article.

To express interest in being included within the February day please complete the application form here by Monday 31st January 2022.

Further information relating to the content and delivery of the day will follow, once places are confirmed.
Kind Regards

Daniel Thompson
Talent Operations Coordinator
Tel: 0115 9822094 EXT 4

  U23 Winter Crew Boat Training Days

Across the winter period, the British Canoeing coaches will be delivering a series of training days for both athletes and their club coaches. The camps will provide development opportunities for athletes and foster an environment for coaches to share good practice.

The first three training days will take place on 8 January at Holme Pierrepont (HPP), February (date and location to be confirmed) and 5 March at HPP.

For more information and to check your eligibility to attend these training days please read the following article.

To express interest in being included within the January day, please complete the application form here by Monday 13 December 2021.
Kind Regards

Daniel Thompson
Talent Operations Coordinator
Tel: 0115 9822094 EXT 5

  John Ball – BC Sprint loses a dear friend

We are saddened to share the news that John Ball has passed away.  For many years John provided IT, digital and infrastructure support to all of the National Sprint Regattas.

John was the oracle of all of the start, timing and photo finish systems at Holme Pierrepont and provided an invaluable service to the regatta committee. 

John first started working with British Canoeing whilst employed at the National Watersports Centre and latterly from his own business Hudson and Ball. 

Many members and paddlers will not know John but thousands of participants and spectators at national sprint regattas will have benefitted hugely from his calm and supportive approach to keeping all the systems running like clockwork. 

National sprint regattas at Nottingham won’t be the same without his ability to solve problems and his resourceful and capable presence to fix everything with a smile.

Cathy Wynne – Sprint Regatta Chief Official said:

“John was truly the ‘backroom hero’ who will be sorely missed by us all.  There have been times when without John solving a problem the regatta would not have been able to continue.  

“Many paddlers and clubs would not actually know just how much John Ball did for our Sprint Racing regattas, but for the regatta officials he was our ‘rock’ that provided steadfast support when all else was falling apart.

“He was a lovely guy and without his calm and reassuring presence the national regattas will never be the same.”

John’s brother, Chris, said:

“John was my younger brother – 44 years old. He loved the challenges and problem solving faced in the organising of sporting events, along with the thrill and appreciation of participants and spectators benefiting from the hard work that the events teams put into such events.

“Outside of the working environment, John enjoyed life with his loving partner of 20 years; Anna and their house of dogs and cats. 

“John’s main sporting passion was sailing – having sailed and raced with friends and family since a young lad; heading off on adventures sailing around the UK coast, and across to the continent. When racing John reversed roles and was the focussed competitor rather than a competition organiser.

I know John’s contribution to the sporting community is appreciated and will be sorely missed, as he will be by his family and friends.”

Our thoughts are with Anna, his partner, his brother Chris, his family and friends.