Sprint Futures

Sprint Futures poster FB (3)

Aims of the Programme


A talent programme which finds, nurtures and delivers an oversupply of athletes to the British Canoeing World Class Programmes with the characteristics required for international success, within an environment committed to the pursuit of excellence and to supporting every athlete to be the best they can be.


To prepare athletes with the skills and attributes necessary to transition into the Podium Potential Programme, which leads to three Northern Irish athletes being on the British Canoeing Programme by 2020.

Methods of the Programme

  • Creating well rounded paddlers who have a good work ethic and appropriate daily training regime together with a strong grounding in technical understanding, sprint racing skills, physical and mental resilience, nutrition, and performance lifestyle.
  • Nurturing strong relationships with parents, helping to educate and keep them informed about the programme and support them in supporting their children along the pathway.
  • Providing coaching support during identified weekly and weekend training sessions and race support.

Eligibility Criteria

  1. Born in Northern Ireland or born of parents (or adoptive parents) born in Northern Ireland or resident in Northern Ireland for 3 years or more.
  2. Those over the age of 14 must have attended a Cardiac Risk in the Young Screening.
  3. Be between the ages of 12-15 (ideally 13-14)
  4. Meet testing requirements for each of the three phases of fitness testing
  5. Be selected by CANI Sprint Futures coaches

Please note; CANI Sprint Futures is limited to 12 participants and may select fewer numbers of participants to maintain a high standard of delivery of the program.

Coach Contact Time

Initially, the CANI Sprint Futures programme will consist of 3-4 sessions per week and will transition to a full training program over a 3-6 month period. Each session will be coach-lead with occasional off-water sessions (e.g. stretching, jogging, swimming, etc.) set for athletes to complete in their own time.

Training Age

It is expected that athletes joining the CANI Sprint Futures programme will have little or no paddling experience; athletes interested in joining the programme that have paddling experience may be given the opportunity to do so at an appropriate time when the skill level of the programme athletes is at an appropriate level so that there is no detrimental interference for either party. It is expected that athletes will stay within the CANI Sprint Futures programme for 2-3 years before transitioning to further high-performance programmes.

Confirmation Period

Athletes entering the CANI Sprint Futures will be subject to a three month confirmation period as the final phase of fitness testing. This period is designed to assess the individual against the criteria above for their suitability to remain within the squad and provide a realistic understanding of what the lifestyle of a high performance athlete entails. It also gives the individual time to reflect before committing to a long term programme. At the end of this 3 month period a meeting will be scheduled by the CANI Talent Lead with the paddler and parents, where the paddler will be informed if they will enter the squad formally or offered to partake in another CANI or club-based programme.

This does not affect a paddler’s right to join other CANI programmes, including sprint squads, at a later date.

During this period a participation fee will be on a pro rata basis to the individual participation.

Other Information

An Annual Fee is payable to participate in the programme (based on the scale of activities included and on the current investment from Sport Northern Ireland). This Annual Fee will be paid in installments (Starting from 1st April – 31st March), agreed in advance with the CANI Talent Lead.

CANI Sprint Futures Parents Introduction