CANI News Splash, October 2020, Ed.2

A Challenge for More Mature Coaches

“Are there mature people in your area that would like to experience canoeing?”

I would like to share with you my experience of involving more mature coaches and paddlers in paddling programmes.

Some four years ago I joined the University of the 3rd Age (U3A).  I offered to share my love of canoeing with them and after a slow start it grew to now there is a core of 25 members paddling regularly and over sixty members have had a paddle.

Canadians are ideal as they can be rafted and the paddlers can just wear what they would if they were out walking.  I was fortunate that after a few weeks scrounging around for boats I was offered the use of a trailer and four boat by a Scout group who had connections with my paddle club, Belfast Kayak Club.

Potential Challenges to Involving More Mature Coaches & Paddlers

Insurance– The U3A insure their members for flat water and slow moving rivers and coaches are insured by their membership of CANI.

Covid-19 – At present numbers are limited to 15 , in a boat the paddlers are more than 2 m. apart , when social distancing is not possible ,i.e. when unloading and loading the trailer , masks must be worn.

Equipment– There is plenty of gear lying around not being used , Scout groups , outdoor pursuit centres even schools that do Duke of Edinburgh or your club. 

It might not be easy but worth it. 

If you succeed with involving more mature coaches and paddlers in paddling please let us know at CANI so as we can share and learn good practice with others and encourage more paddle programme for this group.

I can be contacted through CANI by emailing Chief Officer, Lauren Smythe, at

John Cunningham

CANI Older Person Lead

Find out more about the CANI Equality Committee here 

DSNI Coach Education Programme 2020-21

Disability Sport NI have launched their club education programme 2020-21.  The mainstream Club  programme is open to your Paddle Club coaches and volunteers and they have can choose from Disability Inclusion Training (DIT) or Autism in Sport Training.  

The session are online and are expected to be in the evening time.

A online brochure is available here.

To register please complete the registration form available here.

CANI Coach Education Update

There is a new continuous professional development system to support. Find out more here .

Find out about new Safeguarding Refresher eLearning and Requirements for Coaches and Leaders here.

The Outdoor Partnership (TOP) Coach Education Programme

Here’s a very exciting opportunity for your club to join The Outdoor Partnership (TOP) NI to access their coach education programme. 

To kick start the initiative, TOP are running a range of National Governing Body (NGB) Awards, as well as first aid and safeguarding courses for £20 per day for club volunteers. For those volunteers that do not have the necessary personal skills required to attend NGB courses, they will be able to access our Mentoring scheme for £20 per day under an experienced coach or instructor.

Your outdoors activity club must become a member of The Outdoor Partnership Northern Ireland (find out how by clicking hereand volunteers must be members of your club!

Interested? Take a look at what TOP have got  arranged so far, and contact Caoimhe via email –

Kieran Dews

CANI Performance Coach, Kieran Dews, is leaving post on 1st November 2020.  

Over the past three years Kieran has been instrumental in developing the sprint programme for CANI based at Belfast Boat Club. 

Kieran has also worked tirelessly with CANI’s young athletes to continuously support their development.  As well as leading regular training sessions all year around Kieran has often accompanied squad members on trips to the UK and abroad to widen their training and competitive opportunities.

CANI extend their thanks to Kieran for his valuable contribution to the organisation and wish Kieran well for the future.

CANI Paddlesport Covid-19 Guidance 

Updated 16th October 2020

For details of CANI’s Paddle sport Covid-19 Guidance updated on 16th October 2020 please click here .

Diary Date: CANI AGM – Online

The CANI AGM will take place on Wednesday 2nd December 2020 online.

The CANI Board are recruiting for three vacancies including a Chairperson, a Secretary and a Board member.

More details will be released shortly.

New or Lapsed Members


For the CANI homepage please click here