Canoe Sprint Talent Squad

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Aims of the Programme

To support and prepare paddlers showing the potential to enter the British Canoeing World Class Programmes (Podium Potential) or Canoeing Ireland High Performance Programme.

Methods of the Programme

The programme will achieve the aims by:

  • Creating well rounded paddlers who have a good work ethic and appropriate daily training regime together with a strong grounding in technical understanding, white water skills, and 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/weekend training sessions and race support.

Minimum Eligibility Criteria for consideration

  1. Must be a full member of CANI, with all membership fees fully up to date.
  2. 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.
  3. Those over the age of 14 must have attended a Cardiac Risk in the Young Screening.
  4. 15% of the GMT at their age group (See Appendices for GMT Table).
  5. Ranked and competing in UK Men’s/ Boy’s/ Women’s/ Girl’s A or Top 50% B for 6 months or more or;
  6. Finished top 16 in a British Canoeing Canoe Sprint Selection Series or finished top 5 in a Canoeing Ireland Canoe Sprint Selection series in current year or;
  7. Any paddler who has competed at a European or World Championships at any level in a 2020 Olympic class will be automatically considered for a place on the programme.

And completion of an assessment in the following areas:

  • Rate of development/progression in relation to race results and profiling data.
  • A willingness and desire to regularly attend a high performance centre for training.
  • A willingness to engage and work with a coach and train alongside other likeminded paddlers.
  • Commitment to balancing paddling, academic workload, lifestyle and personal health appropriately in order to maximise performance when training and racing.
  • A commitment to attend 90% of all training sessions.
  • Willingness to work in a group with an open mind set towards technical experimentation, skill development and learning, while supporting each other on and off the water.

Specific areas listed above will not be considered in isolation.

The CANI Talent Lead in agreement with the CANI Performance Committee has the authority to exclude a paddler from a specific training session, training camp or the squad completely, if they consider that he/she does not have the technical skills to participate safely.

Coach Contact Time


Training Age

It is expected that participants will enter the CANI Talent Squad after being involved in paddle sport for 5 years or more. It is expected that paddlers will stay in the CANI Talent Squad for 3-4 years before entering British Canoeing World Class Programmes (Podium Potential) or Canoeing Ireland High Performance Programme.

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 instalments (Starting from 1st April – 31st March), agreed in advance with the CANI Talent Lead.

Paddlers who are based elsewhere 

It is anticipated that at this stage of the pathway a number of paddlers will be based elsewhere at High Performance venues. In such cases these individuals would be supported by an Individual Agreement. Such agreements must be confirmed in advance with the CANI Talent Lead who will have discussed their request with the Performance Committee and the CANI Performance Coaches. A participation fee will be on a pro rata basis for individual participation.


The complete CANI Canoe Sprint Selection Documents and Calendar for 2017 can be found in the folders below: