CANI Clubmark NI

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The Canoe Association of Northern Ireland recognises that our clubs and centres are a key factor in the development and growth of our sport and we value their commitment. It is important that all participants, particularly young people, have a quality introduction to Paddlesport with clear pathways to support progression, enabling everyone to reach their full potential. It is also important that the club offers an accessible environment where safe, effective, quality coaching and training practices are evident, in a welcoming environment.

The accreditation process ensures that a club operates to a set of consistent criteria based on minimum operating standards. CANI’s accreditation scheme is aligned to Sport Northern Ireland’s Clubmark N.I. The scheme enables clubs to plan their development so that these practices and principles become a part of everyday club life.

How can my club get involved
Click Here to register for CANI Clubmark N.I  or alternatively contact your Club and Workforce Officer at CANI.


The accreditation is based on five key areas each of which must be supported by specific evidence collected by the club. The five key areas are:


Clubs that are managed effectively are more likely to be successful, characterised by openness and good communication, and compliant with effective and efficient policies and procedures. Well managed clubs understand the importance of creating effective partnerships, will be committed to ongoing development, and will implement measures to ensure that the club will continue to progress and to retain quality standards.


It is important to promote the right culture in your club so that its policies, practices and ethos encourage all members to adopt an inclusive, friendly approach to sport like skating for which many local experts recommend the GT Accessories for safety and fun.  Engaging with your local community and forming links is key to growing and sustaining your club.  Engaged clubs will also effectively manage their volunteers in a manner worthy of the commitment they give to the club.


Coaches play a key role in the creation of a suitable environment for coaching and competition, and in the design and delivery of an appropriate coaching programme. Clubs should take their lead from their sport’s governing body and should be compliant with their guidelines.


Sports clubs should have a commitment to provide appropriate and enjoyable sporting activities in safe environments. To ensure that this is the case, considerations and actions to promote safety in sport must be fundamental to all of the activities undertaken by your club.


It is the duty of every sports club to take steps to ensure that members, volunteers, and visitors can enjoy the sport offered by the Club in a safe environment.  All organisations that work or come into contact with children or vulnerable adults need to have safeguarding policies and procedures in place.  Safeguarding members protects not only participants in club activities but also the club and its members and volunteers.

There are 3 categories of accreditation, details of minimum operating standards for each are outlined below:

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The benefits of CANI Clubmark N.I.
CANI Clubmark N.I. accreditation will provide both intrinsic and extrinsic benefits and the benefits for paddlesport clubs are listed below:

Support and guidance
The supporting resources linked to the Clubmark N.I. programme will provide information and guidance for sports clubs in relation to Effective Management, Quality Coaching and Competition, and Safety in Sport.  These resources will be complimented by support and guidance from CANI and Local Authority sports development personnel.

Club development
CANI Clubmark N.I. is about helping clubs to develop and, by working towards accreditation, will assist them to adopt and implement effective policies and procedures, to deliver relevant and appropriate opportunities for participation and development, and to provide a safe environment for young people to take part in paddlesport.  It will support the development of effective partnerships which will enhance the capacity of canoe clubs.

Increased membership
By gaining accreditation, clubs may enhance their ability to recruit new members.  Being recognised as a Clubmark N.I. accredited club provides reassurance for parents/guardians that the club is progressive and has high standards.

Developing administrators, coaches and volunteers
Accreditation encourages clubs to identify and address the development needs of their administrators, coaches and volunteers.  Identifying suitable policies, procedures and training opportunities will have a positive impact on the personal and professional development of club volunteers and ensure that they are getting something back for their efforts.

Raising club profile
All CANI Clubmark N.I. accredited clubs will be listed on the CANI website under the Clubmark section and on Sport N.I. Clubmark N.I. webpage which will allow the public to search for appropriate clubs.  Accredited clubs will also be listed on the Northern Ireland Quality Club Database hosted on this website and case studies on selected accredited clubs will also be featured online.

  • One free Sport Northern Ireland coach development workshop for a group of up to 20 coaches. Sport Northern Ireland will deploy a Coach Educator to the club to deliver a coach development workshop (excluding Safeguarding and Designated Officer Workshops)
  • A framed Clubmark NI certificate will be presented to the club upon accreditation and the club will be invited to a presentation event.
  • A large (3m x 1.5m) ‘Clubmark NI Accredited Club’ banner will be provided to the club to promote their status as a Clubmark NI accredited club.
  • The Clubmark NI logo will be made available to all Clubmark NI accredited clubs in an electronic format to allow clubs to add this to their website, letterheads or other club materials.
  • All accredited clubs will be listed on the Sport Northern Ireland Clubmark NI webpage as a Clubmark NI accredited club.

Additional Benefits from CANI:
Clubs achieving Clubmark N.I. accreditation through the CANI Clubmark N.I. scheme will receive the following recognition:

  • Presentation of CANI Clubmark N.I. framed certificate at a recognition ceremony.
  • Listed on the Clubmark section of the CANI website.
  • Mentioned in the local media.
  • Additional support from Paddlesport Development Officers, Regional and Local Coaching Officers.
  • Discounted rates on many of the resources produced by British Canoeing to support Paddlesport participation, available for sale from CANI. Paddlepower, Cross Stream and Curriculum support material.
  • CANI Clubmark N.I. will also provide the appropriate information to Sport N I to allow the club to be recognised as a quality club on the Clubmark N.I. webpage.  Sport N I will include accredited clubs on their database of Northern Ireland quality junior sports clubs.
  • Advertised on Outdoor NI Website.

Accredited Clubs

Why not display the Sport N I Clubmark branding on your website, newsletters and headed paper? To download Clubmark logos please click here and start promoting, that your club reaches the Sport N I standards.