Performance canoeing within Northern Ireland has evolved since 2005 due to the work of the N.I Surf Kayak Club in the development of athletes who have achieved British, European and World titles. In order to meet this growing need, CANI has recently established a junior development pathway and development squad for slalom and sprint kayaking and hopes that the athletes within this system may be future Olympians.
The targets for 2013 – 2017 are to develop a talent identification and development system that will provide opportunities for athletes and coaches to develop along a clear pathway and ensure that support structures are in place by focusing on the following key areas.
- Talent pathway
- Talent profiling
- Talent development and environment
- Talent tracking
CANI is directing human and financial resources to developing a vision and strategy for talent development aimed at progressing athletes from grass roots to representation at Olympic level. Key performance indicators will be put in place to monitor success. As part of this process, CANI will also be targeting talent from outside canoeing.
A talent profiling system will be established and implemented for all disciplines and analysis will carried out to identify soft medal opportunities within the Irish and GB teams. Talent profilers will be established to add depth to the talent base. Multidisciplinary talent attributes that may be considered include: physical and physiological, psychological and psycho – social, technical, biomechanical and perceptual skills
Talent development and environment
A talent assessment process and confirmation programme will be developed. A clear profile of progression will be mapped and will detail the key performance milestones at set time – points during the talent confirmation process. CANI will continue to run development squads and encourage committees to develop inclusive competition programmes. An athlete exit strategy will be implemented across all disciplines.
A system will be established to monitor athletes’ training hours, biological maturity and progression. The system will support the successful conversion of athletes from junior to senior representation. CANI will set realistic benchmarks that will give indicators for the success of junior athletes when they reach senior levels.