There are several ways your school or college can get involved with paddling across a range of age groups and outlined below are some programmes and activities for schools and/ or colleges.

Paddle Awards

The Personal Performance Awards “Paddle Awards” (Start, Discover & Explore) are for those getting into a boat for the first time, enabling them to feel confident in their chosen craft in a sheltered water environment. The awards help empower the paddler, enabling them to start their lifelong journey into paddlesport.  For a short video and details click the Personal Performance Awards link on this page and the next.

Paddle Awards: Designed to develop enjoyment, safety and skills for those new to Paddlesport 

The three Paddle Awards- Start, Discover & Explore- are designed to encourage those who get in a boat for the first time. Once Paddlers have completed these they can then choose a discipline from the table below and work through the three levels within each discipline. Start your paddle journey today!

Achieving a Personal Performance Award

All of the awards are direct entry. Paddlers can choose which award they would like to work towards, developing their skills and decision making. 

  • There are no direct links to Coaching and Leadership qualifications as prerequisites.  The awards do provide appropriate milestones and acknowledgement of personal skills, setting up the paddler appropriately for British Canoeing Coaching and Leadership qualifications. 
  • There are no age restrictions for any of the awards. Providers should check paddlers’ suitability, as well as having appropriate mechanisms for anyone under 18.
  • All of the awards have been created and written with the paddler at the heart of the content and creates empowerment and ownership.

There are many ways a paddler can work towards achieving a Personal Performance Award. 

An individual tries canoeing at a holiday camp, develops their skills and is awarded the Paddle Start certificate. The individual is keen to develop their skills further and finds their local club to undertake the Paddle Discover Award.  Paddlers may be out for a day trip on the sea or on the river and demonstrate their understanding and skills and be awarded a Personal Performance Award.  Club paddlers could use the awards as part of a series of sessions, developing their skills and understanding along the way.  An individual paddler can use the awards as a guide, to promote self-learning. 

Paddlers could opt for bespoke training at their local centre, using the award as a checklist and then enlist a Provider to check they meet the requirements.  Racing, Polo, Slalom or Wild Water Racing paddlers can use the awards as progressive milestones in gaining developments in their skill and understanding of their chosen discipline. 

For further details please see the Personal Performance Awards Details pdf on the British Canoeing website

There is also a pdf of Personal Performance Award Provider Requirements on the British Canoeing website

Please contact the CANI Office at to find out how to get involved or to find out how arrange a Personal Performance Award course for your students.

Duke of Edinburgh Awards

Aimed at 14-25 year olds, the popular Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme can be completed using Canoeing. Canoeing activity fits into the structure and aims of the Duke of Edinburgh Award’s four section; Service, Skills, Physical Recreation and Expeditions. If your school or college is keen to start providing, or already does provide, Duke of Edinburgh Award opportunities to your pupils- Canoeing is a great activity to consider! For details see Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme on the British Canoeing website