A1 Canoeing

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Aim: To Introduce the basics of canoeing and water safety. Taken from the BB Company Section Discoverer Pro Pack, Recreation Outdoor and Adventure A1


Activity 1
• Light clothing for each young person
• A number of buoyancy aids to allow candidates to experience the benefits of correct use and fitting

Activity 2
• Kayak (canoe)
• Buoyancy aid
• Paddle
• Spray deck
• Helmet
• First aid kit
• Safety equipment

Activity 3
• Kayak (canoe)
• Buoyancy aid
• Paddle
• Spray deck
• Helmet
• First aid kit
• Safety equipment


Activity 1 - Preparation

Aim: To swim so metres in light clothing In a swimming pool.

Introduce the programme content, giving young people an insight into how it is organised and structured and where each week’s session will be carried out.

Pool side explanation of the importance of being able to swim in canoeing clothing.
1. Introduce the syllabus and safety discipline.
2. Discuss personal clothing needed (minimum standards).
3. Describe the features of a kayak, paddle and safety equipment.
4. Confirm each young person can swim at least 50 metres in light clothing, by personally witnessing them swim.

Tips I Advice:
• Explain the need for young people to act responsibly on water, to respond to safety instructions and the potential accidents and hazards, which can occur. Emphasise the importance of personal discipline and the need to look out’ for one another in order that the sport can be enjoyed to the full safely.

• Introduce the topic and explain how each young person will be helped to achieve the standard in a safe manner. Some young people will have reservations about capsizing and the importance of this aspect will need to be fully explained, highlighting how coaches will closely supervise practice.

• Explain the features of a kayak, helmet, buoyancy aid, paddle and spray deck and allow young people to try them on, showing them how each item should be fitted.

• Demonstrate the minimum personal clothing required and compare it to that available if the sport is taken up more fully at a later date. Explain why wind protection and warm undergarments are necessary.

• Arrange a suitable venue for the swim test and tell each young person to bring the personal clothing and footwear they would intend to wear for canoeing to the next session.

• Watch how the young people move in the water. Ensure you are entirely happy about their personal ability to swim the minimum distance and take account of the potential for adverse weather conditions affecting those individuals you may consider as borderline.

• Ensure you have the total co-operation of the swimming pool authority and support from their lifeguard as a back up to your own safety plans.

• Take the opportunity to make it a fun event as a look forward to enjoying the remainder of the canoeing programme.

Activity 2 - On The Water

Aim: To understand general paddling and safety principles.

Bank side chat on what they remember from last time. Practise holding the paddle sitting in the craft on land. Go over what to do if you capsize. Explain safety rules and group discipline again.

• Demonstrate the method of embarking from a beach.
• Explain the correct sitting position.
• Allow the young people to paddle around and discover the way the craft can be controlled for themselves, as a preview to formal instruction.
• Explain the importance of rafting the group’ and demonstrate how the raft is made.
• Play simple games to encourage stability and confidence.
• Rafting up on command.
• Tig using a small ball.
• Disembark the craft using the reverse technique to getting in.

Tips / Advice:
• Watch how the young people move on water.
• Give encouragement to build confidence.
• Informal coaching of technique could be used at this stage.
• Encourage young people to sit correctly and experience how this benefits control and minimises the likelihood of a capsize occurring if carried out correctly.
• Always use the correct terminology for parts of the boats and correct paddle strokes they may be inadvertently performing.
• This session is designed to encourage the young people and allow them to gain confidence

Activity 3 - Safety Features

Aim: Practical revision of safety features of kayak & equipment, launch, paddle grip, forward & reverse paddling and stopping.


• On the bank discuss simple access e.g.: Can you canoe an*here?” What should you do with litter?” What equipment do we need to canoe safely?”
• Explain and demonstrate embarking and disembarking. 0
• Paddle grip. Demonstrate how to hold and width of the hands apart on the paddle shaft.
• Embarking correctly. 2
• Forward paddling coaching. include game / race.
• Reverse paddling coaching. Include game / race. 0.
• Emergency stop coaching. Include game such as stopping on whistle blast and / or who can stop closest to The bank without hitting it!
• Correct disembark.

Tips / Advice:
This session is designed to:
• Provide an introduction to forward and reverse paddling using the correct paddle grip. 0JLet. • Show basic principles of stopping to prevent collisions.
• improve sitting positions and stability.
• Introduce more active paddling by the increased variety of strokes and more games. I
• Revise the safety features of the kayak and personal equipment.
• Practise launching and disembarking by helping one another if necessary.

Safety Issues / Risk Assessment:
For off-site activities adequate supervision must be arranged to ensure best practice procedures are met.

For full details see the BB Company Section Discoverer Pro Pack, Recreation Outdoor and Adventure A1

For further assistance contact : http://www.boysbrigadecanoeclub.co.uk/contact/


  • Canoeing
  • company
  • discoverer
  • Outdoor and Adventure
  • recreation
  • Water safety

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