Splitting 2* CW facebook

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icklepaddler
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Splitting 2* CW facebook

Post by icklepaddler »

The message below is on canoe wales facebook page.

It is great that CW have posted, but quite worrying re the overall impression the governing body appears to have towards its members

From Facebook

We need your opinion urgently!!
A decision will be made to split the 2* award, or not, at a meeting next month.
Dear Canoe Wales member,
A decision will be made in a few weeks that will have a huge affect on everyone who paddles in the UK. If you do not know about it, you can’t have a say. Please make sure your views are taken into account!
Why is this so important? My role in Canoe Wales is to increase participation and support and represent the volunteer coaches. Canoe Wales have committed (to Sport Wales) to support club paddlers and volunteer coaches and to recognise and reward all of the work they do. We want you (our club paddlers and coaches) to love what you do and be able to do what you love. We want you to be motivated to continue coaching and paddling forever. We recognise that everyone is different and has different reasons and motivations for joining a club, going paddling or becoming a coach. And, we believe that all of you and all of those reasons are valid.
We also believe that what you think and how you feel is important. We believe that you have a right to have an input into your National Governing Body and your awards.
When we talk to you (our volunteers, coaches and happy paddlers) you tell us that you would like to have a choice about what you do. Some of the things you would like to have choices about include; the choice to be able to coach sea kayaking (or any other discipline) without having to become an open canoe and general-purpose kayak coach. To be able to train and assess single discipline 2* standard awards for people like DofE students. You would like to become a coach but have limited time and resources. As a teacher or volunteer club coach you would like to be able to contribute, to be recognised and valued even if you only paddle one type of boat (or lots with the same number of blades). You would like to be listened to.
You also tell us that you do not feel valued. Our current awards do not help you to do what you would like to do in your clubs. You are demotivated and thoroughly depressed!
However, when I pass on what you say to me (and other CW officers) to other Nome Nations (Scotland, England and Northern Ireland), I get a very cold reception. I am told that if I pass on your opinions, they are just hearsay and not relevant to the governing body. I am told that only the Welsh clubs, schools, voluntary coaches, and paddlers feel this way. None of the other home nation members do, and a governing body has to make decisions based on facts.
So what are the facts?
1. Learning to paddle an open canoe and a GP kayak DOES NOT make you a better paddler or coach (than learning to paddle or coach what you love and want to do). FACT!
2. Even if 1. is a fact (which it isn’t), the only people who it would apply to are competitive elite paddlers and coaches - not clubs, schools, scouts, LEA centres or anyone else that wants to enjoy going paddling or coaching.
3. As your representative I am not permitted to tell you what is happening so you are not able to have your say.
4. Decisions are being made about the awards that you have not been consulted about.
FACT: CW thinks you should be listened to (about 2* awards) and anything else; If you agree, have your say!
Be heard. The other home nations have agreed to listen.
Write - email - Facebook – tweet – blog - troll…. Anything!! And then pass this on.
Reply to any or all of the following:
Canoe Wales - marianne.davies@canoewales.com,
Canoe England - rayan.sammut@britishcanoeing.org.uk,
Scottish Canoe Association - andy.murray@canoescotland.org,
Canoe Association of Northern Ireland -rodgerhamilton@cani.org.uk,

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Robert Craig
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Re: Splitting 2* CW facebook

Post by Robert Craig »

Couldn't agree more.

Learning to paddle Canadian on the route to paddling a kayak is a learning aid, not a learning outcome. It's one way of learning, but not the only way.

Learning to ski helps as well - it gets the leaning/edging concepts sorted out: but it too is a learning aid.

It's perverse to join the two together.

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Re: Splitting 2* CW facebook

Post by cp »

Could not agree more and have written to Rayan, but do you believe they will actually listen?

Chris

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Xan
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Re: Splitting 2* CW facebook

Post by Xan »

I see arguments for and against this. If you had asked me 6 months ago I'd have said split it and not even thought twice about it, but recently I have started coaching and now working towards my L2. As part of this progression I've had to learn open boat which I initially was frustrated about, but now I'm glad I done it. After a bit of work I found transferring the skills from Kayak to Canoe very easy and was able to pass both 2 star and 3 star with probably less than 20 hours in an Open and only 1 formal lesson. This has included even surviving paddling some G2 solo and some G3 tandem.

As someone that is heavily involved in the club scene if we don't encourage coaches to do both how do you get the working knowledge of different environments and craft. How do you provide your clubs members with options and how to you manage the diversity. Clubs risk becoming 'one trick ponies'.

I'm not saying the BCU have it right making it mandatory for 2 star, but my concern is it turns the current coaching scheme into a single craft assessment and starts to limit the options to club members and outdoor centres.

Lets face it unless you are going to UKCC L1 2 1 to 3 star are useless. Ok it gives people objectives to work towards and defines a standard, but I don't need a bit of paper from the BCU to tell me that. Any coach can make that assessment at tell you ''you are equivalent to.....''

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Re: Splitting 2* CW facebook

Post by cp »

Easy, you give them the options by having a canoe coach as well as a kayak coach.I will never coach canoe but pass them on to a coach who will if they want to try. Just because you found you liked it does not mean everyone will and if they are split you can still do both but those who do not wish too can still coach the disciplines they want,that way you do not loose them.
Chris

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Re: Splitting 2* CW facebook

Post by twopigs »

cp wrote:Easy, you give them the options by having a canoe coach as well as a kayak coach.I will never coach canoe but pass them on to a coach who will if they want to try. Just because you found you liked it does not mean everyone will and if they are split you can still do both but those who do not wish too can still coach the disciplines they want,that way you do not loose them.
Chris
And do we ensure we have enough canoe coaches?

My first club was honest - called itself a Kayak club - did not have a single open canoe in sight....... In my second club I thought open canoeing would be fun so gave it a try and soon bought my own canoe.... at about the same time a couple joined the club with an open canoe and now - nearly ten years later when the club advertises 3* ww kayak and 3* open canoe courses guess what...... 4 sign up for 3* ww kayak and 9 or 10 for 3* open.

On the whole I'm in favour of splitting, but let's not go back to 1*, 2* and 3* solo and tandem canoe awards.... then we have to split UKCC L1 and L2 into discipline specific awards.
Canoeing - bigger boat, broken paddle, more skill!

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Robert Craig
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Re: Splitting 2* CW facebook

Post by Robert Craig »

twopigs wrote:And [how]do we ensure we have enough canoe coaches?

.

Well, do we need canoe coaches, unless folk want to learn canoe? We're here to serve, not to impose.

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Adrian Cooper
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Re: Splitting 2* CW facebook

Post by Adrian Cooper »

Thoroughly agree with Robert here; the whole point of these awards is to provide markers for people’s progression in a sport they have chosen to do. The BCU talk about encouraging more canoeing but why? If people want to kayak, why not let them? If people want only to canoe, why not let them? I know a large lady who like paddling canoe with her husband, there is absolutely no way you would get her into a kayak, she doesn’t like it, she doesn’t want to. You know what the advocates say? They suggest she should try a sit-on-top. But why, she doesn’t want to paddle a sit-on-top, she wants to paddle a canoe. Are we saying to her that once she has passed one star, the BCU has nothing for her? No, of course not, we are saying the BCU don’t know what they are talking about, we will teach you to paddle a canoe and if you want a certificate, we will invent one.

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Xan
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Re: Splitting 2* CW facebook

Post by Xan »

I think there needs to be an option, but I also think the BCU need to do something to encourage participation in both crafts. For example looking at most of the central Scotland clubs you'd probably be lucky to find half a dozen coaches that would want to coach in open boats meaning the scope to learn is greatly decreased. It's easy to say hand them off to someone else, but what happens if there is no-one else? currently they will be able to manage but long term is that really sustainable. On my UKCC L1 only 1 of the 12 participants was an open boater. That's not a good ratio. The current approach has meant that there are now 12 people able to teach Open Canoeing opposed to one. I specifically when and done 3 star open as I believe having the option is the right thing for my club long term.

It's a hard one and I think moving them to single craft is the easy way out of the problem, but I truly think all it will do is create another problem.

The post that the OP refers to does worry me too. the post seems to be written based on the opinion of individuals not the wider community, although I appreciate that is the way the BCU manage it currently. what research has been done and what evidence do they have to prove their points which they state are FACT!!!

Of the people I seen reply to this elsewhere there is a 50/50 split (pardon the pun) of people that would and would not like to see a change. There are people that have said they have seen their Kayaking improve as a result of learning open boat, so the following comment does seem to be alot of s*** (Personally I have to agree I think there are benefits)
1. Learning to paddle an open canoe and a GP kayak DOES NOT make you a better paddler or coach (than learning to paddle or coach what you love and want to do). FACT!
and by default I personally think this is alot of s*** too
2. Even if 1. is a fact (which it isn’t), the only people who it would apply to are competitive elite paddlers and coaches - not clubs, schools, scouts, LEA centres or anyone else that wants to enjoy going paddling or coaching
AS a Scottish paddler I'd be interested in hearing what the SCA have to say about that matter as the full message does not seem to be getting passed to all members of the NGB consistently. I think they'd be better issuing a formal not that highlights what they are looking at, what the options are and working with members to reach a solution. I'm not sure this post from CW it particularly helpful and it's tone is a tad aggressive IMO FACT!! ;)

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Re: Splitting 2* CW facebook

Post by Chalky723 »

I don't get this in any of my other hobbies!!

My camera club don't force me to develop film in a dark room, even though I'd undoubtedly learn from it & plan my shots better rather than just firing off loads on the D-SLR.

My Wargames club don't force me to play Roman rather than WW2 to increase my tactical awareness. (God I'm boring!)

I didn't have to ride a tourer, scrambler & race bike to pass my motorbike test.

People say that the canoe skills are transferable to kayak - so why not just teach them in a kayak in the first place?

It's not applicable to me as I won't be taking 2* again, but I'll still be mailing Rayan to put my view across.

C
Jackson Nirvana, LL Remix 69, BMW F650GS...

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Re: Splitting 2* CW facebook

Post by twopigs »

icklepaddler wrote:The message below is on canoe wales facebook page.
(snip)
So what are the facts?
1. Learning to paddle an open canoe and a GP kayak DOES NOT make you a better paddler or coach (than learning to paddle or coach what you love and want to do). FACT!
2. Even if 1. is a fact (which it isn’t), the only people who it would apply to are competitive elite paddlers and coaches - not clubs, schools, scouts, LEA centres or anyone else that wants to enjoy going paddling or coaching.
(snip)
Missed that bit .....

So you have to be a competitive elite paddler or a coach to enjoy canoeing? Great to have an inclusive community .....

I started as a kayaker, moved onto white water kayaking and decided to try canoeing. Meantime I've done some sea kayaking and even (recently) got into a K1. I tolerate sit-on tops and stand-up paddleboards .......

We should think of ourselves as paddlers - not kayakers nor canoeists.
Canoeing - bigger boat, broken paddle, more skill!

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MikeB
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Re: Splitting 2* CW facebook

Post by MikeB »

We may need to accept that our NGB's are not actually interested in what we, the Members, actually want. Their focus is now largely on chasing funding, doing what they are told by Sport England / Scotland / whatever, and in producing professional coaches to help win medals.

Whether learning another discipline is of any value has been discussed at length - but I have heard tales from at least one paddler who went this route that it did in fact help his kayak paddling. Personally, the requirement to paddled an open is one of the reasons I decided not to re-instate my coaching quals. That and the considerable time and cost now involved to obtain and maintain the qualification. So, another coach lost to paddling.

Given the comments reportedly made by one of Scottish paddling's father figures at the last SCA AGM, it is clear the SCA isn't in the business of listening to Members these days. I really do hope that sometime, soon, this attitude changes.

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Re: Splitting 2* CW facebook

Post by twicezero »

Wait, what?
1. Learning to paddle an open canoe and a GP kayak DOES NOT make you a better paddler or coach (than learning to paddle or coach what you love and want to do). FACT!
2. Even if 1. is a fact (which it isn’t), the only people who it would apply to are competitive elite paddlers and coaches - not clubs, schools, scouts, LEA centres or anyone else that wants to enjoy going paddling or coaching.
Is the writer saying 1 is a fact? They say it is, then say it isn't.

I want to know what to argue with, dammit!

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Re: Splitting 2* CW facebook

Post by DaveBland »

Clearly I have no vested interest in this as I don't live or paddle in the UK or take or do any kind of coaching, but...
it seems blindingly obvious that they should be separate. Very few paddlers paddle both or have any interesting paddling both.
Even here in Calgary, where lets face it Canadian canoeing is relatively popular, the clubs are separate and the paddlers rarely mix.
There are a few cross over slalom dudes, but they do both through choice and get coached in both, through choice.
dave

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Re: Splitting 2* CW facebook

Post by icklepaddler »

An update from CW

IMPORTANT UPDATE - APOLOGY & CORRECTION TO CW OPEN LETTER

CE and SCA have asked me to apologise for adding their contacts to the open letter about 2* and open informed consultation.

It was a genuine miss-understanding so please do not contact any of the other Home Nations with your views.

It is only the Canoe Wales members, clubs and grass roots participants who have not been given the chance to contribute to an inclusive, informed consultation yet.

CW want to hear your views and listen to your experiences whether you are currently involved or not.
Thank you, Marianne Davies

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Re: Splitting 2* CW facebook

Post by cp »

[quote="icklepaddler"]An update from CW

IMPORTANT UPDATE - APOLOGY & CORRECTION TO CW OPEN LETTER

CE and SCA have asked me to apologise for adding their contacts to the open letter about 2* and open informed consultation.

It was a genuine miss-understanding so please do not contact any of the other Home Nations with your views.

It is only the Canoe Wales members, clubs and grass roots participants who have not been given the chance to contribute to an inclusive, informed consultation yet.

CW want to hear your views and listen to your experiences whether you are currently involved or not.
Thank you, Marianne Davies[/quote]

Are you saying CE and SCA have been given a chance? as I nor my club have heard anything about this.

Chris

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Re: Splitting 2* CW facebook

Post by Xan »

I doubt it would come to the individual members of clubs of the SCA (I'm a club Chairman and have been for 3 years and never seen the club being asked about coaching stuff). I't's more likely to come to the coaching development groups in each of the regions (there was some sort of chat at the last meeting I was at, but don't remember it going into detail).

I would think the SCA and CE would be working on some sort of formal response, just remember these things take time to get reviewed and approved by the board so give it some time.

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Re: Splitting 2* CW facebook

Post by Adrian Cooper »

In my experience the average club member doesn't get to hear about any proposed changes until they are announced and then are told that if they wanted their opinion taken into account they should have spoken to their RCO. If your RCO doesn't agree with you your opinion will be ignored.

I have heard nothing about this except from the WCA post

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Robert Craig
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Re: Splitting 2* CW facebook

Post by Robert Craig »

I've had a look back at my logbook. Since the dual-craft 2* was introduced, I'd done only three 2* assessments, of which two were for people who already had 4*. {In the same period I did nine 3* assessments. For the 3* assessment, only one candidates has a dual-craft 2*.]

A small sample, but it does look to me as though essentially only aspiring coaches are doing 2*. It's (at least here) not part of the normal progression. 2* is dead for our ordinary Club paddlers. We need separate 2*s.

A worry I have is that the extended time required to do a dual-craft 2* means even more Wednesday-evening-pond paddling, slowing down people's progress to real paddling out in a real environment.

It may be - and someone with coach education knowledge better than mine needs to think about it - that learning to paddle an unfamiliar craft just before a L1 coaching course helps aspiring coaches to learn better. If so, two separate 2*s again provides the way forward, with coaches being required to do both. But I'm unconvinced - I'd rather see a higher skill in one chosen craft.

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Re: Splitting 2* CW facebook

Post by twopigs »

Robert Craig wrote: (snip) A worry I have is that the extended time required to do a dual-craft 2* means even more Wednesday-evening-pond paddling, slowing down people's progress to real paddling out in a real environment.

It may be - and someone with coach education knowledge better than mine needs to think about it - that learning to paddle an unfamiliar craft just before a L1 coaching course helps aspiring coaches to learn better. If so, two separate 2*s again provides the way forward, with coaches being required to do both. But I'm unconvinced - I'd rather see a higher skill in one chosen craft.
Interesting comment - extended time to do a dual-craft 2*? Our club sees that as well - so much so that we have 1* kayak and 1* canoe courses (I know they should use both craft for 1* but while we have over 50 kayaks we only have 20 canoes) - and insist on 1* canoe before moving on to 2* canoe - but oddly enough the skill level does not seem to depend upon the number of sessions - the paddlers seem to plateau! Maybe it is something to do with motivation and wanting that award!

Separate 2* awards - nice idea and then wannabe coaches need both 2* awards before moving on to UKCC Level 1. My worry is that once that has been conceded there might be a movement towards separate coach awards - UKCC L1 kayak and UKCC L1 canoe...... I'm sure I remember something similar earlier this centuary. :-D
Canoeing - bigger boat, broken paddle, more skill!

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Re: Splitting 2* CW facebook

Post by Xan »

Robert Craig wrote:Separate 2* awards - nice idea and then wannabe coaches need both 2* awards before moving on to UKCC Level 1. My worry is that once that has been conceded there might be a movement towards separate coach awards - UKCC L1 kayak and UKCC L1 canoe...... I'm sure I remember something similar earlier this centuary. :-D
I'm all for seperate 2* assesments but the section above is what worries me. IMO the development in Canoeing these days is very poor. Altough it's not my chosen craft I think more needs to be done to propmote it as an option. As Ive said before I think it's actually a good thing to learn.

In my club our pool can't take open boats due to size so everyone goes straight into kayaks. In the summer we have 3 open boats sitting there but for our coaches (me included) when people want to try 'canoeing' and a 'canoe club' the kayaks seem to be the go to craft. I decided this year that I'm going to start giving newbies an options or make a suggestion that they try both.

I think the reason for the above it 2 fold

1. All bar 1 of our coaches feel more at home in a Kayak so they coach what tehy are more comfortable with
2. Kayaks are much easier to get to grips with thus allows people that more positive feeling at teh end of the session. I.e at the end of the session they can go in a reasonably straight line opposed to probably spending most of the night going round in circles.

I think that's the reason people dont like learning open boat for L2. they have progressed in a Kayak (or canoe) , they are used to the way it works and then they feel lost going back to feeling inadiquate. It's similar to where I was after 10 years on ski's. I wnet for a few snowboarding lessions and got comfortable on blues. I then went out with friends that wanted to ski the normal reds and black but couldnt cause I'd have killed myself. I got board learning and holding them back so I let it be.

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Re: Splitting 2* CW facebook

Post by Adrian Cooper »

Why do you think more needs to be done to promote canoeing? Surely if people want to kayak they should be assisted with that rather than being diverted.

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Re: Splitting 2* CW facebook

Post by Xan »

It's not about diverting it's about presenting options. What I'sm saying is certainly in my club it's the go to option very rarely is the question asked so it's maybe not seen as an option.

My concern is that anything canoe goes in the same way as 4 & 5 star and UKCC assesments. Currently most clubs in the UK have little resource to provide these services because it's seen as too dificult to get to this stage. Canoe coaching from a professional perspective seems to be well covered but from a club scene (certainly in Scotland) it's covereage seems poor.

If Canoeing turns into a sport that you need to pay a coach £70 a day to learn opposed to coming to a club and learning it will have an impact on recreational paddlesports.

My concern is that this will remove the option in clubs opposed to forcing people down another route.

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Post by Xan »

Statement released from SCA.

http://canoescotland.org/news/statement ... ing-2-star

In otherwards, Watch this space.

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Re: Splitting 2* CW facebook

Post by scottdog007 »

Is there a lot of canoeing involved in the 2*? I didn't have to do much to get through it, most of my 2* was kayaking. I've got the impression the canoeing side of it was so give you a 'taster' and appreciation for it. I hated canoeing at the time, but it didn't bother me.

Incidentally try paddling on one side like you would in a canoe, keeping the paddle in the water all the time. Do 3 or 4 strokes on that side only. A cracking technique for getting out of an eddy into a massive flow of white water. After the 3 or 4 strokes the paddle can go into a low brace or stern rudder to give a nice turn or support stroke. I have to thank canoeing for getting me to master that stroke.

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Re: Splitting 2* CW facebook

Post by Xan »

It's pretty much 50/50. Whatever you do in a kayak you do in a canoe.

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Re: Splitting 2* CW facebook

Post by Jim »

As I understand 2* is a stupid anamoly, the decision was made not to make 1 and 3* dual discipline but 2* had already been rolled out and no-one has got round to withdrawing it and replacing it with single discipline awards consistent with the rest of the star system.

I don't even see why it is an issue, it needs to be brought into line end of.

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Re: Splitting 2* CW facebook

Post by icklepaddler »

scottdog007 wrote:Is there a lot of canoeing involved in the 2*? I didn't have to do much to get through it, most of my 2* was kayaking. I've got the impression the canoeing side of it was so give you a 'taster' and appreciation for it. .
Seen that done in a few places, similarly seen "that will do" applied to paddling the alternate craft.

In my mind the above statement is probably one of the key reasons to split the award. The gain of paddling alternate craft is being diluted and the award is being undermined by a lack of standardisation between assessors, who are being asked to assess in craft that they are not comfortable, not up to speed and simply don'd know what an efficient forward stroke looks like!

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Re: Splitting 2* CW facebook

Post by mharrall »

My observations and experiences since 2 star was combined as part of UKCC roll out, some good, some not so good.

I was a kayaker who happened to own an open canoe, which I occasionally used on sunny days along with my wife and our dog(s). When the combined 2 star was introduced I realised that I would need this award if I wanted to coach and assess it, so I thought I’d better take open canoeing a bit more seriously. At the time I didn’t see it as a major hassle, but I guess I was lucky in already having some equipment and also belonging to a club that had a handful of good quality canoes. A few of us were trained and assessed one sunny Saturday (thanks Paul) and we’ve not looked back since. Prior to this happening the open canoes were rarely used, but part of that was down to club politics and someone trying to keep new kit staying nice and shiny by not allowing people to use it. I would say that being basically forced to become a kayaking and canoeing club has actually been a significant factor in the growth of our club, but is being forced down a particular route the right way of going about things? You decide.

Neighbouring clubs weren’t so lucky, very soon we found that we were being asked if our boats could be used upgrading coaches and for general 2 star training activities. We’ve always had good relations with all the clubs around us, so we were able to assist where possible by sharing our resources until the other clubs raised the money to buy their own open boating equipment. I would think that this must have been a problem nationally, and probably still is in some places.

When the UKCC was rolled out I remember a couple of instances where I was asked by members of another local club about what becoming a coach entailed. When I explained the need to take a combined 2 star course which involved learning open canoe skills this was a major turn off, and 2 or 3 would be coaches were definitely put off enough not to join the coaching scheme.

Having helped a few would be coaches from other clubs working with prerequisites for level 1, I have found that often their interest in the alternative discipline (usually canoe) is significantly lacking, it’s obvious that they don’t intend to set foot in their least preferred craft again once they’ve become a coach. It doesn’t seem very sensible to insist that someone learn something that they have no interest in and do not intend to maintain a skill set in, just a waste of everyone’s time and effort.

We have a fairly large coaching team, some prefer coaching kayak, some prefer coaching canoe, and some like both. Similarly some of our club members wouldn’t be seen dead in a canoe, but we also have those that hate the thought of being encased in plastic. Paddlers have more choice, and so we have more active members and better retention of members, for us this is all good.

We have found 2 star assessment a bit of a chore. Having to assess in both craft is wearing on the paddlers and the coaches. Yes we could split the assessment, but having tried that we found that there is always someone who can’t make it to both assessment days. Also, often a paddler will be an easy pass in one craft but a clear fail in the other. From an assessment point of view it would be easier to be able to assess and certificate each craft separately.

In summary I would say that combined 2 star was probably initially a catalyst for change for our club but now that we have changed it’s just an obstacle that we’d prefer removed. On balance, if it was up to me I’d split the award and make all levels of coach discipline specific or combined if the coach has the necessary prerequisites of 2 star in both canoe and kayak. It’s my understanding that level 2 has already gone this way.
Martin

MikeVeal
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Re: Splitting 2* CW facebook

Post by MikeVeal »

I've sent the following to the CE contact, Ryan.
Ryan,
Having seen a post on UKRGB, I am compelled to write to you and let you know my opinion. Firstly, here is the post:
The message below is on canoe wales facebook page.
SNIP SNIP SNIP
Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 2:08 pm

I’ve been coaching / teaching kayaking with the Scouts since about 1986. I am not currently a BCU member and I don’t have any inclination to join and gain BCU coaching qualifications. The reason for this is the requirement to teach canoeing.

Personally, I dislike canoes. I prefer kayaking, I prefer the sharp handling of a kayak. This sensation is lost when paddling open canoes, the hulls don’t respond in the same way and there is a poor physical connection between the paddler and the boat. You wear a kayak and you slop around in an open boat.

All of this is of course my personal opinion. I fully accept that there are others who will disagree violently. But here’s my point; if I join the BCU coaching scheme, I’m forced to teach a sport I don’t enjoy. I’m a volunteer, why would I want to do that?

More crucially than this, I strongly believe that anyone teaching / coaching needs to be enthusiastic about whatever it is they are teaching. If the coach is uninterested, or indifferent to what’s being taught, then this will come across to the students. A student learning canoeing from a coach that dislikes canoeing is unlikely to get a fair introduction to the sport. The same clearly applies to a student learning kayaking from a coach who prefers canoeing.

From the students perspective, it’s fine to offer them a taster of both sports. But they should not be compelled to learn both at any stage of development. I frequently deal with kids who don’t turn up to sessions if we tell them in advance that it will be an open boat session. We struggle to get kids to sign up for the courses because of the requirement to learn open boat skills.

Forcing both boat types into the 2* award makes the courses longer. Students generally have a lower standard of paddling in both boat types at the end of the course than they would have on a shorter course that concentrated on the single boat.

We’re losing students, we’re losing instructors (whilst I’m still prepared to work around the scheme, many of my fellow volunteers have simply walked away.)
I guess you may not see this as in the scouting movement, we’re not compelled to join the BCU coaching scheme.

The Scout group that I help out with currently do teach the BCU syllabus. But we are extremely frustrated with it and considering doing ‘something else’. ‘Something else’ could be a mixture of the old award scheme (updated for modern boats and techniques) and what the Scouts need to pass their canoeing awards.

I agree whole heartedly with the post above that paddling both boats does not make you a better paddler. I find that the scheme is deeply unpopular with both students and coaches. Please seek out and listen to the views of the grass roots paddlers, I think you’ll find that the current scheme is almost universally disliked.

It’s time for a change.

Many thanks for your time.

Mike Veal.

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