Association of Paddlers/Coaches

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Association of Paddlers/Coaches

Post by Simon Westgarth » Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:32 am

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As mentioned in an earlier post, here is the start of an association to represent professional paddlesport coaches in the UK. See below an extract of their website:
Who are we?

The A.P.C is a collaboration of Level 5 coaches across disciplines that provide the highest level of coaching and the training and assessment of NGB awards. These coaches are also active paddlers having their own adventures in their spare time, be it in the UK, Europe or on expedition. Membership is open to any L5 coach be it a freelancer or in full time employment, who is an active coach working at a range of levels and who is an active paddler in their free time.

The L5 coach is the highest coaching award in the UK and at the moment there is no independent organisation to promote their services. The aim of the logo and the website is to provide a simple way of identifying the highest levels of coaching from active paddlers passionate about their sport. Our members are chosen by their peers and the criteria ensures that not only are they L5 coaches, but they are active in their chosen discipline.They provide evidence of this which has to be updated every 2 years to retain membership. This ensures you get the highest quality coaching from active passionate paddlers.
A little strange name, yet in essence any representation of full time coaches to the BCU is a step forward. The development of the UKCC system, has seen the increased actions to marginalise many full time coaches with uneven changes, and seemingly unequal accreditation of who can and who can not run specific courses, with little recourse, that at the end of the day is effective restrictive practise, tinkering with people's ability to make a living. I hope this new association gains some teeth, to influence paddlesports coaching development. Good luck guys

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Re: Association of Paddlers/Coaches

Post by davidmann » Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:16 pm

interesting dvelopment.

so... what does this mean for us coaches lower down on the coaching ladder? Do APC plan to create an alternative coaching system as has been mentioned before?

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Re: Association of Paddlers/Coaches

Post by Jon Wood » Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:19 pm

Best of luck to all the coaches involved.

A suggestion: not all members maintain their own website-would it make sense to include a brief biography, particularly if potential customers are using the site looking for course providers?

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Re: Association of Paddlers/Coaches

Post by Allenkayak » Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:25 pm

Very strange name, it certainly does not do what is says on the tin. Whilst the concept as it is and what it aims to do is fine (basically a trade association for level 5 coaches) but a bit limited that will do little more than highlight active level 5 coaches. And if your wanting coaching at this level your going to go on the coaches reputation not just a list.
Will it have any influenze, I doubt it - basically too small, the BCU certainly are not going to listen to it, although I don't think that's what it is set up for anyway.
If you want a body that may have some influence than it would need to be a true Coaches Association that included coaches at every level in both the paid and voluntry sector. The same way that you need a recreational paddlers association to stand any chance of the BCU doing more for what is the majority of it's members.
To run either would be a massive task, so can't see it happening.

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Re: Association of Paddlers/Coaches

Post by TheKrikkitWars » Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:27 pm

Finally happened eh? About time, I'll be very interested to see how this develops.

Edit:@ the poster above me, I'm anticipating this developing into something along the lines of the National Assocation of Head Teaches, Assocation of Chief Police Officers and the Association of Heads of Outdoor Education Centers (the last of which is both an example and a allied dicipline); an organisation which has relatively exclusive membership, but which develops material, provides advice on key issues and makes representations such that it's benificial to the wider community rather than just it's members.
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Re: Association of Paddlers/Coaches

Post by davidmann » Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:40 pm


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Re: Association of Paddlers/Coaches

Post by jmmoxon » Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:47 pm

similar to this then?
Not even in the same ball park, at the moment it's just a website that highlights which level 5 coaches are active paddlers with one resource pack. Maybe they should rename it Active Paddlesports Coaches. It's not intended to be an alternative to the BCU.

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Re: Association of Paddlers/Coaches

Post by jmmoxon » Wed Aug 18, 2010 1:25 pm

Similar ideas from mountaineering: http://www.ami.org.uk/

& caving http://www.caveinstructor.org.uk/

Mike
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Re: Association of Paddlers/Coaches

Post by SeaDoug » Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:09 pm

Simon,
As a coach who has no aspirations to be either L5 or full time, I have no issues with those who wish to make their living out of paddlesport - we need the "professional" level to be able to spend the time and effort needed to keep coaching ideas fresh and relevant for all our sessions - so best wishes for the development of the Association.
Your comment about the effects of BCU changes on your ability to work as a coach are interesting, as those of us further down the ladder see the effect of the UKCC revolution as a swing towards "professional" (as in employed by Centres etc) coaching to the extent that volunteer club coaches are an endangered species. The costs for individuals to start on the coaching ladder, or for established active volunteers to develop onwards, has become beyond the resources of most clubs to afford, and many of us who have spent our own funds for many years to achieve qualifications are reluctant to dig deep again, into a qualification system which is still unfinished.
One area I think we may agree on, is that the biggest loser in all of the recent changes, has been "recreational" paddlesport, as the bias of all the BCU developments seem to be "competition" - whether it is Olympic or other elite level, that is where the sport hierarchy seem to be looking.
Regards
Doug

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Re: Association of Paddlers/Coaches

Post by KJO - Coaching » Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:46 pm

A great idea yet I wonder why you would need to be a level 5 and not just a professional coach?

Does this mean the Association regards level 5 and professional (what does that mean - coaching as there full time employment?), paddling in there spare time as some sort of quality stamp? I'm curious how that works?

Jacko

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Re: Association of Paddlers/Coaches

Post by davidmann » Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:52 pm

jmmoxon wrote:Similar ideas from mountaineering: http://www.ami.org.uk/

& caving http://www.caveinstructor.org.uk/

Mike
... and http://www.mlta.co.uk/index.php

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Re: Association of Paddlers/Coaches

Post by jmmoxon » Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:57 pm

see the effect of the UKCC revolution as a swing towards "professional" (as in employed by Centres etc)
The UKCC awards have no relevance to the majority of centre work, their remit is entirely towards coaches working with long term paddler development - so much more useful to club coaches than centres - but we should leave that argument to the many other threads already on this forum.

I also wondered about the "Active" requirement, as this maybe has some usefulness for 5 star training & assessment, but of less relevance to those running coaching awards or even freestyle or surf coaching.
No, they are a training body equivalent to BCU Awards scheme.

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Re: Association of Paddlers/Coaches

Post by Adrian Cooper » Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:06 pm

The Logo

A clear and simple way of helping people identify the highest standard of coaching in the UK
I seem to recall that the red line, white either side was used as an arm-band by coaches many years ago. Am I right?

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Re: Association of Paddlers/Coaches

Post by Seedy Paddler » Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:22 pm

Be interested to see if it lobbies for any change - I recognise at least 2 members who have been at the heart of the UKCC Process within the BCU holding positions of influence and power.........

Really just a self promotional tool.

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Re: Association of Paddlers/Coaches

Post by MattBibbings » Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:39 pm

An interesting development no doubt but it does not compare well with the like of the:

MLTA who say
"Who can join?
Membership is open to anyone who has registered for any of the awards overseen by MLT and the home nation training boards."

or AMI Who will let you join when pass MIA (as opposed to MIC, or BMG)

Only letting L5's come and play in the club is a bit elitist in reality. It makes the APC look more like a marketing opportunity for L5s who are self employed. I would far rather see an organisation that seeks to represent all active coaches who conduct themselves in a professional manner (thus including our hard working and under-represented volunteer club coaches). A 'union' perhaps, of paddlers/coaches, lets say 'canoeists' in Britain. Oh, I see..... I'll get me cag.

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Re: Association of Paddlers/Coaches

Post by jmmoxon » Thu Aug 19, 2010 8:30 am

If you compare the number of MIA to ML & SPA qualified people I'm sure the association is just as exclusive as L5 coaches, so that is comparable.

The MLTA is equivalent to the BCU Awarding scheme, so nothing like APC.

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Re: Association of Paddlers/Coaches

Post by Jay Oram » Thu Aug 19, 2010 9:10 am

Are there going to be any new L5 with the UKCC scheme?

If not it will get very lonely at the top! I think it is a great idea, the AMI does a great job, technical articles, resources, works really well with the BMC/MLTA and if the 'APC' does half as well it will be worth it. Could L5 trainees not be included as "appremtices" or something so the group could grow?

Good luck, hopefully I'll be a member soon!!

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Re: Association of Paddlers/Coaches

Post by Tony Aiuto » Thu Aug 19, 2010 10:14 am

MattBibbings wrote: 1, Only letting L5's come and play in the club is a bit elitist in reality.

2, It makes the APC look more like a marketing opportunity for L5s who are self employed.
1, That was my first thought too, but why not? Why shouldn't the "top end" have a platform, in reality it already is happening, just informally.

2, Yes, once again why not? A one stop shop with a list of top level coaches would be useful, for those new to the sport. I use three of those top coaches, but was lucky enough to stumble across them during my development. It would have been helpful to have a list.
MattBibbings wrote: I would far rather see an organisation that seeks to represent all active coaches who conduct themselves in a professional manner (thus including our hard working and under-represented volunteer club coaches). A 'union' perhaps, of paddlers/coaches, lets say 'canoeists' in Britain. Oh, I see..... I'll get me cag.
LOL
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Re: Association of Paddlers/Coaches

Post by TheKrikkitWars » Thu Aug 19, 2010 11:43 am

MattBibbings wrote:Only letting L5's come and play in the club is a bit elitist in reality.
There's nothing wrong with that though, Elitism has a bad name because it's automatically linked to either people being unpleasant about people who aren't the "elite" or the idea of "the old-boys network". APC appears to be neither of these things, so Yes it does seem elitist, but that's not an issue.
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Re: Association of Paddlers/Coaches

Post by Simon Westgarth » Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:17 pm

Jon Wood wrote:A suggestion: not all members maintain their own website-would it make sense to include a brief biography, particularly if potential customers are using the site looking for course providers?
I am sure those be hide APC will read these comments, and expand the scope of the website's service.
TheKrikkitWars wrote:
MattBibbings wrote:Only letting L5's come and play in the club is a bit elitist in reality.
There's nothing wrong with that though, Elitism has a bad name because it's automatically linked to either people being unpleasant about people who aren't the "elite" or the idea of "the old-boys network". APC appears to be neither of these things, so Yes it does seem elitist, but that's not an issue.
I would say that the APC it's meant to be a mark of quality for coaching, and to use active full time Level 5's is a clear starting point, if whether other it is felt different levels of membership outside L5's could be offered, I am sure in time it will be.
Tony Aiuto wrote:
MattBibbings wrote: I would far rather see an organisation that seeks to represent all active coaches who conduct themselves in a professional manner (thus including our hard working and under-represented volunteer club coaches). A 'union' perhaps, of paddlers/coaches, lets say 'canoeists' in Britain. Oh, I see..... I'll get me cag.
LOL
I do not think it is an alternative to the BCU, but a collective voice for those working full time as paddle sport coaches. Club Coaches already get considerable representation through regional committees, where as full time professionals do not have a direct voice.
Jay Oram wrote:Are there going to be any new L5 with the UKCC scheme?
If not it will get very lonely at the top! I think it is a great idea, the AMI does a great job, technical articles, resources, works really well with the BMC/MLTA and if the 'APC' does half as well it will be worth it. Could L5 trainees not be included as "appremtices" or something so the group could grow?
It is unlikely that there will be a UKCC L5, especially not for most full time coaches outside team coaches. UKCC L4 is the likely end game for current BCU L5's. Trainee L5's have been earmarked for inclusion.
MattBibbings wrote:Only letting L5's come and play in the club is a bit elitist in reality. It makes the APC look more like a marketing opportunity for L5s who are self employed.
More than half of those on the list are contracted National centre Coaches.
KJO - Coaching wrote:A great idea yet I wonder why you would need to be a level 5 and not just a professional coach? Does this mean the Association regards level 5 and professional (what does that mean - coaching as there full time employment?), paddling in there spare time as some sort of quality stamp? I'm curious how that works?
I would say, being L5 is a starting point for the APC, and is a clear quality mark. And Andy I have recommended yourself to be approached, and am surprised that you are not yet on the APC list.
SeaDoug wrote:Your comment about the effects of BCU changes on your ability to work as a coach are interesting, as those of us further down the ladder see the effect of the UKCC revolution as a swing towards "professional" (as in employed by Centres etc) coaching to the extent that volunteer club coaches are an endangered species. The costs for individuals to start on the coaching ladder, or for established active volunteers to develop onwards, has become beyond the resources of most clubs to afford, and many of us who have spent our own funds for many years to achieve qualifications are reluctant to dig deep again, into a qualification system which is still unfinished.
One area I think we may agree on, is that the biggest loser in all of the recent changes, has been "recreational" paddlesport, as the bias of all the BCU developments seem to be "competition" - whether it is Olympic or other elite level, that is where the sport hierarchy seem to be looking.
Doug, I completely agree with your point, and to make potential coaches go on several courses to be in essence professional flat water coaches, has alienated many the club or/and volunteer coaches who are forced to finance their qualification progression. I would strongly prefer to see an apprenticeship system for those wishing to go in paddlesport coaching as a career, and a central funded series of weekend courses for clubs.
davidmann wrote:so... what does this mean for us coaches lower down on the coaching ladder? Do APC plan to create an alternative coaching system as has been mentioned before?
I doubt very much they will develop an alternative system.

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Re: Association of Paddlers/Coaches

Post by Dave McCraw » Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:40 pm

The only regrettable thing is the name, IMO. Nobody complains about the Association of Chief Police Officers not including any rank and file, but they aren't called the "Association of Police". ;-)

As far as having a lobby group for L5s goes, I think it's a fine idea. The more organised people are, the better they can get their point across. It might also give us some relief from the eyeball-gouging introduction to any number of articles, "Level 5 Coach John Doe talks us through the..." (APC member John Doe is a little more tolerable from where I'm sitting!)

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Re: Association of Paddlers/Coaches

Post by james fleming » Thu Aug 19, 2010 1:49 pm

The association of paddlers / coaches. Good luck with the venture and your aims / objectives.

However, it’s not an association of paddlers / coaches. It’s an association of L5 coaches as I have read the info. So for me, the name is misleading.

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Re: Association of Paddlers/Coaches

Post by Andy H » Thu Aug 19, 2010 4:56 pm

Dont worry James us poor old level 4s are not worthy,

I bow my head and walk away in shame.

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Re: Association of Paddlers/Coaches

Post by Simon Westgarth » Thu Aug 19, 2010 5:06 pm

Andy H wrote:Dont worry James us poor old level 4s are not worthy
I do not think it's about that, simply the L5 is a starting point for the APC. However the old L4 is not really an ideal qualification, as it had to training nor assessment, and thus not an ideal standard of coaching within a white water environment. I am reasonably confident that those coaches with the new UKCC L3 and the Advanced Water Endorsement, which is likely to be new robust standard for coaching and guiding on Class III and beyond will be invited to the APC. Still its a matter of wait and see, for both the UKCC L3, AWE and APC developments.

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Re: Association of Paddlers/Coaches

Post by Andy H » Thu Aug 19, 2010 6:28 pm

There you go as i said us level 4 coaches are not worthy.

Simon i think this is a very bold statment you have just said about lesser qualified coaches (Quote below)

Simon Says
"However the old L4 is not really an ideal qualification, as it had to training nor assessment, and thus not an ideal standard of coaching within a white water environment."

So you are saying that i and other level 4 coaches shouldnt be coaching in a White Water Enviroment? If my level 5 mentor had said that to me i would have called it unprofessional. I think you have to remember there are a lot of lesser qualified unknown coaches out there running high quality coaching courses who are not level 5 but at a standard that matches the level 5.

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Re: Association of Paddlers/Coaches

Post by james fleming » Thu Aug 19, 2010 6:36 pm

Andy H wrote:There you go as I said us level 4 coaches are not worthy.

Simon I think this is a very bold statment you have just said about lesser qualified coaches (Quote below)

Simon Says
"However the old L4 is not really an ideal qualification, as it had to training nor assessment, and thus not an ideal standard of coaching within a white water environment."

So you are saying that I and other level 4 coaches shouldnt be coaching in a White Water Enviroment? If my level 5 mentor had said that to me I would have called it unprofessional. I think you have to remember there are a lot of lesser qualified unknown coaches out there running high quality coaching courses who are not level 5 but at a standard that matches the level 5.

Andy
Go on Andy! Well said!

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Re: Association of Paddlers/Coaches

Post by GRM » Thu Aug 19, 2010 6:41 pm

jmmoxon wrote:The MLTA is equivalent to the BCU Awarding scheme, so nothing like APC.
You've stated this twice, but are incorrect. MLTE is the awarding body in England for mountain qualifications, whilst MLTA is a quasi-independent association for people with those qualifications. There is no direct equivalent to the MLTA in paddlesport.

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Re: Association of Paddlers/Coaches

Post by Adrian Cooper » Thu Aug 19, 2010 6:52 pm

Andy H wrote:So you are saying that I and other level 4 coaches shouldnt be coaching in a White Water Enviroment?
I don't think Simon actually said this. Of course even an old level 3 can coach in a whitewater environment.

I don't know why anyone should criticise the level 4 as a qualification; it is what it is. Above level 3 there is training by way of CP plus a further skills award which is certainly assessed.

Why does all training need to be assessed?

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Re: Association of Paddlers/Coaches

Post by TheKrikkitWars » Thu Aug 19, 2010 7:09 pm

As long as I've been aware of the coaching scheme I've thought of a Level 4 coach as being a Level 3 with a five star... so the only change the UKCC L3 with AWE will bring is assessment in Coaching rather than Leading on whitewater, something whch should have been instiuted years ago.

I don't think that Simon is saying that all Level 4's are unworthy... but my intepretation is that he thinks some may well be, and thus revalidation/reassessment/qualfication transfer would be the best way of distinguishing the coaches who have remained current and competent, and those who have fallen behind.
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Re: Association of Paddlers/Coaches

Post by shanclan » Thu Aug 19, 2010 7:35 pm

Splitters!

Good luck with this venture, it will be interesting to see how it pans out. If it includes a future where there are sensible learning paths to L5 then that has to be a good thing. It may also prompt the BCU to get their house back in order.

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