Paddlepower’s colourful and youth-centred approach encourages more young people to come into and stay in Paddlesport by providing a range of opportunities across the sport. The Scheme’s flexible structure means that delivery can be at any venue or in any situation. It provides logical progressions through Topics and activities and develops supporting knowledge. It encourages paddlers to try different types of Paddlesport; to develop a broad base of experience and to help them find the area of Paddlesport they most enjoy.

The scheme consists of five Awards

Paddle Power Awards

How do Paddlepower Awards align with other British Canoeing Awards?

British Canoeing also have a performance award scheme for adults – the Star Awards. The contents of the Paddlepower and Star Awards schemes have been compared and the British Canoeing recognise the following equivalence:

Paddlepower table

Whilst the syllabi of Star Awards and Paddlepower Awards look different, the outcomes will be very similar and produce paddlers at the appropriate national standard.

What about age limits?

Whilst there are no minimum or maximum age limits on either Paddlepower or the Star Awards, the design of Paddlepower is young people friendly, and it would normally be best practice to use these awards with the young paddler.

Both Paddlepower and the first Star Awards have the flexibility in delivery to accommodate paddlers between 14 and 16. The coach will need to make a judgement based on the individual performer and match session content to their individual needs



The following resources are available from the Hydra Sports;
Coaches Handbook

Any eligible coach can run Paddlepower, but all coaches should obtain a copy of this Coaches’ Handbook to assist with delivery. The Handbook can be downloaded from the Home Nation Association websites or purchased as a hard copy.

Paddlepower Starter Pack
A pack consisting of the Coaches’ Handbook, a complete set of Paddlepower Progress Cards, a Start Certificate, and an A4 Paddlepower Poster is available to purchase.

Paddlepower Certificates
Certificates are available for each of the five Awards.

Summary of the five Paddlepower Awards

Paddlepower Start
Level 1
Designed to provide a framework for a paddler’s first session this Award provides encouragement and signposting to future sessions. Coaches will normally award the ‘Start’ certificate at the end of the first session. This session might be a ‘taster’ or the first of a series of sessions, and any type of Paddlesport craft may be used.

Paddlepower Passport
Levels 2 to 5
Paddlepower Passport comprises four progressive Levels that guide the new paddler from the initial ‘Start’ session through various Topics. These encourage each paddler to achieve recognisable standards in a range of skills and areas of knowledge. Adults would achieve similar standards via the ‘One Star’ criteria. A coaching programme of approximately 8 hours is appropriate for most paddlers.

Paddlepower Discover
Levels 6 to 9
Paddlepower Discover comprises four progressive Levels that encourage the young paddler to focus on particular techniques, skills, and areas of knowledge across the sport. These will significantly develop competencies and raise their standards of achievement in Paddlesport. Adults would achieve similar standards via the Two Star criteria. A coaching programme of approximately 15 – 20 hours is
appropriate for most paddlers.

Paddlepower Explore
Supporting levels 7 to 9
Paddlepower Explore takes paddlers on an extensive journey across three Levels. This Award focuses on supporting the skills acquired in Paddlepower Discover and applying them in a variety of Paddlesport activities. This is very much a participation award exploring the huge variety of opportunities found in Paddlesport, including trying different boat designs and participating in a variety of events. It is an excellent opportunity for coaches and providers, especially clubs, to network to the benefit of all participants.

Paddlepower Excel
Levels 10 to 12
Paddlepower Excel is the Award that recognises and celebrates the competent, experienced, and dedicated paddler. There are three Levels. Progression through these Levels requires the young paddler to demonstrate a broad knowledge of Paddlesport and a commitment to participation to set appropriate personal goals, and to achieve high standards of performance. Young paddlers will progress to a high level in a selection of Topics first introduced in the Passport Award and demonstrate appropriate strategies to complete Tasks in a range of boats and environments similar to those visited in Explore. Young paddlers will be required to:

  • Take responsibility for self and others
  • Consider participation in journeys, coaching sessions, training, events and competitions in a variety of environments
  • Develop an appropriate knowledge of the sport, such as access, rules, Paddlesport environment, nutrition and goal setting


Paddlepower table



When paddlers have completed all the tasks and levels within a progress card, and a coach has signed off the page titled ‘ABOUT YOU’, the card is sent to the paddler’s home nation office. The coach needs to be certain that the personal details are complete and legible, that all tasks have been completed and appropriately signed off, in order to ensure the paddler receives their certificate! The Paddlepower award certificate and the progress card is normally sent to the paddler. Coaches may wish to arrange, in agreement with the paddler, for certificates and progress cards to be sent to the coach who can then arrange an appropriate presentation. Certification is in the all-inclusive original price.


What do coaches need to deliver the awards?
Coaches need to purchase the Paddlepower Start Certificate that they can then issue to paddlers, or the Paddlepower Passport, Discover, Explore, and Excel Progress Cards.
These, and other resources, are available to purchase from Hydra Sports.

*NOTE – British Canoeing expected delivery on these products are 7 -14 day.