From Paddle Explore to Paddlesport Instructor

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Fiona talks us through her journey from Paddle Explore to becoming a Paddlesport Instructor.

I was fortunate enough to have completed the Paddle Explore Award as part of my work, and I had been grabbing every opportunity to spend time on the water.  When my twin boys started at Cowes Sea Cadets, I volunteered to be a Civilian Instructor.  I was asked about undertaking the Paddlesport Instructor qualification and I eagerly expressed my desire to do this.  I understood this would enable me to take small groups of beginners (including my boys) out paddling on the very sheltered water by the Sea Cadet Unit.

Over the weeks that led up to the Paddlesport Instructor course…

I learned and practised rescue skills in a variety of craft.  We took journeys down the river. This enabled me to work on my paddling skills and gain confidence.  Although canoes are my great love, I tried to push myself by using a variety of craft. Darcy taught me to consider my own paddling and recognise when improvements could be made.  We worked on session planning and using games to ensure that the learning is fun and engaging.I have really enjoyed learning about all the different ways to encourage and support beginners who are trying this fantastic sport for the first time.

I look forward to weekends and evenings spent helping the Cadets to gain both their Start and Discover awards.  I also hope that my employer will also want me to assist in providing training to CCF RN Cadets.

As for my development, I will continue to seize opportunities to learn more and would like to complete Paddlesport Leader as my next milestone.  I would also like to try Surf Kayaking and White Water Kayaking, but I would like this to be alongside more experiences in an open canoe, rather than instead of. Ultimately, I dream of being able to take my three children away on an expedition in an Open Canoe. I feel that every step of this journey brings me closer to making that dream a reality.

It has been an amazing experience, which has been challenging, but so worth every minute. It has left me keen to learn more.  I am so grateful to Darcy for all his patience and for guiding, supporting and believing in me, enabling me to achieve my first (of many I hope) paddlesport coaching qualifications.

Become a Paddlesport Instructor

The Paddlesport Instructor is aimed at those running taster/starter sessions and short journeys in very sheltered water environments, within the safety management systems of clubs/centres or other organisations. The two day training course is available in range of stable craft including kayak, open canoe, sit-on-top and SUPs.

Click here to find out more about the NEW Paddlesport Instructor Award and book your course today!

Did you know…

NEW Paddlesport Instructors can deliver the Paddle Start and Paddle Discover Awards, after completing the Personal Performance Awards Provider eLearning. This also provides 10 CPD points and a range of logos for your marketing! Find out more here!


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