The First Polo Coach Award

Quality training from the world's largest paddling course provider

The Polo Coach Award launched in January 2018 and supports you to coach Polo. We hear from Lesley, who recently ran the first Polo Coach Assessment and Neil, who recently become the first person to qualify as a NEW Polo Coach.

Hear from Lesley, who ran the Polo Coach Assessment

Neil came with a background in canoe polo and also as an Instructor from a previous qualification scheme. Neil was able to apply for Accredited Prior Learning for the Core Coach Training, due to his previous experience, and move directly onto the Polo Discipline Specific Training. During the two- day course, we took the opportunity to refresh Neil’s knowledge and understanding of coaching techniques in-line with the new award. Neil found this of great value and has adapted his current coaching to reflect this.
We discussed his action plan to develop his canoe polo coaching skills, with both individual and group sessions, and stressed the need to ensure that there was sufficient formative and summative feedback to his coaching cohort.

Then Covid-19 struck and everything was put on hold.

As restrictions eased, Neil was able to work again with both individuals of differing abilities and group training sessions and reflect on the progress they were making and how his approach was changing.

Having logged his experience and undertaken all the prerequisites for assessment, we agreed that the assessment should take place at a Yorkshire Region Women’s Canoe Polo Development Day hosted by Kingston Kayak Club, funded by the Regional Canoe Polo Committee. The course was led and staffed by women coaches. The interpretation of ‘Yorkshire Region’ was fairly wide with the furthest participant coming from Bangor in North Wales.

Andy Oughton very kindly agreed to come from Paddles Up Training for the day to ensure quality control as this was the first time the qualification had been assessed.

During the assessment day, Neil was allocated a group to work with which included both dry side and on-water activities culminating with coaching during games.

Neil demonstrated to the whole course rescue techniques in line with the award content and many of the techniques were new to the players.

At the end of the assessment day, we were pleased to say that Neil had met the criteria for the Coach Award and together action planned for his further personal development.

Hear from Neil, NEW Polo Coach

I began my canoeing journey joining Kingston Kayak Club in Hull, at the age of 7. At an early age I became involved with the club and in particular Canoe Polo, as well as other canoeing disciplines. I recall during those years we scored goals by throwing the ball onto a wooden board and wearing no face masks on our Ace helmets, how times have changed!

In 1992 I qualified as a kayak Instructor and continued my coaching within our club environment, club sessions and years of summer school months. Because of my Instructor qualification, I taught canoeing / kayaking on the Camp America scheme in Seattle.

Having paddled for Kingston Polo teams at a junior level I progressed with ‘Kingston Zs’ then competed with the ‘Humbersiders’ Canoe Polo team at Division 1 level for 10 years, nationally and internationally.

I was successful in being selected to paddle for the Great Britain U21 Canoe Polo team for three years and again competed nationally and internationally.

During the last few years with Kingston Kayak Club I successfully took one of our Polo teams, ‘Kingston B’, as their captain (Buoyancy aid No.3) back to National Division One polo (albeit for one season, most of us are over 40 years of age!).

In 2019, I began the process of the British Canoeing Awarding Body Canoe Polo Coach Award. This initially began with the Polo Discipline Specific training which developed my coaching techniques. Unfortunately due to covid-19 this process was put on hold, however I continued with the course when restrictions lifted and in September 2021, have been successful with completing the British Canoeing Awarding Body Canoe Polo Coach Award!

This year is my 40th year as a paddler and am still enjoying the sport, enjoying the coaching and will continue to develop my coaching skills in order to deliver Canoe Polo coaching at all levels!

Interested in becoming a Polo Coach?

The Polo Coach Award is designed for people whose core function is to coach paddlers on who want to gain/improve their canoe Polo skills. This will include coaching beginners new to Polo, or players looking to develop their skills.

The Polo Coach Award consists of a Core Coach Training, Polo Coach training and the Coach Award eLearning. This is concluded by a Polo Coach Assessment. Find out more and start your journey to become a Polo Coach today!

If you already have previous experience and knowledge to by-pass the training, submit an Accredited Prior Learning application through your dashboard.



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