Hear from Ronny who’s recently run the first NEW Sea Kayak Leader (tidal) Assessment in Norway.
British Canoeing is continuously developing, and I’ve been looking forward to running the new Sea Kayak Leader (tidal) assessment on the West Coast of Norway.
All the candidates had done official British Canoeing training, most of them more than once. They had all also completed trainings from other national bodies and guide organisations. I still think the official British Canoeing training is the best choice for most paddlers working towards their award. For the more experienced paddler though, with self-evaluation skills and perhaps working in the industry, I think it’s great that they can go straight to assessment. Providing that they have completed the prerequisites of course.
The candidates and I decided to have a pre-course web meeting in November. And as the new Sea Kayak Leader (tidal) was to be launched January 2021, we had some communication by mail and phone to cover the changes.
The pre-meeting is a great opportunity to establish positive relationships and a friendly and including environment, where the candidates can ask any important (or silly…) questions. In my experience, most candidates are positively surprised by how much of the decision-making they are invited to take part in, when it’s appropriate, and this gives them ownership and hopefully puts them at ease a little.
I believe that the new changes in the course supports the individual in various ways…
One example is by giving choices on how to learn and develop. The Leader and Raft Guide Self Analysis Tool and the Skills Checklist promotes ownership and reflection, and it supports freedom to develop individual training programs. I’m using these tools too!
As it happened, the situation and restrictions for Covid-19 made it safe to go ahead with the assessment on the second spring tide of January.
The evening before the course we had another meeting where we agreed on how to arrange the next few days. As the conditions were quite favourable, the candidates had the freedom and opportunity to make choices on venues. As well as arranging parts of the assessment plan.
On the water things went smoothly thanks to the candidates good planning and favourable moderate conditions. Two of the candidates were in the same cohort and could work close together. But all tasks were still possible with one meter distance.
A little concern for me was lone working, and candidates who have done trainings with me. I use pictures and video to gather information more often than before and find that very helpful. However, I realise that developing observation and analysing skills, and structuring all that information, seems to me a lifelong learning process.
I realise I have been very fortunate to be allowed to work parts of 2020. I know that this has not been the case for everyone, and right now my town is locked down again. My thoughts go to all the highly skilled colleagues in the British Canoeing coaching community. And my hope is that we soon can see positive changes, catch up, and coach again.