Team FAQ

I just like racing - is that OK?


There is no requirement to aspire to make the GB team and compete internationally in order to enjoy wildwater racing. Just going paddling with your friends and having a good time is reason enough! 

What are "elite skills"?

Elite skills are the refinement skills which are typically seen in world class performances.

Core (star award) skills will give an athlete the ability to paddle the water well.

Elite skills takes this a step further to making the water work for you - allowing you to generate speed from the water. Working in harmony, with undertanding, rather than battling the water.

How do I get in a GB squad?

GB squads (both junior and senior) are invitational. Regional or club coaches should contact the head coach to highlight an up and coming athlete they believe would benefit from squad weekends. An assessment of the commitment and potential of the paddlers are made, along with current competence and performance. The best way to get experience and to be assessed as a potential squad member is to race at Div A events.

Paddlers other than the named squad can be invited to squad weekends, depending upon the resources available for the weekend.

I want to go for the GB team - what do I do?

You will need to register for selection before 31st December. This acts as a notification of which events you wish to be considered for. It also acts as acceptance of the BCU doping controls.

The national coaches will make a performance and competence assessment of all paddlers going for selection. This will be communicated to you prior to the selection event, and you can ask for the assessment to be re-evaluated at any point prior to selection. The selection event itself is also considered an assessment for performance and competence.

Do I have to be a member of the team to compete internationally?


You can enter any 'C' class international. You must enter as 'British Canoe Union' - or as your club. However, if you intend to race at a class 'C' where the GB team is competing - you must first obtain permission from the WW Executive.

Class 'A' events (world championships, Europeans, world cups) can only be entered by the GB team.

For more information see the ICF calendar.

What does the squad do?

The GB squad provides technical advice to squad paddlers and their coaches to identify and improve elite skills.

Squad paddlers typically will be assigned a mentor coach, who can act as a sounding board to assist in a more frequent basis.

The Squad can assist in putting together training plans, and assist with logistics. Typically the squad will work with your local coach to maximise the benefit.

A full definition of the squads and how they operate can be found here.

How often should I be training to get in the squad?

It depends upon your life commitments, and whether you are a junior or senior. 

Typically junior squad athletes will be training at least 5 times per week. Senior athletes 7-11 times per week. Whatever the level of training, squad athletes will be expected to fully participate in the 4 sessions over the weekend.