Paddle Ability

We are the first club in Essex to achieve British Canoeing’s Top Club Paddle-Ability accreditation.

  • Paddle-Ability is a term and concept developed by the British Canoe Union to address the issue of participation in canoe sport and canoe recreation by disabled people.
  • The British Canoe Union promotes Canoeing for All and in support of that seeks to ensure that opportunities for participation in mainstream activities and events are available and accessible for disabled canoeists. 
  • Traditionally, the majority of sports opportunities for disabled people have been based on medical models and classifications, and have tended to be segregated activities. 
  • It is recognised and accepted that specific groups and events may sometimes be necessary to meet special needs.  
  • Paddle-Ability, however, focuses on ability rather than disability and looks for the development of canoeing to provide integrated and mainstream opportunities for those who wish to participate.

Canoe England have recently launched Paddle-Ability Top Club, this is a bolt on to the current Top Club accreditation for clubs demonstrating a high level of provision for its disabled membership.

Tendring Canoe Club is in its final stages to receive this Bolt On to its Top Club Status.  Coaches at our club will be attending the British Canoe Club PaddleAbility Symposium next March which includes workshops:

  • Foundation Paddle-Ability Module
  • How to Engage with Disabled people in the Community
  • Mencap Learning Disability Awareness
  • SCUK Effective Communication: Coaching Deaf People in Sport

We have recently received a grant which allowed us to train more coaches and also purchase a new sit on top kayak which is ideal for disabled and abled beginners especially if they are a bit nervous about getting on the water.

Within our collection of kayaks and Canoes we have boats suitable for all ages and sizes – the canoes being for 1,2 or 3 paddlers at one time making them ideal for mixed abled and disabled paddling.

We are currently working with the Environment Agency to provide disabled access portages at key points along the River Stour to encourage and allow more access to the river.