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The British Canoe Union

The British Canoe Union is the NGB for Kayaking and Canoeing. Set up in 1936 to send a team to the Berlin Olympics, the BCU is the lead body for canoeing and kayaking in the UK. Since then the organisation has grown considerably, and the range of canoeing opportunity has increased tremendously.

The BCU offer 3 levels of award. They are:

- Paddlepower Award Levels 1-5 for children up to age 14. - Paddlesport Levels 1*-5* for 14+. - BCU/ UKCC Coaching Levels 1-5 for those wishing to coach groups.

At the uppermost levels of the awards, the awards become discipline specific. The avaliable disciplines are

- Flat Water Kayak (1* and 2*) - Flat Water Canoe (1* and 2*) - White Water Kayak (3*, 4* and 5*) - White Water Canoe (3*, 4* and 5*) - Surf Kayak (3*, 4* and 5*) - Sea Kayak (3*, 4* and 5*)

To achieve Coaching Awards (which also become discipline, and race specific (e.g. Slalom)) You usually have to hold the Star award above the level you need to coach, a valid first aid certificate (which includes CPR and expired air ventilation) and a relevant saftey award. An example of this is, to attend a level 2 UKCC Coach Course, you must hold: 3* in Canoe and Kayak, Foundation Saftey and Rescue/ Canoe Saftey Test, and a first aid course.

Membership of the BCU also gives you 3rd Partly Liability Insurance.