Paddlepower logo

Paddlepower is an exciting scheme that has been designed to meet the needs of young people. Its colourful and youth centred approach aims to: Encourage more young people to come into and stay in the sport Provide progression and reward achievement in a wide range of topics Show them all aspects of the sport both competitive and adventurous Provide signposts into Clubs where their skills and development can be nurtured Provide a flexible structure for delivery according to venue/situation The scheme has recently been revised and now comprises 5 Awards to support a young paddler’s introduction and progress in Paddlesport.

The Paddlepower Awards

Paddlepower Start

An entry level award suitable for taster sessions or as part of a series of sessions.

Paddlepower Passport Four progressive levels based on 24 topics which can be grouped into Safety Awareness, Paddling Skills, Varied Experiences and Supporting Knowledge. The award is equivalent to 1 Star.

Paddlepower Discover

This follows on from Passport with a further 4 levels to take the young paddler to equivalent of 2 star standard.

Paddlepower Explore

Three different levels take the paddler on an extensive journey exploring the great variety of paddlesport, with topics focused on participation in events and journeys in the competitive and non-competitive disciplines.

Paddlepower Excel

Three levels to test the paddler on all elements of paddlesport including being responsible for oneself and others, participation in journeys, coaching sessions, training, events/competitions in a variety of disciplines, background knowledge of the sport; access, rules, environmental, nutrition and goal setting.


At Paddlepower Start there is a certificate which is awarded by the coach. This also has space for an organisation to add their contact details to signpost the paddler to future courses.

For each award after Start there is a colourful 6 page Progress Card for the young paddler to record their progress and to encourage them to move to the next stage. On completion of the award the young person sends the Progress Card to their home nation to receive a certificate.

How is Paddlepower Different from the Star Awards?

Paddlepower has been designed around the needs of young people’s fun, colourful and with easily identifiable progression mapped to the Long Term Paddler Development framework. The BCU recommend Paddlepower as most suitable for young people aged 14 or under and the Star Awards for most paddlers aged over 16.