Overview

We offer programs to youth age 9 and up. In our programs youth are introduced to multiple paddling disciplines – sprint kayak, outrigger, whitewater kayak and stand-up paddleboard. Most paddling is done in one person boats, but there are opportunities to paddle double or multi-person boats (if health orders permit).

 

Youth will learn water safety and paddling technique, while developing strength, balance and endurance. Through a progressive learning model, paddlers learn the fundamentals in stable boats and move to more challenging boats as their skills develop. We are primarily a recreational club, but youth are given the opportunity to compete in races if they desire.

 

Our whitewater coach leads trips on the Sooke or Cowichan rivers a couple of times per year if conditions allow.  Participation in these trips requires permission of the coach and paddlers need to have demonstrated the required skills. Parental assistance with transportation and logistics is necessary.

 

Our programs are divided by age group and experience level. Age is the first guideline, but appropriateness for a program also depends on skills, experience and maturity. Placement of paddlers in programs is at the discretion of the coaches. The younger groups have a higher coach to paddler ratio. Older youth have more opportunities for river paddling and racing. Fees include coaching, equipment, race fees and team building events. 

Practices may be subject to change or cancellation due to weather or operational requirements. If weather conditions aren’t suitable to be on the water, land-based activities may be substituted. We attempt to arrange makeup practices for cancelled sessions, but this may not always be possible. All sessions require a minimum number of registrants in order to run.



Our practices are led by coaches who are:

  • Experienced working with children and youth

  • NCCP trained through Canoe Kayak Canada

  • Certified to operate the safety motorboat

  • Trained in basic first aid

  • Screened by a criminal record check


 

Safety

All club activities are governed by Canoe Kayak Canada code of conduct.
The code has many topics including:

  • Paddling during daylight hours only 

  • Participant swimming competence 

  • Wearing of personal flotation devices (PFDs) 

  • Safety boat usage during cold water training 

  • Site safety awareness and emergency action planning 

  • Recommended training for coaches and staff 

  • Cessation of activities due to unsafe weather conditions