The club's courses are generally aimed at three levels, working towards the BCU awards: beginner (1 star), intermediate (2 star) or advanced (3 star). The courses are run on a demand basis, so if you want to do a course and can't see it currently timetabled on the calendar, get in touch with the coaching and safety officer. The BCU syllabuses provide more detail about what is required for each award.
Beginner (1 star)
This course is suitable for those who have done no paddling whatsoever. The main focus is on having fun! There will be lots of games and relaxed paddling. You will learn basic skills to control your boat and, if you want, do a capsize drill so you can start wearing neoprene spray decks.
Intermediate (2 star)
This course starts to teach skills to a higher level. You will learn better ways to move forwards, backwards, sideways and turning. You will also start to learn support strokes to stop you capsizing, and ways to rescue yourself if you do fall in. Some of these wet skills are best learnt in the swimming pool, where we have regular sessions in Michaelmas and Lent terms. The course is broad and aims to let you try out as many different aspects of paddling as possible, including different types of boats.
Advanced (3 star)
This course establishes you as a competent and skilled paddler. You will learn boat control techniques such as edging and draws, perfect your braces and learn to roll. The 3* award is specialised into disciplines such as whitewater, canoe, sea and surf. You will learn many skills on the Cam but you will also need to start going on river trips to learn whitewater and surfing skills.
We also run courses to teach safety skills (e.g. the BCU Foundation Safety and Rescue Training) and to help skilled paddlers get coaching qualifications. Please contact the coaching and safey officer if you're interested.
Coaching and Safety Course Subsidy
The club has some very limited funds to support members wishing to gain coaching and safety qualifications which will also benefit the club. The University also has a scheme which can be found here and funding may also be available form some colleges. The club will support members with up to £75 per academic year, of up to half the course costs only for some coaching and safety courses. For more information and to apply please download this document and return it to the coaching officer or treasurer. Applications should be made before the course and in the same academic year as the course.