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Pendle Paddlers

Pendle Paddlers

Policy Statement

Objects, Constitution and Codes of Conduct


The Club is established for the following objects


  1. The main purpose is to provide facilities for and to promote participation in the amateur sport of paddlesport in Pendle, Burnley and the surrounding area

  2. To encourage children to take up paddlesport and to provide a safe and stimulating environment for them to pursue the sport.

  3. To provide all Members with the opportunity to develop their paddling skills in a fellowship of like-minded individuals under the care and teaching of qualified coaches.

  4. To provide a network and structure and financial help to enable its volunteer coaches to get qualified and benefit from the support of existing coaches.

  5. To maintain high standards in coaching, leading, quality of experience and safety through its affiliation to British Canoeing and adoption of its personal skills and coaching qualifications.

  6. To provide a pool of good equipment available for Members to use.

  7. To open membership to all irrespective of age, gender, race, faith or sexuality subject to the physical and mental capacity of the individual to enjoy the sport in safety.




The club is constituted as a Private Company Limited by Guarantee registered in England number 9096155.  All adult members of the club and two nominated adult members of a family membership are members of the company and their liability to contribute in the unlikely event of the insolvency of the company is limited to £1.


The club operates according to the following principles


  1. As an amateur, volunteer, not-for- profit organisation.

  2. All surplus income or profits are to be reinvested in the Company.  No surpluses or assets will be distributed to members or third parties.

  3. Members will not receive any remuneration or benefit for organising, running, assisting, coaching or leading paddlesport sessions or for fulfilling the routine maintenance and administrative requirements of the club.

  4. Any transactions between a Member and the club shall be on an arms-length basis or on terms favourable to the club not the Member.


Safety and Behaviour


Paddlesport is an ‘assumed risk’ ’water contact’ sport and members participate in club activities on this basis.


Dangers are minimised by everybody behaving reasonably, accepting the advice and instructions of coaches or other responsible persons and equipping themselves with the appropriate skills and equipment before moving on to more challenging water.


The club is for the enjoyment of everybody and members are expected to behave courteously towards each other and to coaches and club officials and parents are expected to ensure that their children behave the same way.


Likewise coaches, club helpers and officials will treat members with respect and endeavour to provide them with a safe and stimulating environment to get the most out of the club according to their abilities and ambition.


It is recognised that children and vulnerable persons need special consideration which is codified in the club Children and Vulnerable Persons Policy which accompanies this Statement.




Child & Vulnerable Persons Protection Policy


Pendle Paddlers is fully committed to safeguarding the well being of its members. All members should show respect and understanding for the rights, safety and welfare of others, and conduct themselves in a way that reflects the principles of the Club. We believe that taking part in Paddlesport should be a positive and enjoyable part of everyone’s lives and to achieve this have the following aims:


  • Club coaches should follow the British Canoeing (BC) Code of Ethics

  • All Club coaches, helpers and officials working with young people should read and adhere to the BC Child Protection and Harassment Policy. The Club will follow the guidance of the policy in the event of any concerns or allegations.

  • The Club will ensure that anyone working with young people undertake a screening procedure with the Disclosure and Barring Service.

  • All Club members are made aware of the Club Policy Statement.

  • The Club will obtain written Medical details of young paddlers which will be made known to coaches where deemed appropriate and/or necessary.

  • The club will only use BC qualified/updated coaches — unqualified coaches can only work alongside a qualified coach. The club will encourage and support helpers to gain qualifications and assist coaches to stay up-dated.

  • The Club has appointed Debbie Hallam as Club Welfare Officer. Anyone with concerns with respect to Child Abuse or Harassment should contact Debbie at the address and numbers listed below or if she is unavailable the Club Chairman or the BC Child Protection /Harassment Officer.















A bit about ourselves to begin with

The club started in 1997 and from very small beginnings has grown since then to a membership today of over 100.


The club is entirely run by volunteers but we aim to take a ‘professional’ approach to how things are done.  The club is fully affiliated to British Canoeing (membership number 76363) which is the governing body of the sport in England.  Since its inception the club has had a strong coaching foundation and members are encouraged to train for and achieve the Canoe England Star Awards.  These form a graduated course of instruction to take the paddler from knowing absolutely nothing about paddling to as far as you want to go.  Personal log sheets are available for 1 and 2 star which give you some idea of what is involved.


Types of boat

There are many different types of activity under the umbrella title of ‘canoeing.’  In the first place there are kayaks.  These tend to be single person craft in which you sit in a cockpit so you can be captain and crew of your own boat.  The other main type of boat is the open canoe.  These are bigger vessels which are propelled using single-bladed paddles which can take several people at once or lots of kit for a trip.  The club has enthusiasts for both types of boat and can provide instruction in both.


Types of paddlesport

Within the world of kayaking there are various specialties.  At the top of the tree there is slalom and sprint racing which are Olympic sports.  Then there’s play-boating, sea kayaking, surfing and polo.  Within Pendle Paddlers we concentrate on introducing beginners to flat water on canals and lakes and then graduating to moving water on rivers.  Depending on peoples’ proficiency trips are available to try different rivers or to play on the waves.  People can move on from there if they want to.



We also have weekly polo sessions over the year for those who can paddle a bit and want something competitive.  If you want to take the sport more seriously we have recently started competing in a North West league against other clubs.


Become a coach

In parallel with the Star Tests members are encouraged to become coaches themselves.  There is no compulsion to do this but teaching others is often a good way of extending your own skills as well as providing the satisfaction of helping new people enjoy the sport.


Why we need rules

When all is said and done paddling is about having fun with a bunch of like-minded people and this is what Pendle Paddlers is all about.  However whenever you mix people with water there are bound to be some risks which means that we need to enjoy our recreation responsibly.  We therefore have some rules to ensure everybody’s safety.  These, together with more details on how the club is run, and what it has to offer, are set out in the rest of this summary.




Membership form

When you first turn up to a club activity we require you to fill in a membership form.  This simply tells us a bit about you, such as your contact details, whether you can swim and medical conditions we need to know about.  By completing the membership form you agree to be bound by the rules of the club and any reasonable decision, or instruction, which may be made by a coach or officer of the club or the staff of any swimming pool or other facility we may be using.


Payment of annual subscription

If you want to pay your annual membership subscription straight away that’s fine by us.  Otherwise we ask you to pay up after attending three sessions or four weeks from filling in the form whichever comes first.  The advantage of becoming a paid up member is that you get a cheaper rate for all club activities and are entitled to attend, and adults to vote at, the Annual General Meeting.  You also get on to the text and email circulation lists so you will be fully up to date about what’s going on.  Paddling on club camps and trips is only open to club members. We believe that our annual subscription is very reasonable and hope that you will want to support the club if you are getting enjoyment out of it.


Membership renewal

Full Membership is for 12 months commencing on the date of payment.  If anything changes in your personal circumstances during the subscription year, particularly medical conditions which we should know about, then you are asked to let the membership secretary know.  On expiration of the membership year a Membership Form must be filled in afresh to obtain membership renewal. 


Subscriptions & fees

Subscriptions and fees for activities are published on the website and available on enquiry.  Names and contact details of the membership secretary, as well as all the other officers of the club, are similarly available.


Data Protection Act

As required by the Data Protection Act we are letting you know that our membership records are held on a computer to facilitate the running of the club.



One of the tasks in a club like ours is simply keeping people informed of what’s going on.  We tackle this in a number or ways.



The club runs its own website with the address  This carries an introduction to the club, the programme of what’s coming up plus some write-ups on things we have done recently.



The website tends to look out over weeks and months.  Often things happen at short notice.  This is particularly so with kayaking where we are dependent on the weather (kayakers and canoeists are amongst the few people in the country who hope for rain!).  Also being a volunteer club peoples’ availability can change suddenly.

To deal with this we have set up circulation lists which work mainly through email sometimes via mobile-phone text.  These are sent from the club secretary or chairman.  In the case of email you can be reassured that your address is not circulated to other club members.




The club runs various regular sessions and some special activities which divide between summer and winter.



Summer is reckoned, by Pendle Paddlers at least, as running from late April to early September.  The precise dates each year are made known on the website.  These times are chosen to cover the period when the days are long enough for evening sessions and it’s (hopefully) not too cold.


Canal sessions

The main activity in the summer are the regular canal sessions which take place at the club site at Foulridge on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.


Tuesday evenings

The main session is on Tuesday evenings.  These sessions are open to all including juniors.  Those attending are split up into groups according to ability and assigned to a coach.  Absolute beginners are welcome to attend and are taken care of in a special introductory group. 


Introductory session

All newcomers to the club, irrespective of competence and experience, must go through the introductory session so that club rules and procedures can be explained and we can see for ourselves how you get on. 


Session content

Following your introductory session activities on Tuesday evenings vary but will probably include a skills session leading up to 1 or 2-Star proficiency, perhaps an exploratory paddle up the canal and a game (which sometimes involves getting wet, intentionally or otherwise) at the end.


By way of variety some sessions may be held on a local reservoir.



There are also sessions on Mondays on the canal or local reservoir.  These are less formal, and aimed more at adults and tend to be attended by those who want to concentrate on canoes rather than kayaks. 


Introduction to moving water

For the more advanced members there are sessions on the river Irwell at the Burrs Activity Centre near Bury.  These may take place on weekday evenings or weekend mornings depending on the preference of those participating and the availability of a coach.


Summer camps

Usually three weekend camping trips are organised in the summer.  Beside the sea on Anglesey and somewhere next to water in the Lake District have proved popular in the past.


Those going are responsible for providing their own camping equipment and food and, if required, pay the trip organiser the campsite deposit in advance.  This is not refundable unless the club is let off by the campsite.



Winter is actually the main paddling season in the UK because this is the time when the rivers are most likely to be full of water.  The downside of winter is that it tends to be cold and the days are short.  To deal with this the emphasis changes to indoors.


Tuesday evenings

Tuesday evenings.  There are sessions held every Tuesday evenings at Pendle Wavelengths pool apart from a break at Christmas.  These are for everybody but are particularly useful for people wanting to practice wet drills or get their roll going.


Saturday mornings

Saturday mornings.  Between the canal and pool sessions on Tuesdays we try to run some Saturday morning sessions on the canal during September and April to extend the outside season as long as possible.


Introduction to moving water

Depending on interest, and coach availability, sessions are held on weekend mornings usually at the Burrs Activity Centre near Bury for those wanting to get moving water experience.  This is aimed at those going for 3-Star and beyond.  Some commitment is required to deal with the winter conditions and proper paddling clothing is desirable to get the most out of the session.



Polo. Another mainly winter activity is canoe polo.  This takes place at Colne Swimming Pool on various evenings depending on pool availability.  You need to have some basic kayaking skills first before trying this but you don’t need to have played before.  The sessions are aimed at adults and teenage juniors.  All specialist kit i.e. boat, paddle, buoyancy aid, helmet and deck are provided.



A summary of all the above activities together with an up to date list of prices is on the website or available on enquiry.


Signing in

It’s obviously important that we know who is getting on the water so that we can make sure everyone is safely accounted for at the end of the session.  For the Pool and Canal sessions everyone must sign in on arrival before doing anything else.  For other sessions you need to check in with the Coach or whoever is running the activity.


Medical Conditions

Even though you will have declared any medical conditions on your membership form we ask you to make sure you to remind your coach about them before each session as it is impractical to expect individual coaches to remember about everyone in the club.



The special equipment needed for kayaking and canoeing is:



Buoyancy aid



In addition a Spray Deck is required for kayakers (but not open boaters) training for 2-Star and beyond.


Club equipment

All this kit can be borrowed from the club and is included in the session charges.  If you notice that any equipment is defective in any way let a coach know so that we can set it aside for repair.


Personal kit

You are welcome to use your own kit if you have it.  However the responsibility for making sure it is in good condition and up to standard for the type of water being paddled is entirely up to you.


Buoyancy aids & helmets

It is a club rule that everyone wears buoyancy aids and that juniors wear helmets at all times whenever paddling whether outside or in the swimming pool.  Helmets are recommended for adults as well.



The wearing of spray decks is only allowed after you have completed the capsize and exit test under supervision with a deck on.  If you have done this in the pool it’s a good idea to do another test outside to prepare you for the different conditions.


There is no compulsion to wear spray decks but they are a practical necessity if you are moving on to 2-Star training and above in kayaks.


Private hire

The club does not make club equipment available for private hire.



The club does not aim to provide specialist personal clothing as we come in all shapes and sizes and have our own preferences.  However we do have waterproof tops and salopettes in both large and small sizes to lend out plus paddling slippers all included in the session fees.


Dress for the weather

As with much else in the UK what you need to wear depends on the weather on the day.  However, when kayaking you tend to get wet whether you fall in or not.  If you are paddling on the canal or reservoir it is therefore advisable to wear something like waterproof overtrousers, for sitting in the boat, plus some sort of waterproof jacket which can be borrowed from the club.  It can also be cold on the water so you need to dress for this as well.  Big trainer shoes can be a problem because they can get stuck in the boat.  This therefore needs to be checked by trying out the boat on the bank before you get on the water.


Towel and change of clothes

There is always the possibility that you might go for a swim whenever you are paddling.  A towel and dry clothes to change into should therefore be brought along.


Adults and Juniors


An adult is anyone who is aged 18 or over when a particular activity is being undertaken.  There is no upper age limit.  It is up to individuals to judge whether they are fit enough to undertake the activity in question.


A junior is anyone who has not attained their 18th birthday when an activity is being undertaken.


Minimum age

We generally reckon that children under the age of 10 simply don’t have the size and strength to handle a boat and paddle.  This might apply to older children also depending on their stage of development.  It is up to parents and the coach to judge.  The requirements of the pool concerning the age at which children must be accompanied by an adult must be observed.


Informed consent


We work on the basis that adults are perfectly able to make their own minds up about what they feel they are capable of doing.  Therefore adults undertake any club activity at their own risk.  Coaches will give guidance on whether a particular bit of water is within the competence of an individual bearing in mind that progress is only achieved by pushing the boundaries.  It is up to you how far and how fast you want to move on – if at all.  If paddling on flat water is your thing then that’s fine.



The position concerning juniors is different:


Membership form

The membership application form for a junior has to be signed by the parent (or guardian if applicable) on their child’s behalf.


Parents’ permission

Completion of the membership form gives the permission, of the parent, for the junior to participate in club activities in the swimming pool, or Nominated Sites in the locality, within the remit of the coach running the activity.  It is up to the club committee to ensure, through its own procedures, that official club activities are run by a coach of the required qualification i.e. within the remit of the coach as laid down by British Canoeing or under a Club Deployer Authorisation.


Coaches within remit

Coaches may take juniors, whether accompanied by their parent or not, on trips within their remit with the parent’s verbal permission.


Coaches outside their remit

Coaches may only take juniors on trips outside their remit provided that they are accompanied by their parent afloat on the trip, in which case the parent is deemed to have given their informed consent for their child to participate.


Overnight stays

Where a trip involves a stay overnight, perhaps in a bunkhouse or camping, parents not accompanying their children are required to give their written consent on the club standard form.


Coach’s discretion

A coach has complete discretion to decide if a trip shall take place at all, given the conditions, and to decide if any individual or his/her kit, is up to the mark for the activity contemplated.


Restricted number of participants

To remain in remit coaches are restricted in the number of students they may have in their charge irrespective of whether they are adults or juniors.  To avoid disappointment we therefore need to know in advance who wants to go on special trips and we then ask people to stick to it.   


Trips organised amongst club members

From time to time trips are organised by club members amongst themselves where participation is by invitation.  The club has issued guidance to members to assist them in deciding if the trip is appropriate for them.  If members are unsure they should consult the nominated Trip Leader or a senior coach for advice.



Coaches are volunteers drawn from the membership of the club and qualify according to the syllabus laid down by British Canoeing.  There are five levels of coaching proficiency.  Basically the level determines the difficulty of water which the coach may teach on.  UKCC Level 2 with Moderate Water Endorsement (or Level 3 under the old system) is the highest level attained by the majority of amateur coaches.


Route to qualification

To qualify at any particular level the candidate has to first attain the required level of personal skill via the Star Tests, attend an approved First Aid course, undergo a training session and pass a final assessment after logging the stipulated number of hours as a trainee coach. If all this sounds a bit heavy it is in fact very easy to gain entry to the coaching system.  2-Star is enough to get you going to be a Level 1 coach.  The club gives financial support to trainees to help with the costs involved in return for helping out with coaching in the club.


Disclosure & Barring Scheme

It is a requirement of the club that all coaches and helpers are subject to vetting under the Disclosure & Barring Scheme (DBS) or the previous Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) scheme for the protection of juniors and vulnerable persons.


Articles of Association

The club is governed by the Articles of Association of the company. 



The day to day running of the club is by an Executive Committee which is elected annually at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) which is usually held in May of each year.  Anybody who is a paid up member at the date of the meeting may attend, speak and, if over 18, vote.  For Family Membership only the two nominated adults may vote.  Whilst there is an agenda, and certain official business needs to be transacted, the AGM is not intended to be a highly formal affair but more a chance for the club to meet as a whole to hear about progress and to exchange news and views.


Executive committee

The committee deals with all the details of administration covering, finance, equipment, coach training and standards, website, trips and activities and our relationship with British Canoeing and other outside agencies.


The current committee members are listed together with their preferred method of being contacted on the website.



We hope that this summary of how we run things has answered any questions you may have.  If not please feel free to contact any one of the committee or coaches to help you.  We hope you enjoy your membership of Pendle Paddlers and look forward to seeing you on the water.     

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