The club has a number of coaches who support both beginners and more experienced paddlers during pool sessions and on river trips. They are all volunteers and give their time freely as and when they can. If you would like to learn something specific, just want some advice or are interested in progressing through the BCU Star Awards, speak to one of them directly or approach one of the committee who will know if there are courses being planned that you could participate in.
Paul StephensBCU Level 3 Coach
I started my paddling career with the scouts in 1989 and developed my personal and coaching skills with my Kingston kayak club in Hull and through voluntary work with a local council outdoor pursuits centre and developed to a level 3 coach in 1998, before moving south in 2000 joining BDCC shortly after. I am a keen whitewater, slalom (C1,C2 and K1) and polo paddler (Div Letchworth team) and am spotted in a c1 from time to time, but have partaken in a wide range of paddle sport disciplines at some point.
Barbara StewartBCU Level 2 Coach
I started paddling in 2004 as a mother of three, in my late forties-and I hated it; I couldn't go in a straight line and I couldn't balance! Then I went to pool sessions, where straight lines and balance don't matter, and found I loved "messing around in boats" and talking about paddling. I qualified as a (flat water) level 2 coach (after finally mastering straight lines) in 2006 and I now coach for three clubs locally. I'm a keen open boater (canoeist) and I dabble in the lower divisions of slalom K1 and C2 (ha ha)- but my greatest passion is the belief that anyone can paddle- regardless of age, gender, fitness and strength- and still get that buzz from doing something they never thought they'd be able to do. To sound clever, I'd say my coaching style was consensual, incremental and within the bounds of the paddler's discovery zone- but all that means is, that even the difficult or scary stuff can be broken down into achievable chunks which the paddler then chooses to have a go at, at their own pace and then feel good about having done it!
Andy BarrasUKCC/BCU Level 2 Coach
I started paddling in 1997 and was immediately drawn to the social side of the sport, the chance to get away for the weekend, enjoy the stunning scenery and relax in the company of friends. Back in the 90’s I learned by trial and error, but a eureka moment was paddling with another group and seeing how much more there was to learn. I focused on improving/correcting my technique, gaining BCU 5 star awards in both White Water and Sea Kayaking, as well as my level 2 coaching award. I recently enjoyed running a structured course of 6 progressive classes but in reality, working shifts means the coaching I do is more usually a single event.
Alistair RichesUKCC/BCU Level 1 Coach
David JonesUKCC/BCU Level 1 Coach
Craig TaylorUKCC/BCU Level 1 Coach