Enriching Lives On & Around The Water

asking about the ordinary, everyday people who help us discover the magic of the outdoors

Everything good has been achieved because someone, somewhere, had the passion to pioneer something new or to sustain something valuable

Who are we?

We are enthusiasts who boat in and from Yorkshire & Humberside – who enjoy what is here - who bring passion to projects – and who have committed to working with others – to enrich lives, on & around the water

What do we Do?

We agree directions which interest us – things we might be keen to see – and ways in which we can increase the odds on those things emerging through the passion of those who care

Working Together to Enrich Lives By

Respecting Experience

Accepting & encouraging our many ways of ploughing our own furrow – of being independent

Inspiring Curiosity

Recognising that we may limit ourselves and others until we start to see the possibilities which are within our reach

Connecting Enthusiasts

Linking those who share a passion to ensure more satisfying experiences are more common and more accessible

Nurturing Innovation

Investing (in people, in places, in transformation) to encourage trends where we see value for now and the future

Noticing, Caring & Supporting

Ensuring a friendly "guide by the side" is available wherever assistance is needed and sought

Respecting Experience


  • Our region depends on motivated (respected, trusted) individuals being encouraged to contribute based on their existing strengths and expertise
  • Passion (and activity) emerges most strongly when we acknowledge "that works" & have an instinct to say "yes"
Expertise Recognised, Handcuffs Removed

Inspiring Curiosity


  • Embracing curiosity allows us to free ourselves from traps and to tap into the enthusiasm which comes with taking new directions
  • We value “the stories we boat by” but recognise that our “standard” ways of seeing may actually be locking us into our past
Broadening Our Own & Each Other's Horizons

Connecting Enthusiasts


  • Collaborating can provide outlets for the passion of enthusiasts who are developing independence / helping others develop independence
  • Our scene keeps evolving and we now need new ways for everyone to progress – especially outside of clubs & ICF disciplines
Stronger Networks, Increased Opportunities

Nurturing innovation

  • We value the creative energy, passion and pioneering spirit of those who want to drive things in new directions and grow interest in emerging or fringe disciplines
  • If we are to have a brighter future, we may need to draw out new senses of what we might be about, and of where we might like to get
New Opportunities for a New Generation

Noticing, Caring & Offering Support

  • Everyone's experience matters to us and our most basic commitments are to helping others & to nurturing relationships which help us get the little things right
  • As we rethink the stories we boat by, we tune into the grass roots & pay heed to what ours stories might mean for enthusiasts - past, present and future

So Who Is Keen To Help - and How?

  • Clubs where "club activity" includes lots away from "home waters" – by supporting clubs where club calendars are seen as limited & limiting
  • #ShePaddles Ambassadors & #YoungPaddleAmbassadors – working to link women and girls / young enthusiasts from different clubs, and from outside of clubs
  • Enthusiasts & workshop providers brought in from outside of British Canoeing, including from other sports & adventure sports - connecting us outwards
  • Enthusiasts from fringe disciplines – running events & going into clubs with local retailers to showcase & promote their discipline
  • Regional Coaching Teams – helping club coaches and leaders work together on more needs-supportive learning environments

What we hope to see

  • Youngsters increasingly recognised for what they can do as they choose to take on new activities, roles and responsibilities
  • Clubs joining together to offer their members a broader range of opportunities in everything from core activity (e.g. trips) to events (e.g. river clean ups)
  • More women and youngsters thriving within clubs, disciplines and paddling networks as #SmallerBoats4SmallerPaddlers and new approaches kick in
  • Vibrant junior communities (e.g. river running & sea kayaking) with youngsters being coached & led by other youngsters (locally and beyond)
  • Clubs taking off in new directions as they adapt to support wonderful oddball passions introduced by those who might in the past have moved on
Traditions Sustained, Enthusiasts Innovating

Where Do Our Priorities Lie?

  • Working with clubs on cultures of “the answer is yes” where all willing volunteers feel able to contribute, irrespective of qualifications
  • Connecting youngsters in different clubs and supporting young volunteer networks and pathways through #YoungPaddleAmbassadors
  • Establishing a #BetterMedia Film School – helping enthusiasts storyboard, film, edit & present to showcase what we do & why we do it
  • Encouraging new approaches to coaching in established disciplines & coaching in disciplines which have been neglected
  • Ensuring all pathways at a Regional level (including through squads) are focused on “as many as possible for as long as possible"
Initiatives which SUPPORT WHAT WE VALUE

Yorkshire & Humberside Priorities for Stronger Together 2021-2025

DRaft - January 2020

  • Encouraging British Canoeing to show recognition of the expertise at the grass roots and within our clubs and networks
  • Ensuring British Canoeing backing for the judgement and experience of those at the grassroots with insurance & guidelines for #LessPaperworkMorePaddling
  • Access to the British Canoeing Portal for Regional Groups (without them becoming Clubs) so the main system can be used to manage events
  • Updates to the British Canoeing website so that landing pages are regional & so events can be entered via the Portal & displayed on the Regional pages
  • British Canoeing’s approach to Talent Pathway (across all disciplines, at all levels) becoming aligned with #AsManyAsPossible4AsLongAsPossible
  • A communications focus on “a life less ordinary” – using #BetterMedia Film School & new skills to spark imagination, trigger ideas and encourage experimentation
  • Initiatives to support collaborative approaches to coaching, growing expertise from the bottom up & encouraging local links with enthusiasts from other adventure sports & recreational pursuits
  • Partnership for innovation (individual, club, region) plus support for Regional Youth Coach & Volunteer Academies & a #SmallerBoats4SmallerPaddlers initiative - backed by extension of British Canoeing’s "Future Leaders" programme
  • Sharing insights into what is happening, where it is happening and why it is happening so that we can all better appreciate the hugely diverse goals and aspirations within and beyond our networks
  • A "Deployer" pathway plus hands-on support for volunteers grappling with deployment issues (especially in home-waters and for operating beyond British Canoeing remits)

This started life as something small!

Created By
Greg Spencer


Photos: Greg Spencer - Tony Dalimore - Steve Philip - Sean Quinn