The Madawaska Kanu Centre has long had a coveted stamp of approval when it comes to kayak instruction. Learn or teach there and your status rises like the Ottawa in spring. Now the paddling school is taking its paddling pedigree nationwide.
This spring, in conjunction with Paddle Canada and Canoe/Kayak Canada, the school is helping launch a new Whitewater Kayak Instructor/Leader Program across Canada. Existing Instructor Trainers from recognized Instructor Programs will be asked to attend a two-day re-certification session to be “grandfathered” into this new CKC Whitewater Program. These newly named “Learning Facilitators” will then re-cert existing Instructors in their provincial and territorial regions to get on board.
“It’s taken 10 years to reach this goal – to have one national whitewater kayak instructor program in Canada,” says MKC’s Claudia Van Wijk. “Paddle Canada agreed to merge its River Kayak Program into the new CKC structure, and partner with CKC at the national level. The new program has been built within the coaching association of Canada/Sports Canada model – the same for all Olympic Sports in Canada – with three distinct pillars: coaching, instructor and leader.”
Still in the works are steps to ensure that NCCP values and guidelines are integrated with in the Whitewater Kayak Instructor/Leader program.
At the recent Paddle Canada Instructor Symposium, where CKC’s John Edwards and Penny Paris showcased the new program, paddler and instructor Ken Whiting summed it up best: “This new program is good for whitewater kayaking in Canada.”
Existing whitewater kayak Instructor Trainer or Instructors are asked to contact Chuck Lee, Domestic Development at CanoeKayak Canada, at firstname.lastname@example.org to provide him with addresses and emails to keep abreast of up-coming news and dates with regards to this new program.
“It’s a great program,” says Van Wijk. “We hope everyone is as excited as we are to come a-board.”