UKCC L3 - Canoe - with Tom Sibbald - River Tay

So often, we seek an apprenticeship... but get a syllabus.  We want support and guidance as we develop our own distinctively effective approach to the higher levels of adventure sport coaching... yet get tutored in a tick list of dubious "competencies" - but not here!

The OCA has lined up an unprecedendented opportunity for those who:

  • Recognise the professional judgement and decision making involved in the most effective adventure sport coaching;
  • See the adventure-sport coaching process as including on-the-go manipulation of environmental and interpersonal challenges in complex, dynamic environments;
  • Like to focus on the development of more highly motivated, independent and autonomous enthusiasts who are more capable, confident and self assured;

So much of this is commonly overlooked in modern coach education - but we've lined up a five day coach-education programme with our "dream team" of Gordon Brown and Tom Sibbald - acknowledged masters of coaching for independent, expedition boating and autonomous adventure sport participation.

Do Gordon and Tom have a syllabus to deliver?  Of course - and they will ensure they can submit UKCC L3 paperwork so you can progress - but our plan is to gather together a cohort of sea kayakers and canoeists - or others - who want so much more than this!

We're expecting to attracting a strong cohort of aspirant L3 sea kayak / canoe coaches for part one:

That will be immediately followed by one of these two discipline specific modules:

  • Sea kayak with Gordon Brown on Skye;
  • Canoe with Tom Sibbald on the River Tay / Loch Tay;

No pairing of coach educators could be better placed to deliver, each having a lifetime of experience on the sea and rivers throughout the world, and both having trained, tutored and assessed many coaches from around the UK - and beyond!

Gordon Brown is a legendary sea kayak coach - not least as author of Sea kayak – A Manual for Intermediate and Advanced Kayakers (sample below) and has produced his own range of DVDs.  In addition, he's a Level 5 Inland Kayak coach, Level 3 Surf coach and American Canoe Association (ACA) Advanced Open Water Instructor - and he's currently completing an MSc in Performance Coaching at the University of Stirling.

Tom Sibbald is perhaps canoeing's most self-effacing guru - and that's despite being Scotland's Doyen of Open Canoe and a member of the first cohort of BCU Level 5 National Trainers to access the University of Stirling Level 4 programme!  He and his wife, Anna, run Canoe Coaching (with their slightly crazy dog, Bracken) and have headed up the volunteer organising team for successive English Canoe Symposia - and they're renowned for sharing their passion for coaching and expeditions, particularly in the more remote areas of Scotland.

If we have enough canoeists booked onto the Discipline Specific "Canoe" days we hope to recruit Steve MacDonald as an additional Tutor. Steve runs Beyond Adventure and his passion is activities which take place in an expedition or journey context.  Although best known to us as an open canoe guru, his expedition expertise also extends to ski touring.

Costs and Booking Information

Both the UKCC L3 core and the two Discipline Specific Modules have to be booked through the Scottish Canoe Association - who will require a Coach Registration (CR) Form.

Despite the exceptional venues, the course rates are a fraction of what's charged at centres such as Plas-y-Brenin:

  • UKCC L3 Core - £230
  • UKCC Discipline Specific - £195

Pre-requisites do apply.  For details see:

Note: if you haven't got all of the pre-requisites you may still be able to access the training through accreditation of your prior learning.

If you would like support / assistance with any of this, or have any questions, please get in touch.

Photo Credit -

Oct 08 to 09 2015, 9:00am - 6:00pm