Canoeing membership at Royal

Racing - a key feature of canoeing at Royal Canoe Club. This is the start of the Paddling Challenge, the world's oldest canoe race - it's been staged since 1874
Racing – a key feature of canoeing at Royal Canoe Club. This is the start of the Paddling Challenge, the world’s oldest canoe race – it’s been staged since 1874

Whatever your level, Royal Canoe Club has a canoeing course or a training group that’s right for you (full details are here or just click on the word ‘join’ in the menu list):

Elite – this group is made up of current Great Britain team members and is usually coached.

Adult expert – mostly comprised ex-international canoeists, this group trains regularly throughout the week and particularly at weekends.

Adult intermediate – adults who’ve mastered stable single kayaks and are now up for paddling further afield.

Adult beginners – We run classes on Saturdays at the club for complete beginners and these cost £20 per lesson. We aim to run these every Saturday morning over the summer with sessions starting at 9.30 so arrive at club for 9. Times may vary slightly if there are other events going on or the weather is bad but we will try to ensure they take place.

Novice or improver coaching can also be arranged for Sunday mornings or Wednesday afternoons by special arrangement with Bob Powell (0208 673 3569). We used to find we’d get heavily booked and then let down by people who changed their mind so it’s very much ‘pay and play’ and we no longer take reservations.

Child advanced – comprises youth/junior paddlers who are advancing through the racing rankings and set for international selection.

Child intermediate – groups which train several times a week and whose members could gain promotion to the advanced groups.

Child beginners – groups that mainly start in the summer when conditions are more favourable. Please email us for details:

Precise details on group start times and other information follows below.

Juniors and Cadets

Sessions for juniors (aged 10 to 14 years) are run every day at Royal Canoe Club. The paddling sessions are graded by ability with attendance at sessions being determined by the individual’s canoeing competence.

The sessions are held every weekday between 5.00 pm and 7:00pm and at the weekends between 2:00pm and 4:00pm. In the winter the weekday training is generally gym-based on either paddling machines or using junior weights. During the summer and at weekends the sessions are water-based, unless weather or river conditions make this impossible.

Both juniors and cadets attend races throughout the summer (including the Grand Prix Series) and take part in Wey Kayak Club’s winter Hare and Hound series of races.

Useful information for Parents and Carers.

Adults – beginners to intermediate level

We are starting regular sessions for intermediate adults at 7pm on Wednesdays and 10am on Sundays. We are also moving towards a mentoring scheme where existing adult members can help intermediate paddlers, providing advice on technique and racing tactics. We have a mailing list for adults to keep up to date with what the other adults are doing,  just email if you like to be included on it.

Instruction can be given, throughout the summer months, to absolute beginners and those seeking a confidence session. The charge for this being £20 per session for non members; limited to four sessions.

Application forms for the above courses are available from Janet Evans (020 8397 4675) or call down at the club on a Wednesday evening or Saturday morning for more information.

General Paddling

During the winter training takes place both on the water and in the gym while summer training is primarily on the water. Members train at various times during the week and over the weekends with the Wednesday being the main ‘club night’.

Although members do have the use of club boats, they are encouraged to purchase their own boat, paddles and life jackets- this means that whenever you want to go out you can be sure that there is a suitable boat available for you.


Club members participate in the canoe races run under the auspices of the British Canoe Union (BCU) and events at both marathon and sprint racing distances are held throughout the year all over the country. Royal Canoe Club paddlers of all abilities are able and encouraged to take part in races.

National level senior group

There is a large Royal CC senior training group of international-level canoeists, some names from the past and several paddlers about whom we’ll doubtless hear more in years to come.

The group has an email circulation list which you can be added to on request.

For all membership information and details of courses, sessions or anything else, please email the Club Secretary, Stephen Crehan at: – we will be delighted to see you at the club.