Paddle Ability

Norwich Canoe Club welcomes all Paddle-Ability paddlers.

Please get in touch so we can talk to you about your individual needs and what you would like to achieve. Then we will do all we can to get you paddling on the water. If you are from a club or group we can help you too.

We regularly have groups from MENCAP, BUILD Disability Group, and the Hamlet Centre Trust visit the club. We also have been part of the Active Norfolk Special School Games, and run days for the Norwich Day Care Centre. Some of the Paddle-Ability paddlers from these groups have joined the club and now go out on one to one sessions with club coaches and others join in club sessions.

Specialist coaching
We have three specialist Paddle-Ability coaches, Julie Hicks, Martin Matthews and Tim Scott (2013 BCU Paddle-Ability Coach of the Year runner up). They have all attended coach disability courses at Paddle-Ability conferences run by Canoe England.

Your goals
Some of our Paddle-Ability paddlers go out in an open canoe once every few weeks for a gentle paddle. We can arrange these sessions at a time to suit you. Others want to go racing and join in with club training sessions. Julie, Martin and Tim are regular coaches at training sessions so they’ll be on hand if you require any extra attention. Martin can advise you on adaptive equipment or specialist clothing. In addition, all our other coaches will be there to help as well, just like they help everyone else.

Specialist boats and equipment
We have equipment especially for Paddle-Ability paddlers.
There is an adapted K1 (kayak for one paddler) that is extremely stable. We have successfully altered our most stable K2 (kayak for two paddlers) to enable a single leg control of the steering of the boat via a linked knee / foot linked steering system, so that even if you are an amputee, we can accommodate your aspirations to paddle and compete. We have other kayaks which can be easily adapted so that the paddler in the back can do the steering, which means the kayak is suitable for a partially-sighted person to paddle in the front. We have also successfully paddled with Paddle-Ability paddlers in one of our racing K4s.
If you are concerned that a kayak may still be a little too unstable, remember we also have extremely stable open-top Canadian canoes. Our clubhouse has full accessibility with lift access to changing and social facilities on the first floor above the boathouse.

Sprint and marathon racing
If you want to race, you can. It’s really fun and Norwich Canoe Club are national champions in both marathon and sprint, so it’s a really great place to learn. If you get really good there is even the chance to try out for the Paralympics.

Want to talk to someone?
If you would like to talk about the Paddle-Ability sessions available, please contact the Paddle-Ability Co-ordinator, Martin Matthews.