Welsh Canoeing Association / Sports Council for Wales

Sprint Racing Talent Identification Programme

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The WCA and Sports Council are looking for the next wave of physically strong, athletic and determined competitors to become the stars of the future in the Olympic Sport of Sprint Kayaking and Canoeing.

At the recent Olympics in Beijing Team GB had a massive success where Tim Brabants Gold in the K1 1000m and a Bronze in the 500m class.

The hunt is now on for the stars of tomorrow.

In Partnership with the Sports Council for Wales the Welsh Canoeing Association are running a Fast Track Talent Development Programme for the Olympic Sport of Sprint Canoeing and Kayaking. We are searching for male and female athletes who have the drive, physique and talent characteristic to succeed.

No previous canoeing experience is required.

The purpose of this appeal is to proactively search for those who have the necessary talent characteristics to progress into a Welsh squad. With effort these athletes could then be progressed toward selection for the GB team who will aim to compete successfully in the sport at future Olympic Games.

We are looking for athletes with the talent characteristics to succeed and are targeting several groups of athletes currently involved in sports with similar requirements to Sprint Kayaking (i.e. “like” sports), from which a successful and rapid transition to the higher and then elite level of Sprint Kayaking.

Firstly we need to see if you posses the raw physical, physiological and technical characteristics to be successful in Sprint Kayaking. These initial attributes, along with the right coaching and fast-track development programme could provide you with the opportunity to be an integral part of Sprint Kayaking teams for future success.

Key questions:

  • Are you aged between 17 and 23 years of age?

  • Do you have a background in: Swimming, Rowing, Triathlon, Basketball, Netball or something similar?

  • Do you have a strong upper body and feel that you are a good all round athlete?

If this is you then we would like to hear from you.

Please download a Profile Form and Medical Questionnaire or request ones from the WCA. Phone 01678521199 or email  

Please complete and return these by the 3rd November 2008.

What Happens Next:

Invite letters will be sent to successful applicants and they will be required to attend a Phase one Assessment Day. This will be held in Cardiff towards the end November 2008.

The phase 1 Talent ID Assessment day will be conducted by the Welsh Canoeing Association and Sports Council for Wales.

During this event, a number of sport specific strength and fitness assessments will be undertaken by a panel of WCA coaches and SCW sports scientists. The purpose of this assessment is to further explore your potential. The suitability of your talent characteristics for the sport of sprint kayaking will be assessed including physical, physiological and technical attributes. Do not panic – we are under the assumption that you have had very little, if any, experience in Sprint Kayaking, and are more interested in your potential to develop in view of future Games.

What happens after the phase 1 assessment day?

Those short-listed from the phase 1 Talent ID assessment day will be invited to attend a phase 2 assessment day to further evaluate their physical, physiological, technical and psycho-social attributes. We then envisage a small number of athletes being invited to embark on an intensive Sprint Kayaking Talent Confirmation training programme under the guidance of WCA Performance coaches. This will involve a period of increased commitment to the sport of Sprint Kayaking and will focus on your ability to develop as a sprint kayaker.

For an informal discussion about the programme or further information please contact Nigel Midgley on 01678521199 or email  

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