Pathways Development


The general aims and objectives associated with each level of this pathway are as follows:


‘Recreational’ is aimed at all levels of disability and is designed to provide participants with a positive first experience in the sport. The aim at this level is to engage the local community and provide access to opportunities for involvement at the recreational level. It seeks to expose people with a disability to the sport in a safe and friendly environment, whilst facilitating the development of the most basic of skills.

It is important to remember that not all athletes participating in these programs are classifiable and therefore the Paralympic pathway may not be applicable for some. There is also likely to be some variation in the motives for participation (some athlete driven, some support worker / carer / parent driven), and as a result the focus of these programs has generally been on providing an introduction to the sport of paracanoe and facilitating ongoing participation through positive social experiences.


Technical, tactical and physiological skills are developed at this stage.

Some of the skills developed at this stage include:

  • Water safety (capsize drills)
  • Technique
  • Boat handling skills
  • Basic race skills
  • Rules and code of ethics for the sport
  • General movement, balance and co-ordination development
  • Core stability and core strength
  • Aerobic capacity
  • Speed and flexibility


‘Elite’ is focused on developing athletes to compete successfully on an international level, focusing primarily on the World Cup, World Championships and the Paralympic Games.

An athlete’s technical, tactical, mental and physiological skills are further honed at this stage.

Involvement in the above-mentioned pathway, with the exception of ‘Recreational’, requires participants to display a certain level of skill and commitment, an ability to understand and learn the skills and strategies of the sport and a willingness to implement them. The entire environment has a performance focus, with the primary emphasis being on the attitude and performance of the athlete.