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Age Groups

Age Group
Description
U8 Under 8 years of age on January 1st of the year of participation
U11 Under 11 years of age on January 1st of the year of competition
U13 Under 13 years of age on January 1st of the year of competition
U15 Under 15 years of age on January 1st of the year of competition
U17 Under 17 years of age on January 1st of the year of competition
U19 Under 19 years of age on January 1st of the year of competition
Masters 25 years of age or over on January 1st of the year of participation

U11 Athlete Model

The U11 (Atom) paddlers are an enthusiastic group of kids that spend their days learning to keep their own balance in sit-on kayaks, mini-kayaks and mini-canoes, and join in with their peers for daily war canoe and team boats around the lake. When not on (or in) the water, the U11’s spend their time playing dryland games and outdoor activities like running, soccer or tag around the club grounds.

Coaches ensure the focus of their paddling experience on having as much fun as possible, and start to work on some basic skill development. Competition and training are not the objective of this group. U11 summer paddlers will have to opportunity to participate at 2-3 fun club-level timed mini-regattas. These mini-regattas are all about teamwork, learning the rules and finishing the race in a fun environment; and not about who finishes first, second or third.

U13 Athlete Model

The U13 (Peewee) paddlers start to refine their basic paddling skills and transition into young athletes. These young paddlers start to master their balance, learn technique, learn to use larger and tippier boats. These kids really start to develop a love for the sport, including the additional fun and excitement to be had when competing against other clubs in local regattas as a team. The mix of dryland games and outdoor activities promotes overall youth fitness and solidifies the team atmosphere at the club.

Coaches ensure the U13 paddling experience continues with critical skill development in both canoes and kayaks; in singles, crews and war canoe. There is no boat or distance specialization at this age. The participation in team boats and multiple distances is fundamental for the development and sport enjoyment of these young paddlers. U13 paddlers are encouraged to participate at two mid-summer regattas, and then show off their new skills and hard work at the “U13 Champs” at the end of the summer. The overall goal is to maximize participation, do your best, and most importantly… to cheer on your teammates.

U15 Athlete Model

The U15 (Bantam) paddlers are now at the level where they start to emerge with their own personalities and many will start to treat their own training seriously. This group doesn’t just want to finish a race, they want to win it. They get the opportunity to compete against their peers at the club for top spot and then will get in a boat with these same peers and compete with them. There are not many sports where you get to compete with and against your best friends all in the same day.

Overall fitness helps their performance, so the U15 kids get a good share of dryland fitness and fun added in every day with flexibility and strength-building exercises, including running, soccer, basketball and other activities. For the U15’s that are new to the sport, they can also learn and grow at their own pace and have the ability to practice with the experienced kids to help climb the learning curve very quickly.

Coaches ensure the U15 paddlers focus on technique development in both canoes and kayaks; in singles, crews and war canoe. There is still no boat or distance specialization. U15 paddlers are encouraged to participate at the two mid-summer regattas, and then at the “U15 Champs” at the end of the summer. Many of the older paddlers will also have the opportunity to get their first taste of Qualifying for National Sprint Canoe/Kayak Championships. And with enough hard work and training, many will get to experience going to Nationals, even as a first-year paddler.