Join Devizes Canoe Club
Open to all
We welcome everyone! Membership is open to anyone, without exception, interested in promoting, coaching, volunteering or participating in paddlesport, regardless of sex, age, disability, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, religion or other beliefs.
Learning to paddle
Devizes Canoe Club is a great place to start or develop your paddling. Our coaches are British Canoeing qualified and trained in rescue techniques, safeguarding and First Aid. Devizes Canoe Club holds the Sport England Clubmark award.
We run ‘Introduction to Paddlesport’ sessions for novices from Easter to October when the weather is kind. You don’t need to be a member to participate in these introductory sessions which usually take place over 4-6 weeks. After completion of the course, you will be invited to attend at least a couple of supervised club sessions to gain more experience and meet other members. To continue paddling after this time you will need to join the club as a full member.
If you wish to sign-up for a 2022 session, please get in touch by using the membership enquiry button below. The courses are filling up quickly!
Our paddlers range from 8 years old to 80+ years old and many started to paddle at Devizes. As well as social paddling for exercise and health we are also recognised for developing talented local junior athletes, some of who have represented Team GB in age group and at senior level.
If you are a junior or senior competent and experienced paddler you can join the club straight away and we will integrate you with members of similar ability:
- You are ranked in marathon Division 6 or above in the UK and have paddled in the last couple of months;
- You are already an experienced paddler in racing kayaks/canoes from another club or attend a local school and have paddled regularly.
If you have paddling experience in a racing kayak or racing canoe but haven’t paddled for a while or your experience is in another discipline (white water, surf or sea) but not a racing kayak we will invite you to do a one-to-one introductory session so we can assess the best path for you.
Specific skills are needed to paddle a racing kayak (such as using your feet to steer and getting in and out of the boat) that are different to other sorts of kayaks and we recommend giving yourself time to establish the basic techniques by learning in a small group.
If you have never paddled before, have never paddled a racing kayak and are not in one of the categories above you should attend one of our novice introduction to paddlesport sessions. Or, if you are under 18, you should attend one of the series of junior introductory sessions than run on Saturday mornings.
Different abilities and needs
If you have any specific impairment or needs, please let us know. We can offer support to most people with limited mobility, provided they are ambulant and able to navigate steps safely. This is a physical limitation of our site, but one we are currently trying to resolve to support more people. We don’t, at present, have specially adapted boats but if we can’t accommodate your needs we will do our best to offer you alternative options to learn to paddle and put you in touch with a suitable paddlesport centre.
Becoming a member
Thank you for your interest in joining Devizes Canoe Club.
We are a diverse and inclusive club and welcome new members from all backgrounds and abilities.
Although we are a racing club, we are open to all paddlers (including Stand-Up Paddleboarders) and our passion is ensuring everyone has an opportunity to have a go at paddlesport and to achieve their goals, whatever they might be.
Our members have a broad range of interests from leisure paddling on the Kennet & Avon to representing Great Britain.
Senior Adult (65+)
Young Adult (19-22)
Student (19-22 and in full-time education)
Family (2 adults and all children under 18)
Joint (two adults)
Social (non paddling)
50% discount for adults or juniors in receipt of DLA or UC.
Membership fees are reviewed annually and fees approved for the next membership year at every Annual General Meeting.
Application forms and payment details are available in our website shop.
We offer a concessionary rate to adults or juniors in receipt of DLA or UC. This will provide a 50% reduction on our published annual membership fees. If you would like to discuss this concession please ask to speak to our Membership Secretary or Treasurer using the contact form.
If you have any questions regarding membership, how to join, fees, family membership or anything else, then please contact our Membership Secretary, Sue Colby.
If you are a current member, you will receive an email about one month before renewal inviting you to renew membership online and complete a boat storage application if you wish to store your own boat at the club. All you need to do is to renew your membership online by the end of March each year.
If your membership has lapsed, please contact the membership secretary for further guidance. Membership fees are the same for new and renewing members. If you haven’t paddled for a significant period, we will need to invite you to do a one-to-one introductory session so we can assess the best path for you.
Please remember that our boat storage capacity is less than the annual demand and it gets allocated at the start of the membership year. There is no automatic right to boat storage for current or lapsed members. If you fail to renew on time, there is a good chance your storage slot will be reallocated. If you don’t think you will be able to renew on time you must let us know and we will do what we can to help.
Your first few weeks
Important information for new members
Whatever your age, ability or aspirations, you will find a friendly and encouraging group of people at Devizes Canoe Club, willing to help get you afloat and to enjoy paddlesport.
The Club site (postcode SN10 1JN) is at Lower Wharf, Devizes accessed by a narrow lane adjacent to the Assizes Court building on Northgate Street Devizes. Please note that there is no footpath linking our site to the main wharf car park.
Some things which are useful to know:
We have about 160 Club members, ranging from 8 years of age to well into pension age. These include many families.
Our membership year runs from April to the following March. We don’t reduce the membership rate based on your joining date.
We encourage all members to arrive at the club on foot or by bike. Please do not drive to the club to drop-off paddlers. You may bring a car to the club site to drop off or collect a boat, but cars are to be removed as soon as loading/unloading is complete.
There is no parking on site unless you hold a blue badge. Club members are not permitted to park in private parking spaces near Dundas Court at any time. Public parking is available on-street and off-street at the main wharf car park, in the market place or at Station Road and all are free after 6pm.
The Lower Wharf access road from the public highway is privately owned, and in close proximity to residential properties. The Dundas Court flats have front door access to the roadway. All drivers MUST restrict their speed to 10 mph or preferably less, when using Lower Wharf to access the club.
We have changing facilities, including showers and toilets, though these are limited in scale because we have a small site. We don’t have space for lockers, so please don’t bring valuables with you to the site.
As you gain experience and confidence you should plan to purchase your own paddles and buoyancy aid. Club boats are available to suit most paddlers. When you want to paddle independently or away from the club, you will probably want to buy your own boat. Club members can provide advice about what and where to purchase.
We have storage for private boats at the club. It is designed specifically for K1/K2 and C1/C2 racing craft and is not suitable for other types of watercraft. This storage is allocated yearly along with membership renewal, but don’t be afraid to ask as there may be space available.
We run regular sessions throughout the week. If you are a new paddler or a returning paddler we will introduce you to other members and a suitable group so that you can paddle with members of similar ability. We will start to run social evenings after a paddle once a month.
As with any sport, there are many items you can buy to aid your paddling comfort and performance. These include paddles, buoyancy aids, paddling specific clothing, GPS trackers, phone holders, drinks systems. The list is endless, but it depends on how much you want to spend and your ambitions within paddlesport.
We take guidance from our national governing body (British Canoeing) who in turn reflect Sport England and Government guidelines. Members will be advised of any changes to club procedures. At present, there are no restrictions on physical activity (as at 26 July 2021). We urge everyone to take personal responsibility to reduce the risk of disease transmission when visiting the club. Specifically:
Do not attend the club if you have any COVID symptoms or health conditions.
If you or anyone you live with have COVID symptoms or come into contact with someone with COVID symptoms you should follow NHS guidance on testing and self-isolation.
The NHS check-in app will remain available for people to use at the club if they wish to do so.
Continue to follow good hygiene practices, to reduce the risk of transmission.
Our changing rooms and other indoor areas are now open but do consider wearing a mask if you are indoors and in close proximity to others.
Please be courteous to other users as they may have differing needs.
We provide hand sanitiser and disinfectant wipes for your personal use whilst at the club.
Help us to maintain a safe environment and keep the club open. We will provide further guidance if required.
We are committed to providing facilities that are suitable for a wide range of people and abilities and several of our paddling members have disabilities.
The club location and club building are wheelchair accessible and include ramped access and a disabled toilet. Other facilities, including our shower and changing building, and stepped launch area are accessible to people with a range of disabilities who are not regular wheelchair users.
The physical constraints of our site and the waterway prevent us from storing watercraft suitable for wheelchair users, although we can refer anyone who needs these specialist facilities with a suitable paddlesport centre.
Keeping in touch
When you have joined the Club you will be invited to join the club’s Facebook page and various WhatsApp groups for paddlers. We use these to stay in contact about sessions and timings.
What you need to know
The Club has achieved British Canoeing’s Clubmark standard, which sets a high standard of policies and procedures for the Club. If you look in the members’ section under ‘Governance’ you will find some essential documents you need to know about as a new member.
We organise social events from time to time. These often include summer BBQs, paddling trips, occasional talks and other events. We have an awards evening once a year usually held at Devizes Sports Club.