Cave Leader training courses

Cave Leader training

Our 2022 programme is starting with more caving – this time we have two 2-day Cave Leader training courses on the 17th & 18th and 19th & 20th January in the Yorkshire Dales.  Steve also has a Vertical Cave Leader training course on the 15th & 16th March.

If you are interested in furthering your caving knowledge or qualification – or, indeed, qualifications in other fields such as paddlesport or mountaineering, please get in touch with Steve who will be pleased to hear from you and happy to assist.

Steve is also available for personal guiding and coaching at any time: and 07796 213817

By |January 5th, 2022|Cave|Comments Off on Cave Leader training courses

Vertical Cave Leader training

BCA LCMLA Vertical Cave Leader training

Steve has a Vertical Cave Leader training course coming up on December 16th & 17th and has two places still available.  The course, previously known as Level 2 Cave Leader, is based in Ingleton in the Yorkshire Dales and covers the personal skills, rigging skills and incident management approaches required to lead people in caves with simple vertical pitches of up to 18m.  You need to have some vertical caving experience and to have done the Cave Leader (Level 1) training as a minimum to enrol.

If you’re interested in this course please get in touch with Steve at or call 07796 213817. He’ll be pleased to hear from you and happy to help.

By |December 9th, 2021|Cave|Comments Off on Vertical Cave Leader training

White Water Canoe Leader

White Water Canoe Leader

Storm Arwen tried its best to derail our White Water Canoe Leader assessment as water levels rose dramatically and many rivers were blocked by fallen trees.  Fortunately, the levels dropped reasonably quickly and we scouted a suitable venue to check for any unwanted obstructions.  Sunny weather greeted the two candidates who did a good job of leading their group and using all the available features to entertain them enroute – very well done!

If you’re interested in either training or assessment for these awards please get in touch with Steve who’ll do his best to help you.  07796 213817 and

By |December 4th, 2021|Canoe|Comments Off on White Water Canoe Leader

Open Water Canoe Leader assessment

Open Water Canoe Leader assessment

The recent winter gales relented just long enough for us to run an Open Water Canoe Leader assessment yesterday.  Two candidates braved gusty winds and constant rain to successfully complete the award.  Very well done to both!

The Open Water award is proving popular with those working in the outdoors as it’s the environment they most commonly find themselves leading in.  Steve runs training and assessment for this qualification covering personal paddling in moderate open water, group leadership, travelling using appropriate means (solo, tandem, rafted, sailing), incident management & rescue and appropriate personal & group equipment.

If you are interested in this Canoe Leader award or the white water version please get in touch with Steve who’ll be pleased to hear from you and will do his best to assist: 017687 79412 and

By |December 1st, 2021|Canoe|Comments Off on Open Water Canoe Leader assessment

White Water Safety & Rescue Course, Cumbria

White Water Safety & Rescue

It is the season for white water kayakers and canoeists to get out and enjoy themselves – the rivers have certainly been at great paddling levels this Autumn.  Recent incidents and tragic accidents happening to people going paddling on rivers reminds us of the critical importance of having both a well developed understanding of the potential hazards on WW rivers coupled to a range of strategies to deploy appropriately should things not go to plan.

British Canoeing’s White Water Safety & Rescue course is aimed at those paddling canoes and kayaks on moderate white water (grade 1-3).  It is an attendance only course over two days which helps you identify issues whilst paddling, to make good judgments and decisions, to avoid getting into trouble and to sort things out if they do go wrong.  All WW kayakers and canoeists should take this course.

Steve’s next WWSR course is 24th – 25th Nov, he may also put an additional one on on the 8th & 9th Dec.  Please get in touch if you would like to join in or wish to know more about the content: 07796 213817 and

By |November 15th, 2021|Canoe, White Water Kayak|Comments Off on White Water Safety & Rescue Course, Cumbria

Sea Kayak Leader training, Cumbria

Sea Kayak Leader training Cumbria

Come and join our Sea Kayak Leader training courses in Cumbria.  Our upcoming event on the 20th & 21st November is running and still has some space.  The following course is on the 4th & 5th of December and also has places available.  Both Sea Kayak Leader training courses are preceded the day before by the Coastal Navigation & Tidal Planning course (classroom based).

Whilst many people who take these courses are intending to work towards the assessment, it’s also the case that a good number use them to enhance their own knowledge and skills so they can make more informed decsions when paddling by themselves and with friends – doing the assessment is not required!  Steve can also take a view on your sea kayak competence against British Canoeing’s Personal Performance Awards in sea kayaking then issue them as appropriate if you meet the required standard over the 2 days.  This would save the cost of attending a standalone course to take these awards.

Steve’s Sea Kayak Leader training is based in Cumbria where we have the full range of coastline types to provide the best possible learning and development.  If you’d like to join please get in touch at or call on 07796 213817.  We’ll be delighted to hear from you and will do our best to support your sea kayaking development.

By |November 10th, 2021|Sea Kayak|Comments Off on Sea Kayak Leader training, Cumbria

Sea Kayak Coastal Navigation course

Sea Kayak Coastal Navigation course

Steve’s next course is a Coastal Navigation & Tidal Planning course for sea kayakers on Friday 19th November based near Keswick.  This is the one day classroom based, attendance only course for anyone going paddling on the sea in any craft.  It is a prerequisite for those wishing to take British Canoeing’s Sea Kayak Leader qualification.

The course covers marine weather and tides and their implications for paddlers.  It looks at sources of critical information and how to compute tidal heights, flow rates and sea states. Pilotage is included along with practical navigation exercises on both charts and maps.

If you venture onto the sea in or on paddlesports craft this is a very valuable course which is designed to help you make good decisions before setting forth.

Steve will also be running the Sea Kayak Leader training course on the succeeding two days (20th & 21st Nov) on the Cumbrian coast.  If either of these courses are of interest to you please get in touch and we’ll do our best to help. 07796 213817 and

By |November 8th, 2021|Website|Comments Off on Sea Kayak Coastal Navigation course

Translating Thoughts into Action

Steve’s most recent research has been cited by Professor Gabriele Wulf and Professor Rebecca Lewthwaite in the latest edition of Current Directions in Psychological ScienceTheir paper, entitled Translating Thoughts Into Action: Optimizing Motor Performance and Learning Through Brief Motivational and Attentional Influences, explains the importance of critical motivational and attentional factors in optimising skill development and motor performance.  In particular, they point out the significance of maintaining enhanced expectancies for future performance, performer autonomy and an appropriate external focus of attention.  Steve’s work is cited as evidence of the beneficial effect of maintaining a distal external focus during performance.

Steve encourages anyone interested in developing their teaching, coaching, personal performance or competitive edge to engage with the most up to date scientific knowledge.  Steve runs Skill Acquisition and Motor Learning courses throughout the year which aim to distil the current research into an easily understandable and useable form.  His next two day course is December 20th – 21st and he’ll be pleased to hear from you if you would like to attend.

By |November 5th, 2021|Skill Acquisition|Comments Off on Translating Thoughts into Action

Canadian canoe trip 2022

Canadian Canoe trip 2022

Come and join us on a trip of a lifetime canoe trip down the Wind River in Yukon, Canada, July, 2022!  We have enough people so far to run the trip but have some spaces still available.

The trip involves travel from Whitehorse and an incredible float plane flight to our start point.  We’ll then journey by tandem canoe northwards with all our gear for two weeks on the Wind River (image).  We’ll be picked up on the river by float plane at the end of the trip.  The Wind River is mainly grade 1 and 2 water and is suitable for competent canoeists and those with little experience paddling with a more experienced partner – we’re focused on providing an amazing and accessible journey by canoe through unspoilt and wild northern Canada.

This amazing adventure will be run by Steve Banks and Martin McCarthy who have combined canoe expedition experience of over 60 years.  Steve and Martin are both British Canoeing Guides and Guide trainers.  All Steve’s qualifications are available to view on this website.

The trip includes  the first and last night’s accommodation in Whitehorse, all land and float plane transportation, all canoe outfitting and all food during the trip.

If you’re interested in finding out more please get in touch with Steve who will be able to tell you all about it and provide a video of an earlier trip for you to watch: and +44 07796 213817.  You can also check the webpage here: Canadian Canoe trip.

By |November 1st, 2021|Canoe|Comments Off on Canadian canoe trip 2022

Cumbria Canoe Leader training

Canoe Leader training

Our next courses are British Canoeing’s Canoe Leader training for both the Open Water Canoe Leader Award and the White Water Canoe Leader Award.  These will take place on the 6th and 7th November and will be based in Cumbria, as close to Keswick as conditions allow.  If you’re interested in either or both of these training events please get in touch with Steve so he can brief you on the content, provide any information you need to prepare, as well as to answer any questions you may have.   07796 2132817

By |October 26th, 2021|Canoe|Comments Off on Cumbria Canoe Leader training
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