The Ontario Canoe Kayak Sprint Racing Affiliation (OCSRA), formed in 1985, is one of three affiliate organizations associated with Canoe Kayak Ontario (Whitewater and Marathon are the others).  Representing the sport of Olympic Sprint Canoe Kayak racing, the main function of OCSRA is to implement, manage and monitor programs and activities that are provincial in scope.  The primary responsibility of the OCSRA is athlete development.

[shortcode_banner img_desk=”/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/banners-casino.png” img_mob=”/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/banners-casino-mobile.png” lnk=””]

OHPSI Program

The Canadian Sport Institute Ontario (“CSIO”) created the OHPSI program to provide leadership, coaching support, training and competition expenses, sport science services, equipment and technology and facility access to targeted athletes.

The OHPSI has the following specific objectives:

  • Provide high performance sport leadership in Ontario;
  • Create an optimal Daily Training Environment (“DTE”) for Ontario athletes, where they are able to access high performance sport programs, technical experts (full-time coaches and sport science/medicine professionals), and services that enable Ontario athletes to train and achieve international podium performances;
  • Create and retain full-time coaching positions and provide integrated coach professional development opportunities,
  • Provide sport science/sport medicine support to ensure that a holistic approach is integral to developing Ontario athletes; and
  • Create integrated (vertical and horizontal) high performance athlete development pathways in, and between, Ontario’s and Canada’s High Performance sport systems.  In particular, developing strong relationships between PSO’s and NSO’s to ensure an integrated athlete/coach development system is in place in Ontario.
People with canoes on the lake

The program provides financial and program assistance to Ontario HPAD athletes for international competition and support in the DTE.  HPAD athletes are defined as those athletes who fall within the eligible age range and percentage of GMT outlined in Canoe Kayak Canada’s (“CKC”) Sprint Athlete Pathway, i.e. eligible to compete at the U23 World Championships and 4-8% of GMT. 

Each year, the CSIO allocates a specific amount of OHPSI financial support to PSO’s following a successful OHPSI application and evaluation process.  OCSRA does not know the amount of OHPSI contribution, nor type of support until the completion of the annual evaluation process.

Ontario Team Program

The Ontario Team Program offers three types of support

  • Ontario High Performance Sport Initiative (OHPSI) program
  • Quest for Gold’s Ontario Athlete Assistance Program (OAAP)
  • Ontario Development Team

Athletes nominate where selected using OCSRA’s Ontario Team Selection Criteria which was approved by the OCSRA Board of Directors and applied by the Selection Committee (HPC).

What is Long Term Athlete Development?

Long term athlete development (LTAD) is a concept that has evolved through recognition that there are gaps in athlete development, talent identification, athlete recruitment and athlete retention in the Canadian sport system.

LTAD is a planning tool for optimal performance for all stages of athlete development. It is based on empirical data, practical coaching experiences and scientific principles and is a framework for full sport system alignment in Canada, integrating health and education with sport and physical activity.

OCSRA fully supports Long Term Athlete Development and many changes have been made to regatta race cards, Ontario Team carding and Ontario Team events in order to align ourselves with the concepts of LTAD.

OCSRA’s Apprentice Coach Program

OCSRA provides Apprentice Coach Program (ACP) with the objective of enhancing the development of an Ontario coach working with LTAD Training to Train and/or Training to Compete stage athletes. 

The program provides an accelerated professional development opportunity to the ACP candidate, including:

  • mentorship program with National Team staff and sports science/sports medicine professionals;
  • increase in ACP candidates level of coach education;
  • National Team camps and international competition coaching opportunities;
  • a learning plan to address any gaps in the ACP candidates level of experience


Introduced in 2006-07 and debuted as a Paralympic Sport in 2016, Paracanoe is a program aimed at promoting individuals with disabilities to participate in the sport of Canoe Kayak.

Many successful Paracanoe programs are already in place across Canada.

The positive impact of these programs at individual clubs propelled Canoe Kayak Canada in 2007 to begin a national initiative to support national standards in promotion, recruitment, coaching and competition.

The program is a direct outgrowth of CKC’s strategy to give its member Clubs the resources to meet the paddling needs of their local communities all across Canada.

A paracanoe athlete with Canada flag

Ontario High Performance Sports Initiative

Ontario Canoe Sprint Racing Affiliation (OCSRA) and Canadian Sport Centre Ontario (CSCO) provide a unique program designed to enhance the development of athletes who have been identified as being capable of achieving international success.

This program has been developed in cooperation with the CSCO and under the direction of the OCSRA, with the intention of establishing a clear pathway from Provincial programming to the National Team.

An important element of each training plan was a focus on providing integrated support services which are made available through the CSCO.

This new initiative has been made possible with new funding from the Province of Ontario – administered through CSCO.  Canoe/Kayak has been ranked as a Tier 1 sport at the national level and is also a Tier 1 Sport of the CSCO’s Ontario High Performance Sport Initiative Program. CSCO selected OCSRA as one of the inaugural sport’s for this new initiative based on meeting specific criteria established for the program.

“The CSCO developed and launched the Ontario High Performance Sport Initiative and we are excited to have OCSRA as one of the sports in Tier 1 of this program.  We believe that providing a clear performance pathway for athletes and coaches will help Ontario lead the way to the podium,” said Debbie Low, President & CEO of the CSCO.

Coach Education Frequently Asked Questions

Canoe and kayak winners on Canada sprint racing

How old do I have to be to take a coaching workshop? 

At the start of the workshop coaches must be 15 years old to participate in the Community Coach (Canoe Kids) workshop and 16 years old to participate in the Competition Introduction (ELCC) workshop.

I will be coaching Canoe Kids, U11 and U13 paddlers at my club this summer; what level of certification should I have?

To coach Canoe Kids, U11 or U13 at your club you should be Canoe Kids certified. The Canoe Kids course is a one day course offered in EOD and WOD every Spring. There are no pre-requisites for this course.

I will be coaching U15, U16 and U17 at my club this summer; what level of certification should I have?

To coach U15, U16 and U17 at your club you should be Entry Level Competitive Coach (ELCC) Certified. The ELCC is a full weekend course offered by OCSRA every spring in either EOD or WOD. To become ELCC certified you will need to do an on-water evaluation and complete the Making Ethical Decisions online exam. In addition, you must also complete the following Multisport Modules: Making Ethical Decisions, Plan a Practice, Basic Nutrition and Teaching & Learning.

I want to cox a war canoe at a championship regatta.  What certification do I need?

To cox a war canoe at any championship event (Divisional, Provincial or National), the cox is required to be at a minimum ELCC certified.

Where do I go to take the Intro to Competition Multisport modules?

Multisport modules are offered through the Coaching Association of Ontario and can be found all over the province.

What is the difference between trained status and certified?

The NCCP distinguishes between training and certification. Coaches can participate in training opportunities to acquire or refine the skills and knowledge required for a particular coaching context as defined by the sport. However, to become certified in a coaching context, coaches must be evaluated on their demonstrated ability to perform within that context in areas such as program design, practice planning, performance analysis, program management, ethical coaching, support to participants during training, and support to participants in competition.