Water sports

Have you always wanted to have a go at a water sport or improve in your current one? This is your chance!

The possibilities are endless and you should find a person, people or group local to you that could help. You should develop a programme which is interesting, relevant to you and will improve your physical fitness. Along the way you’ll have fun, make friends, learn new skills – or even share your own skills with others!

Here are just a few ideas of the sort of things you could do to get you started:


  • Learn to swim and the basics of how to do front crawl, breastroke and backstroke
  • Have tuition to improve your stroke technique and improve your speed over a set distance
  • Build your stamina through regular swimming practice and improve the number of lengths you can swim each week
  • Join your local swimming club and compete in competitions


  • Do an introduction to sailing course and practice regularly
  • Learn new sailing skills, such as power manoeuvres, anchoring and mooring techniques
  • Join your local sailing club and start racing in competitions
  • Learn to sail dinghies, including how to capsize and recover in a controlled manner


  • Join your local canoe club and learn basic techniques such as the draw stroke, the J-stroke and turning
  • Undertake and achieve a BCU star award
  • Explore canoe touring techniques and undertake at least four trips
  • Learn to Eskimo roll in a pool and transfer to a moving water environment


  • With tuition, learn how to sail faster and turn your board more quickly
  • Practice and improve your techniques in different environments from lake to beach
  • Join a local windsurfing club and take part in competitions
  • Gain your RYA Certificate of Competence

Remember, these are just a few ideas. Chat to your Leader, family, friends and people who’ve already achieved an Award to see what they’ve done and what opportunities are available in your local area.

Don’t forget to check with your Leader that what you choose to do meets the DofE’s requirements for this section and your level.

Physical categories

Find out more about what you can do under the eight Physical section category headings:

Team sports

Individual sports

Water sports

Racquet sports



Extreme sports

Martial arts

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