Oliver Cock | United Kingdom

Year Inducted: 2011 (deceased)
Category:
Advocate
Years Active: 1936-1996
Home Base: United Kingdom

Advocate Accomplishments:

  • 1940’s – 1963 Filmed numerous expeditions, training sessions for whitewater kayaking
  • 1953 – Appointed coach for BCU slalom team and won World Championship medals by 1959 due to his coaching efforts
  • 1962 – Appointed First Director of Coaching by BCU
    *Developed proficiency program and tests that became the foundation for the British Canoe Union Certification and training programs
    *Led efforts in developing safety equipment (lifejackets/buoyancy aids) in the early years of whitewater development

Other Accomplishments:

  • Invented kayak (canoe) polo in mid-1940’s (post WWII)
  • First president and long-time supporter of British Dragon Boat Racing Association
  • Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE)
  • Wrote autobiography, “I Paddled My Own Canoe” in 2001 detailing his many contributions to paddlesports and beyond.

Oliver J. Cock’s many contributions to whitewater kayaking became an integral part of the foundations of the British Canoe Union (BCU). His contributions ranged from filming and documenting whitewater expeditions and training to developing the proficiency program and tests that became the foundation for BCU’s certification and training programs. His whitewater films, many from the 1940’s and 1950’s provide a valuable documentation and history of early whitewater paddling and training. As the first slalom coach for the BCU team in 1953, he successfully developed the slalom program through his coaching efforts that enabled Britain to win its first World Championship medal in 1959. His appointment as the First Director of Coaching in 1962 gave an added drive to what was to become a very powerful teaching program, particularly for whitewater paddling. Cock later became the BCU national coach teaching schoolteachers across the country to teach canoeing safely.