CANI’s Current Recommendations for Paddlesport Activity Under Covid 19

Updated: 24th May 2021

CANI confirm that all paddlesport, whether organised formally by your local sports club or informally by a group of friends, is permitted. 

The maximum number of participants, including coaches and support staff is limited to 500 people and the maximum number of spectators is limited to 500 people. 

Risk assessments, as set out in the regulations, must be completed where there will be between 31 and 500 participants and/or spectators in attendance.

CANI has taken guidance from NI Executive, Sport NI, British Canoeing and other National Associations.

CANI recommends that the following steps are followed for all paddlesport:

  • The maximum number of participants, including coaches and support staff is limited to 500 people and the maximum number of spectators is limited to 500 people. 
  • Groups of paddlers including coaches and leaders can go paddling, ensuring that you have an appropriate safety framework (see BC Paddlesafe Guidance and Environmental Definitions documents linked below) in place, and are following public health regulations. 
  • For organised paddlesport (e.g. lead, coached and guided activities from providers, clubs and centres, etc) providers should; conduct and record Covid-19 risk assessments, put in place mitigating procedures, covid consent forms, keep attendance records, follow government guidance on the use of facilities, conduct staff/volunteer training and raise participant awareness. Further guidance for providers is linked below.
  • During active participation of sport, you do not have to continuously maintain social distancing. Within most paddlesports social distancing takes place naturally, except in occasional circumstances such as some rescues and games (social distancing should be maintained before and after active participation). 
  • To operate within the scope of the British Canoeing/CANI insurance, you must be following the NI Executive Guidance. If utilising independent insurance, check with your insurer.
  • For paddlesport, active participation can be considered to be any action that is specific to taking part, including essential preparatory and concluding activities, for example; safety briefings, warm-ups, moving and launching paddlesports craft, etc. 
  • Activity must respect local restrictions. (i.e. Waterways Ireland and the Coast Guard).
  • Follow current government guidance on travelling and public transport. There is no limit to travel but use common sense and do what is reasonable, CANI advise to avoid popular spots and take the appropriate measures at places where you have to touch shared surfaces, lock gates, etc.
  • Expect public toilets and handwashing facilities to be closed. Use your toilet at home, and be extra sensitive to the need to observe best practice at all times.
  • Consideration should be given to the sharing of equipment. If sharing equipment, an equipment quarantining and/or rigorous cleaning process should be in place as per Health and Safety Recommendations and following equipment manufacturers instructions. 
  • Many individuals and organisations may wish to take further measures at their discretion, beyond the current guidelines to reduce the spread of covid-19 e.g. maintaining social distance during active participation, reducing group sizes, running lower risk sessions, etc
  • Managing a confirmed or suspected Covid 19 case, please follow link for Guidance for Sport and Clubs

If you are self isolating or have symptoms

Do not leave home to take part in sport or physical activity if NI Executive advice means you should stay at home because you, or someone you live with, has or has had symptoms of COVID-19. Most people who are symptomatic should self-isolate for 10 days. Please see NHS Guidance for further information.

CANI recognise that these are challenging times for us all and our first priority is the safety and health of everyone, as we do our level best to stop the spread of the virus. We really appreciate the level of creativity and innovation shown by many within our community to keep people connected at this time. We are confident that we will emerge from this an even stronger community of paddlers.

Further guidance for providers of organised paddlesport activity is available in the links below:

Guidance for Clubs

Guidance for Coaches and Leaders

Guidance for Centres and Hire providers

Guidance for Training and Assessment courses

General links

British Canoeing Paddlesafe guidance

British Canoeing Environmental and Deployment Guidance for Instructors, Coaches and Leaders.

NI Executive Coroavirus public health information

Sport NI Return to SportAdvice for Businesses

First Aid Update Guidance

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