CANI’s Current Recommendations for Paddlesport Activity Under Covid19

Updated: Friday 8th January 2021

Guidelines from Friday 8th January 2021 to Saturday 6th February 2021

This section details CANI’s guidelines coming into effect from Saturday 26th December 2020 for a period of 6 weeks, updated to include provision for individuals to exercise with one other person from 8th January.

Please note:  There are many public health, safety, legal and insurance implications that as a National Governing Body, CANI has a duty to investigate and understand before issuing guidance.  Therefore, there may be a delay in updating this page after changes have been made to the government regulations. We do appreciate the patience of our members and the paddling community at this time and hope you are all staying safe.

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.

From midnight Friday 25th December for 6 weeks:

Key points:

“Stay at home, reduce your contacts, save lives, protect the health service”

  • No organised paddlesport events (coaching, training, trips, competitions, etc) can take place.
  • Indoor and outdoor sports and exercise facilities must close
  • Elite competition and training only, can resume. Spectators are not permitted.
  • Individual paddling for exercise only, see full guidelines below.
  • Only paddle as an individual or with members of your own household / bubble or, when on your own, you can paddle with one person from another household.
  • Stay local, essential travel only
  • Read on for full CANI guidelines

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

  • There should be no organised paddlesport activity (e.g. by groups, clubs, centres or providers), except for elite sport, and sports facilities must close.
  • Paddlers who are competent for the environment and can individually self-rescue can go paddling for exercise, staying within their capability.
  • You can paddle; by yourself, with the people you live with, with your bubble or, when on your own, with one person from another household.
  • A safety framework should be put in place whilst on the water.
    • Paddlers should be competent in the environment and able to self rescue.
    • Paddle only where no rescues are likely to be needed and self rescue will be sufficient.  Circumstances where rescues that break social distancing are likely should be avoided.
    • Consideration should be given to the weather and water conditions and that both are well within your capabilities.
    • Tell someone where you are going and how long for – as well as letting them know when you’re off the water.
  • Only people from the same household can paddle crew boats, e.g. tandem sea kayaks and open canoes.
  • 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.
  • Activity must respect local restrictions. (i.e. Waterways Ireland and the Coast Guard).
  • Follow current government guidance on travelling and public transport (no unnecessary travel should be undertaken).  CANI advise to stay local and avoid popular spots and take the appropriate measures at places where you have to touch shared surfaces, lock gates, etc.  Only share transport with members of your household (e.g. no shuttles with people outside of your household).
  • 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.

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

General links

British Canoeing Paddlesafe guidance.

NI Executive Coronavirus public health information

Sport NI Return to Sport

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