Guidance for Clubs

Updated: 24th May 2021

This page should be read in conjunction with CANI’s “Current Recommendations for Paddlesport Activity Under Covid 19” which take precedence over the guidelines below.

If you are shielding 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, or you are in the most vulnerable category and have been advised to shield from the coronavirus. People who are shielding should not undertake activities. People who are symptomatic should self-isolate for 10 days; household members for 10 days as per info on NHS guidance. All exercise taken must be consistent with current Northern Irish Government guidance on health, physical distancing and hygiene.

Considerations for Clubs

Before reopening any of its facilities, clubs will need to put in place plans and COVID-19 risk assessments to reduce the risk of transmission of coronavirus through the use of any areas of the club or shared equipment. Every club will have slightly different considerations. However, we have listed below some suggested areas to consider.

Some clubs may also need to coordinate with other clubs operating from the same premises and/or facility owners to agree their protocols.

Clubs should only re-open when they have completed the necessary planning and mitigating actions and feel able to operate safely and within the guidelines. 

Club Facilities

Guidance for clubs on the use of facilities

Club facilities may reopen. It is very important to put in place plans to help people to follow social distancing guidance.  Clubs should consider:

  • Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment for facilities 
  • Maintaining 2 metres social distancing, wherever possible, such as by re-designing spaces to maintain 2 metres distances between people or by opening more entrances and exits
  • Reinforcing cleaning processes for facilities, cleaning more frequently and paying close attention to high-contact objects like door handles and keyboards, etc as per Health and Safety Recommendations and following equipment manufacturers instructions. 
  • Limiting the number of people accessing the club storage/boathouse by implementing a timetable or booking system
  • Where viable putting a one-way system in place
  • Checking members have the appropriate keys and locks to access the required facilities.
  • Encouraging members to follow good hand hygiene practices at all times
  • Placing hand sanitiser at entrances/exits and common contact touch points (e.g. padlocks, door handles)
  • Managing access to shared equipment and have a booking system in place
  • Appropriate protocols and products for cleaning any shared equipment before and after usage; and putting in place a regular cleaning plan, particularly for any common touch points (door handles, locks etc.)
  • If sharing club paddlesport equipment, an equipment quarantining and/or rigorous cleaning process should be in place as per Health and Safety Recommendations and following equipment manufacturers instructions

Guidance on Changing rooms, toilets and car parks

Gyms, changing rooms and social spaces should follow the NI Executive’s current guidelines.

Guidance for Club Communication

It is really important that clubs make communication with members, volunteers and staff very clear including;

  • How members are able to access equipment/facilities and their responsibilities when on site
  • What they are doing to reduce risk and what they expect from users to do the same
  • Opening times and how to use booking systems
  • What users need to know and do to secure the club when leaving.
  • Club coaches, leaders and volunteers; back to work induction and training on covid-19 risk assessment and procedures. 
  • All club members sign a covid-19 consent form

All members when using the facility must follow the Government’s social distancing rules found here:

This is detailed within the government guidance here.

Club Paddlesport Activity

Guidance on led, coached or guided activity at clubs

Safety and insurance

It is the responsibility of the club to plan for and ensure that paddling activity takes place within the government guidelines and existing safety frameworks. Clubs must be mindful that members who are not individual CANI members are only covered by the insurance and waterway licence when participating in club activity.

All activity at the club needs to fall within the club’s safety plan and British Canoeing Paddlesafe guidance.

Club Affiliated members can now take part in club activity (and are covered for third party liability insurance) where paddling activity within the club has had due diligence completed by the relevant and accountable club representative(s).

Guidance for club paddlesport Activities

  • Paddlesport can resume with robust covid 19 mitigating procedures in place as below. This includes contact training and the use of shared equipment.  As outdoor contact sport is permitted, during “active participation”, social distancing measures do not need to be adhered to. 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. At all other times, before and after active participation and when using any facilities, please follow the NI Executive and Public Health regulations and guidelines including; those on group size, keeping at least 1m apart and handwashing. This would be for example; when travelling, on arrival, registering attendance, paying, changing and showering, etc.  CANI is obliged to make the most reasonable interpretation of government guidance in the service of its members.
  • Clubs should only re-open when they have completed the necessary planning and mitigating actions and feel able to operate safely and within the guidelines. 
  • Clubs should; conduct and record Covid-19 risk assessments, put in place mitigating procedures, covid consent forms, keep attendance records, conduct staff/volunteer training and raise member awareness. 
  • 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.
  • A register of participants must be retained for every session, this should include a minimum of full name and contact number. This is for the purpose of Covid tracing should this be necessary.
  • 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. 
  • Clubs may wish to take further measures beyond the current guidelines at their discretion to reduce the spread of covid-19  e.g. suspending some organised activities for the time being , maintaining some social distance during active participation, reducing group sizes, running lower risk sessions, etc.

Clubs and coaches are reminded that any coaching of under 18s and adults at risk on a 1:1 basis should be avoided. The relaxation of the government guidance on social gatherings now means that group coaching or individual coaching with parent/carer supervision can now take place. Clubs and coaches are reminded of the principles of CANI’s safeguarding policy. 

More information is available in our guidance for paddlesport coaches and leaders.

This guidance relates only to Northern Ireland, as policy and guidance in Scotland, Wales and England is subject to the devolved governments and their respective national governing bodies.

Follow links for further information and guidance

Club Covid 19 Risk Assessment Template (PDF)  

Club Covid 19 Risk Assessment Template (Word)

COVID 19 Consent Form

British Canoeing Environmental Definitions for Deployment Guidance for Instructors Coaches and Leaders

British Canoeing Paddlesafe guidance

NI Executive Coroavirus public health informationNI Executive Coroavirus public health informationSport NI Return to Sport