Guidance for Coaches and Leaders

Wednesday 8th July 2020

Considerations for coaches and leaders

The Canoe Association of Northern Ireland (CANI) has created guidance to support British Canoeing Qualified Coaches and Leaders and encourages that members continue to check both the Government and CANI websites on a regular basis for the latest information.

Qualified British Canoeing Coaches and Leaders have all undertaken specific training and a robust assessment and this provides confidence that qualified individuals have the appropriate experience, decision making skills and professional judgement to consider this guidance and take the appropriate measures to ensure the safety of paddlers. 

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 7 days; household members for 14 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.

CANI suggest that all qualified coaches, leaders and instructors should follow the guidelines below:

  • Activity can resume for up to a maximum of 30 paddlers on the water at any one time including coaches/leaders. Multiple groups should not be on the water at the same time and in the same location. 
  • Coaches and leaders should only start operating when they have completed the necessary planning and mitigating actions and feel able to operate safely and within the guidelines. 
  • Coaches, leaders and providers should; have a safety framework in place, conduct and record Covid-19 risk assessments, put in place mitigating procedures, Covid consent forms, keep attendance records, and provide information for co-workers and participants. 
  • 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.
  • During active participation of sport, you do not have to continuously maintain social distancing. Within paddlesports social distancing takes place naturally, except in occasional circumstances such as; some rescues and some games (social distancing should be maintained before and after active participation). CANI is obliged to make the most reasonable interpretation of government guidance in the service of its members. 
  • 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. 
  • 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, a rigorous cleaning process should be in place as per Health and Safety Recommendations and following equipment manufacturers instructions. 
  • Within the risk assessment consider and put in place appropriate measures for safeguarding children, adults at risk and lone working
  • 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. Coaches are reminded of the principles of CANI’s safeguarding policy. 
  • Carry and wear appropriate safety equipment for you and the paddler. This may include buoyancy aids, a throwline, and a means to call for help and keep these available at all times
  • Ensure a first aid kit is available and understand the changes in guidance during this COVID-19 period
  • Non participants, i.e. parents and guardians must adhere to social distancing regulations
  • Enclude advice on your organisations covid mitigating procedures in your pre course information
  • 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

If you are using facilities further guidance can be found here.

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 information

Sport NI Return to Sport

Advice for Businesses