Return to Paddlesport – Updated advice and recommendations from CANI.

Wednesday 8th July 2020

CANI welcome the latest update from the NI Executive and Sport NI for the further easing of restrictions for watersports. 

Please take care to follow Northern Ireland specific guidance from the NI Executive and from CANI for paddlesport as other regions have different phases. 

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

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. There may be a need to adapt to changes in guidance at short notice.

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.

Current position

The minister stated on the 25th June the following easements for sport, coming into effect on Mon 29th June.

“These easements have been agreed on the basis that the protocols developed by sports Governing Bodies will be followed, that social distancing will be maintained (when not actively participating), that proper hygiene measures will be observed and attendance records will be in place.”

Link to Department Of Communities announcement on the resumption of contact sport training

Link to NI Executive announcement on the resumption of contact sport training

Link to NI Executive table on the current position of lockdown and easements

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

  • Groups of up to 30 paddlers including coaches and leaders can now go paddling, ensuring that you have an appropriate safety framework in place (see BC Paddlesafe link below) and are following public health regulations.
  • 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). CANI is obliged to make the most reasonable interpretation of government guidance in the service of its members.
  • 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. 
  • Ensure a first aid kit is available and understand the changes inguidance during this COVID-19 period
  • 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.
  • 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

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.

NI Executive Coroavirus public health information

Sport NI Return to Sport

Advice for Businesses

Comments are not currently open on this page.