Paddlesport – Updated advice and recommendations from CANI.

Friday 16th October 2020

CANI confirm that paddlesport can continue (with robust mitigating measures in place – as below) under the new restrictions coming into effect today and planned for the next 4 weeks.

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

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 14 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.

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

(Changes are in bold)

  • Groups of up to 30 paddlers including coaches and leaders can still go paddling, ensuring that you have an appropriate safety framework in place (see BC Paddlesafe link below) and are following public health regulations.
  • The new regulations allow paddlesport to continue with robust covid 19 mitigating procedures in place as below. This now includes maintaining social distancing as far as possible including during active participation, with the exception of short periods of “close contact” for peer support and safety.  CANI is obliged to make the most reasonable interpretation of government guidance in the service of its members.
  • Use of classrooms – For courses with a classroom element, under the current circumstances, please consider running as much of the course in the outdoors as possible utilising “outdoor classroom” facilities.  If working indoors, all covid mitigating procedures (e.g. mandated wearing of face coverings) need to be adhered to. 
  • Pool courses – With the current restrictions on indoor sport, group pool sessions can no longer take place. 
  • 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 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 in guidance 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 (for agreeing; not participate if you have symptoms, to contact organisation if you develop symptoms and for track and trace), 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. reducing group sizes, keeping people in “bubbles”, 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

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