British Canoeing Coronavirus update on Paddlesport Activity

British Canoeing Coronavirus update on Paddlesport Activity

25 March 2020

Following the latest measures announced by the government yesterday to address the coronavirus pandemic, British Canoeing has issued the following statement:

Last week on 16 March British Canoeing took the unprecedented step to cancel all events, competitions and gatherings until 30th April 2020.

Our policy position on coronavirus continues to align with advice, measures and legislation from government and public health.

In light of the new measures to control the spread of coronavirus issued by the government on Monday 23 March, British Canoeing has taken the decision to recommend the suspension of all organised club activity until further notice.

Our recommendation to clubs is that no organised and structured face to face activity (including group paddles, training sessions coaching activities, events and competitions) should take place during this period.

This is in line with government advice requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes, avoiding social gatherings and all non-essential travel.

Stay at Home

The new measures announced by government state that people in the country will only be allowed to leave their home for the following purposes:

• shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible;

• one form of exercise a day – alone or with members of your household;

• any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and

• travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.

These four reasons are exceptions – even when doing these activities – and government advice is to minimise time spent outside of the home, ensuring you are two metres apart from anyone outside of your household.

Personal and independent paddling

For personal and independent paddling this should only be considered as an exception – as a form of exercise – if the activity is in line with all government advice and measures and;

  • A paddler lives within a close proximity to a river or waterway; 
  • No non-essential vehicle travel is required to a river or waterway, a club, centre, facility or a stored boat shed;
  • The activity is once a day and is for a short period of time;
  • Activity is conducted alone or with household members, not in groups, with paddlers following social distancing measures and being two metres apart;
  • Consideration is given to the weather and water conditions and that both are well within your capabilities;
  • That a personal safety framework is put in place whilst on the water;
  • Tell someone where you are going and how long for – as well as letting them know when you’re off the water;
  • Only experienced and competent paddlers should be on the water independently;
  • You can safely paddle to and from your workplace – if you are unable to work from home.

With all government guidance pointing towards a period during which the nation is being urged to act responsibly to fight the spread of Coronavirus, and the unprecedented burden currently on our emergency and public services, we believe this is the most responsible, and only, course of action we can take at this moment.

We fully appreciate the effect that this recommendation will have on the paddlesport community, particularly for clubs, centres, coaches, providers and retailers whose businesses will be greatly affected by the further measures introduced by the government.