Yearly Archives: 2020

Covid-19 update – lift of lockdown:

The guidance for returning to sport following lockdown is now mostly released. Therefore the club plans as follows:

a) Loaned equipment will be returned on or before December 2nd. Fred has contacted those concerned with the procedure.

b) Coached sessions will commence from December 3rd, when the coach is ready.

Outdoor activity rules for tier 2 are essentially the same as before. Uncoached groups of no more than 6 may be booked via the Google sheet, as they were prior to lockdown.

Coached groups and organised club sessions may be larger. Fred is in discussion with the coaches and each will determine their capacities. Please respect their decisions and don’t ask them to bend them.Coaches have the right to suspend members’ participation in future sessions if they do not follow club procedures.

Indoor-activity guidance has changed and has contradictions. We are seeking clarity on these.

a) Under 18 activity can resume as before (these rules seem fairly clear). You must turn up just before, and leave promptly after your session.

b) Over 18s rules leave a little more scope for confusion. Currently our interpretation is that group exercise classes, and therefore our indoor sessions, can resume as long as there is no interaction between households. By this we mean that as before you must turn up just before, and leave promptly after your session. Whilst taking part in a session please remain in your allocated space or on your allocated paddle machine. Wipe down all equipment and surfaces you touch before and after use. This is in line with many other local sports and leisure facilities that we have spoken to. On this basis it is our intention to resume the winter timetable as before, with booking essential, via Google sheets or as per rotas.

Please remember our coaches are volunteers and, as such, coached sessions may not restart immediately. Each coach will resume sessions when they are ready to do so.

It is very important that social distancing is observed by all members at all times while onsite. It is vital for the continued operation of the club that these measures are maintained. If we cannot, we will need to limit numbers further.

Thank you for understanding that this is a changing situation, which requires time to interpret.

2020 Trophy winners

In this strange pandemic year, with none of the usual marathon and sprint races running, understandably not all the trophies have been awarded. However, with impressive performances from certain individual paddlers throughout the year, the Club was delighted to present a small number of the prizes virtually at the recent AGM.

These are the 2020 winners:

Ergo Champion – Erika Hutchinson

Slalom Paddler of the Year – George Murphy

Junior Paddler of the Year – Phoebe Harbridge-Hui

Most Improved Junior Paddler – James Nelson

Most Improved Senior Paddler – Liz Raciborska

Ashes Trophy (for outstanding contribution) – Nigel Frankland

Swimmer of the Year – Erika Hutchinson

Well done to all the winners. We were only sorry we couldn’t award them to you for real.

Update to Club closure during the lockdown:

With advice from our Covid working group, who have looked at all the guidance and been in contact directly with British Canoeing, it is clear that, with regret, we must shut the club and all its activities.

However, we can allow access to the site to launch onto the river subject to members following a strict process which has been circulated to all members.

For all online activities, see the Facebook post from Nigel. There are exercise Zoom sessions at 5.30 Monday-Friday, and at 8.30 on Saturday.

The winter training programme 2020/2021

Please find the 2020/2021 Winter Training Programme. It will commence on 12th October.

The attached schedule shows both junior and adult sessions, who is running them and where ie hall, ergos or on the water. The juniors will already know from their coach who and how many can attend. If, due to Covid-19, this changes at all, your coach will let you know.

As for the adult sessions – on the water and circuits – these will run like the summer sessions ie Please sign up on the Club Access sheet. This is essential. There is a separate tab for each. This will inform you how many may attend each session and if there is space. There is also a tab for ergo use. However, for Nigel’s coached ergo sessions, it will run as in previous years, with allocated places. You will have seen Nigel’s note about it earlier today on Facebook, hopefully.

For all the most up to date Covid-19 information and protocols for each activity, please go to tab top right.

That includes new procedures for attending sessions in the hall and ergo use, as well as using the showers. Please ensure you read the relevant documents and refamiliarise yourself with the document on gym usuage too.

We have now set up a QR code, signs for which are around the club. Please do use this to sign in, BUT always use the Club access sheets as well. This is essential for our main track-and-trace mechanism.

Please remember the current social distancing rules, keep washing your hands regularly and don’t come to the Club if you are feeling unwell at all. And remember as colder, winter conditions arrive, to wrap up warmly, paddle safely and within your ability. If the river is on red (see the notice at the top of the stairs at the club), you may ONLY go out in Club equipment with a Level-2 or 3 coach. If the river is on amber, you still need to take a great deal of care and preferably go out in a group of three.

Happy paddling.

Mini junior regatta 2020- the year’s first and last!

Saturday 5th September 2020 saw some much anticipated K1 Sprint Racing on the River Thames at Caversham, in spite of the global pandemic. In the absence of any Nottingham Sprint Regattas this year, Reading Canoe Club’s Junior Coach, Freddie Kemp, organised a COVID compliant Mini Sprint Regatta for some lucky juniors – the first and last Sprint Regatta of 2020!

All social distancing rules were observed and any spectators were spread out on both banks, including interested passers by taking an afternoon walk on the promenade. The weather was fine with none of the traditional gusty crosswinds of Nottingham. Instead, the participants expertly negotiated a range of rowers, cruisers and barges …. and their washes. Racing lanes had to be a bit flexible!

For several of the Juniors, this was their first experience of a Sprint Regatta and Freddie ran the event in a traditional format. The timetable included 2 groups of K1 Races: 200m, 500m and 1000m distances with extra time allowed to warm up and warm down. Each race was announced in advance and the paddlers organised themselves for the start of their race – great experience for the next Nottingham Sprint Regatta. There was no ‘Team in the Tower’ for processing the results, Freddie started and finished each race on his bike and shared the times at the end of the afternoon.

There were no start buckets for this Regatta but the racing was serious nonetheless. There were a couple of speedy special guests leading the field and ‘rinsing’ the paddlers behind them – all part of the Regatta experience! Naturally, the usual mountain of snacks was consumed back at the club to boost those energy levels between races. 

A huge thank you to Freddie for putting together a great experience for the Juniors that have trained really hard with his coaching this year, despite all the changing rules and challenges that coronavirus has presented. An excellent afternoon of racing.

Update on the phased re-opening

It’s great to see the steady return to paddling and fitness of both Juniors and Adults and the regular use of the club. Thank you to all our active members and coaches as the large majority of you seem to be following the guidelines to help keep us safe, including booking access, trying to socially distance, and wash hands and clean club equipment before and after use.

However, it is inevitable that, as time goes on, we all become a bit more complacent. Yet with increased numbers and activity there is even more reason to follow the guidelines. Plus all indications are that we are going to have to manage this situation for several months to come. So it is the responsibility of us all – Juniors, Adults, Coaches, Parents and Visitors – to follow the guidelines and promote and implement their use. 

So can we remind you, please:

  1. Do not come down to the club if you have symptoms of Covid19 or have been asked to self isolate
  2. You must book a timeslot to access the site with an identifiable name or initials of all paddlers. For junior coached sessions the coach is responsible for keeping a record of attendance, but the sessions must be identified. Several members have been down in the last week, who were subsequently found not to have booked in. If you are having trouble accessing or using Google sheets please let us know or ask another member to help you.
  3. Keep the site secure by locking the gate and clubhouse when you go out to paddle or leave the site when nobody else is around. On several occasions recently the gate, doors and shutters have been left open or not been closed properly. If another responsible member is around make an explicit request for them to close up.
  4. Continue to keep the boatshed dry, clean and tidy
    1. Do not empty water from your boats in the boatshed
    2. There should be no wet towels, boat bags, buoyancy aids left lying around
  5. Keep the downstairs lobby and worktop clear of kit / possessions. (see below*)
  6. Bring and take home your possessions. Several items have been left lying around the boatshed recently. 
  7. Remember to protect against Weil’s disease – some symptoms are similar to Coronavirus.
  8. Read the attached updated Covid19 risk assessment
  • If you must bring some kit on site, please leave it tidily along the line of the K4s in the boatshed. Otherwise the lower lobby gets too congested. However, access to the boiler room and the fire exit at the east end of the boatshed must be maintained.

If you have suggestions for improvements where things are not working quite right, or you feel uncomfortable, please let us know at so we can review and take appropriate action. We will consider proposals for opening up further areas of the clubhouse or activities e.g. gym  However, this depends on agreement of the process to be followed, identification of any training, revisions to the risk assessment required and an individual taking responsibility to progress and manage the change.

Please help us keep all our members, developing athletes and visitors, safe, fit and healthy

First Aid Course June 2020

This June, with Covid-19 restrictions still firmly in place, our Junior Coach Freddie Kemp arranged a two-day First Aid course to be run at the Club for 10 people. Freddie himself needed it to gain his Level 2 Coaching certificate, but we also had seven other club members giving up their weekend to learn all about First Aid. That included four of our Juniors, who help out with coaching already.

The course was run by Sea Cadet Stuart Spencer, who had paddling experience himself. Despite it being one of the first courses he’d run since the Covid-19 restrictions had been relaxed, he was very clear on procedure on how to keep everyone safely distanced.

An intensive weekend, well worth the time. And it’s good to know that we have another seven highly competent First Aiders at the Club.

Covid-19 Update – Members use of club equipment

We have updated our guidance to include adult members who seek to use club equipment to paddle. Please read carefully and ask if you have any questions.

Before paddling we strongly advise you read BC guidance about return to paddling

and be aware of the current status

NB Juniors, who normally paddle using club equipment in coached sessions, will need to wait until the restrictions are lifted further and / or the current position is clarified.

Adults who would like to paddle under the current restrictions are invited to be assessed by our coaching team for competence to use club equipment on our stretch of the river. If you wish to be assessed, please email identifying:

  • your British Canoeing Membership no.
    • NB: Members of clubs who are not full members of British Canoeing are only licensed and insured to paddle on waterways when taking part in organised club activity. At this stage no organised club activity is allowed to take place. If paddlers want to ensure they are insured and licensed they can take out full British Canoeing membership here:
  • if you require a key fob (£25 refundable deposit) to independently access the club
  • if you require a buoyancy aid
  • the club has decided buoyancy aids will not be shared. Ideally members would buy one themselves (Marsport is a good source), otherwise the club can loan a buoyancy aid for a period, for which the member will be responsible – to take home after paddling and bring back
  • if you would like to be shown the process of how to access the club and its equipment, clean equipment,and secure the premises after use
    • NB we have several experienced paddlers who are happy to accompany an adult in a club boat on the water. You can either use the Reading Canoe Club facebook page or to contact somebody.

Paddle safely and well within your capability. Please now read the document attached.

Covid19 – Use and cleaning of club equipment (PDF)

Covid-19 Update, 23rd May 2020

We are pleased to announce the next phase of re-opening Reading Canoe Club, as described in the document attached. We would like to thank Hannah Sealey, Dave Sackman and Trevor Mills for their many hours of help in driving these new steps forward.

Please read this carefully. It clearly identifies what we expect from you and which facilities we are opening up.

Please remember, no member who has the identified symptoms of Covid-19 or is currently self-isolating should enter the site. Also, if you have visited the Club and are subsequently identified as being positive for Covid-19, please let the Club know asap (

We will review the processes weekly to address key emerging issues and will communicate any changes primarily by Facebook. If you don’t use Facebook, please let us know.

It would be really helpful if you could email the Club with good and bad experiences on using the boatshed and toilets, so we can modify the process to suit, if needs be.

We are now working to finalise the process for those wanting to use Club equipment and hope to be in contact over the coming days.

Please leave the Club Clean and tidy and take responsibility for cleaning up after yourselves.

Thank you

RCC Process for Paddling during restrictions – Phase 2 (PDF)