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.
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:
- Do not come down to the club if you have symptoms of Covid19 or have been asked to self isolate
- 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.
- 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.
- Continue to keep the boatshed dry, clean and tidy
- Do not empty water from your boats in the boatshed
- There should be no wet towels, boat bags, buoyancy aids left lying around
- Keep the downstairs lobby and worktop clear of kit / possessions. (see below*)
- Bring and take home your possessions. Several items have been left lying around the boatshed recently.
- Remember to protect against Weil’s disease – some symptoms are similar to Coronavirus.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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.
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 email@example.com 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: https://www.britishcanoeing.org.uk/membership/join-us-online-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 firstname.lastname@example.org to contact somebody.
Paddle safely and well within your capability. Please now read the document attached.
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 (email@example.com).
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.
Reading Circuit 24th May – Postponed
We are hoping to reschedule this event for late July/early August. We will confirm this as soon as we can.
Reading K4 races
Our first K4 race day, scheduled for 31st May, is cancelled due to the current circumstances. However, we hope to hold one on 11th October, circumstances permitting.
Missing the Club, your pals, some exercise while you’re stuck indoors? Join the Zoom classes online. Core, circuits – It’s lively and fun and you can see those people you’re missing … exercise and have a chat.
Zoom is easy to load and work on your laptop. All details are on the Reading Canoe Club Facebook page.
See you there … virtually, that is!
Reading Canoe Club has suspended all its club activities due to the rapidly changing situation with the coronavirus.
We will be communicating the implications with members shortly.
Thank you for your understanding.
With heavy rain, sodden ground, overflowing rivers and high winds for the two weeks preceding Thameside 1 this year, it was exceedingly touch and go whether the race could go ahead. In fact, on the Tuesday before it, Race Coordinator Dan Seaford did a race inspection and found parts of the towpath under more than a metre of water.
Still Dan had faith and by Saturday, the weather and the water levels had dropped significantly. So, with special measures in place and only experienced, competent paddlers permitted to partake, the race went ahead.
It was a tight ship on organisation, very well run. Thanks Dan. Participants were understandably down, but still there were entries from 28 K1s and 29 K2s. Harry Freeland from RCC took 1st in JMK1, his dad Jeremy was 3rd in VMK1, while among the K2s Erika and Nigel were 3rd in Mix K2 and Bethan with FOX paddler Anna was 2nd in SLK2.
Thanks to all the volunteers who risked the wild weather to man the course and the whole RCC team for making it happen.