Covid-19 update, December 22nd, 2020 – Independent paddling

Following clarification from British Canoeing on some points that are not 100% clear in the legislation, we are able to make a few small concessions to accessing the club during this time in Tier 4.

Firstly, we would like to thank the large number who have been understanding and supportive both publicly and behind the scenes in the last few days.  This was a very hard decision, taken in an incredibly short amount of time, with the best information that was available at the point we needed to make it. The Government has published multiple updates since our initial decision was made, some of them after the rules came into force. It has always been our priority to keep reviewing the guidance as it comes out over the last nine months, and we will continue to do so.

To the best of our knowledge, all clubs in Tier 4 areas took the same approach as we initially did, and some are not reviewing that. 

British Canoeing have now had enough clarification from Sport England to allow a very limited opening to the boatshed. They have made it clear that this is still an interim position, but they seem relatively confident in it.

Access to boatshed

The restrictions limit the number of people allowed in the boatshed. Given the layout and size of our boatshed, numbers allowed in at any one time will be limited to one pair (for those paddling with someone not of their household bubble) or one family or training group, up to a maximum of four people. Distancing must be maintained when in the boatshed. Due to this reduction in number allowed in the boatshed at any one time, we will be limiting site access numbers to 4 per 15 min launch window. If you can see or hear someone in the section of the boatshed you need to use, please wait until they finish before entering. The exception will be for K2s where the 2 paddlers may enter the same section but must stay a boat length apart while indoors.

U18s outdoor sessions

There is also a possibility of outdoor sessions for under 18s resuming. However, there are significant hurdles to achieve this. Due to these hurdles we have contacted coaches directly and those whose groups are able to operate within the restrictions will be in contact with their paddlers, with clear instructions. This is likely to take some time and highly likely not to involve all groups.

To clarify, the outdoor rules are very similar to November. You may paddle individually with one other person or in a family group. Access to the club is via the booking sheet. Depending on how the ‘one in, one out’ access to the boatshed goes, we may need to adjust either the length of the slots or the number of people allowed to book.

All indoor facilities including Toilets and Changing Rooms are out of bounds and you should not be changing in the boatshed. Please come ready to paddle and leave in the kit you paddled in. We appreciate this is unwelcome and may cause problems given the time of year, but it is the only way we can reopen the boatshed.

All members should be aware of the government guidelines surrounding travel into and out of Tier 4 areas, and the club encourages members to abide by these guidelines.

Main points distilled:

·      Book a site access to the club via the booking sheet – four per 15-min slot or one household

·      You may paddle individually, with one other person outside your household, or as a family group

·      Come ready changed and leave as you are – all inside changing areas, including the boatshed, are not to be used for changing

·      Only one pair or household/family within the boatshed at any one time

·      Toilets and all upstairs areas are out of bounds

·      Club boats may be used, K1 and K2

·      Please make sure you wipe down any areas you have touched and wash your hands frequently

·      Always keep 2 metres social distances in any areas while on the club site

·      If you come by car, please keep all your belongings within the car

·      If you must have a bag, please keep packed tidily in the boatshed for quick removal at the end

Many thanks for your patience and take care paddling. The river is on red and is likely to continue so for some time to come.