Updated COVID-19 Paddling Safety Measures – 23 April 2020

Posted By: Canoe Kayak Canada

In the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic, CKC continues to ask the Canadian paddling community to respect the Government of Canada’s direction to carefully follow physical distancing practices and to respect the directives of all governmental authorities at every level. Now is the opportunity for us to be diligent leaders in our communities. Through our actions, we can contribute to the control of the spread of this virus.

CKC directs all member clubs and organizations to continue the suspension of their sanctioned and organized on-water paddling and in-person activities in accordance with all Municipal, Provincial and Federal public health authority restrictions.

CKC will continue to monitor and assess the national situation, but note that Club / Divisional / Provincial / Territorial and National Team paddling programs may only commence when Municipal, Provincial and Federal Public Health authorities modify applicable restrictions and/or closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. CKC recognizes that these restrictions may be modified or lifted at different times across the country depending on the evolution of the pandemic and the actions taken by the various levels of government in specific jurisdictions.

We have begun working with members and our partners as we look forward to the weeks and months ahead to form potential recommendations on paddling activities that respect physical distancing requirements while also taking on-water safety fully into account.

The CKC Board has asked that each Discipline Council work to review and decide on cancellation and/or postponement of competitions in accordance with these guidelines.

We must continue to prioritize our personal and community safety in relation to the pandemic, and collectively err on the side of caution and safety on all fronts.

Please stay physically isolated and safe.

It is important to note that CKC’s On-Water Safety Policies apply at all times. All members should be aware of the serious risks posed by cold water conditions in many areas of the country at this time. Specifically, for Sprint paddlers, when water temperatures are below 8°C, the Cold-Water Safety regulations (Section 2.2) must be understood and followed.

Please note that should an individual engage in on water activities independent of member organization activity, it is the responsibility of the individual to ensure they respect the Code of Safety and government restrictions as they relate to access, physical distancing and limitations on numbers regarding gatherings. Further, it must be clearly understood that paddling on your own, with your own equipment, is at your own risk.

CKC also asks that all member organizations clearly communicate to their members whether access to their facilities is restricted and, if so, the extent of those restrictions. CKC asks that all individuals respect any applicable restrictions.

Coaches must also carefully understand and act in accordance with the safe sport, liability and insurance considerations around their communication and direction to athletes while their organizations of employment may have suspended operations.

CKC has created a COVID-19 web page where all pertinent updates, recommendation, resources and further information will be shared. Please refer to CKC’s Private Boat Removal and Individual Paddling Statement for further information regarding on-water activities.