Covid-19 – A Statement

Coronavirus Policy

The Sharks always put health and safety as our priority and we have considered this matter carefully and consulted with British Canoeing, the sport’s governing body. British Canoeing have issued statements following advice from the Government.

The Sharks consider that activity is important to maintain people’s health and fitter healthier people will be in a better position to fight the virus is they come into contact with it. We therefor think continued exercise during this time is important as it always is.

We have now cancelled all sessions till further notice

Following the announcement made by the Prime Minister on Monday 23rd March 2020, we have decided to cancel all sessions until further notice.

If things change we will notify you and update this page. So please do keep checking this page.

If you have any of the symptoms of Covid-19 please do not attend sessions and follow Government Guidance.

Thank-your for your support and understanding. We wish everybody well, please keep safe, be sensible and we hope to see you all very soon.


The following is the lates advice from British Canoeing.

British Canoeing Coronavirus update on Paddlesport Activity

25 March 2020 18:30

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 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.

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.

General Guidance

For general queries related to Coronavirus, please follow government guidance. The latest information can be found using the links below:

British Canoeing – Coronavirus Guidance for Clubs

17 March 2020

On the 16th March, the UK government advised that everyone in the UK should now avoid “non-essential” travel and contact with others to fight coronavirus. Whilst it has not issued any ban on public gatherings of any size either indoors or outdoors at this stage, the advice is to avoid non-essential contact with others, including going to sporting events, pubs, clubs, theatres and social venues.

After further reviewing the guidance provided, British Canoeing has cancelled most British Canoeing events whilst this guidance is in place.

Clubs are advised to consider if and how they are able to run activities which adhere to the government advice, specifically regarding travel and social distancing recommendations. For some clubs and in some circumstances, club committees might assess that some activities can continue safely. However, the way that clubs operate and the facilities available to each club varies greatly which means that some club activities will need to be suspended for the time being.

We must all act in the interests of protecting the health and well-being of paddlers, officials, coaches, volunteers, supporters and the wider paddling community. This is also aligned with actions taken by the national associations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and is similar to action taken by other sports.

Where possible, paddlers at all levels are encouraged to maintain their own personal fitness and keep active during this time, while following government guidelines about safe distance and safe exercise environments. The government advice on hand washing and taking steps to avoid coming into contact with the virus remain key.

British Canoeing will continue to review and monitor government advice, and provide detailed updates on the impact to our sport in the coming weeks. We appreciate that the current measures will undoubtedly place our member clubs in a difficult situation and we are working with Sport England, UKSport and other organisations on the best way to help alleviate this. We will update you as plans evolve.

Social distancing and advice

Social distancing measures (such as not spending more than 15 minutes and not being within a 2-metre distance when talking to someone) are now advised not only if we test positive or have symptoms, but in day-to-day life. As well as current travel advice, the current UK government is advising anyone with a “new, continuous” cough or high temperature and those they live with need to self-isolate for 14 days.

Click here for NHS advice on infection control

Click here for the government’s advice if you have symptoms

Click here for the government’s advice on social distancing

We should all take sensible steps to reduce the risk of picking up infections. This is particularly applicable to anyone with a higher risk from viruses such as cold or flu. Click here for NHS advice on infection control – it is summarised below:

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • always wash your hands when you get home or into work
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • avoid close contact with people who have symptoms of coronavirus
  • use phone, online services, or apps to contact your GP surgery or other NHS services

Click here for the government’s advice if you have symptoms

British Canoeing Coronavirus update on events and gatherings

16 March 2020

Following the latest advice from the Government announced at 5.00pm today, British Canoeing has issued the following statement.

In light of the Prime Minister’s advice this evening and in the interest of the safety and well-being of all members of our community, it is with regret that we are announcing the cancellation of all British Canoeing events and gatherings, with immediate effect from now until 30 April 2020. We will keep this end date under careful review and extend it as necessary.

This does of course regrettably include any events that were scheduled for this weekend (21-22 March).

We acknowledge that the cancellation of domestic competitions and gatherings will impact greatly on the paddling community.

We also recognise that this statement will raise a lot of questions and we will respond to these over the next few days and update our guidance as regularly as required.

It is our intention to continue to support those athletes focussed on the Games in Tokyo with their preparations. This will include fully exploring contingency plans for the proposed selection events for sprint and paracanoe that were scheduled to be held within this period.

We have discussions planned with the International Canoe Federation and European Canoe Association later this week about the international calendar and the international events we are scheduled to host this year. We will update on these matters as soon as possible.

David Joy CEO of British Canoeing said;

“Our policy position on Coronavirus COVID 19 is to align with government and public health advice or legislation, recognising that decisions which affect activities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be taken by the devolved administrations.

“The impact of the Coronavirus COVID 19 is already being felt in many aspects of our lives and we are being advised that this is likely to escalate further in the coming weeks.

“We have taken this decision this evening to remove as much uncertainty as possible and we will provide further guidance to members, athletes, coaches, clubs and event organisers as soon as possible within the next few days.

“We will communicate through our normal channels and present all of the guidance within the Coronavirus COVID 19 pages on our website.”

General Guidance

For general queries related to Coronavirus, please follow government guidance. The latest information can be found using the links below: