May 4th – HPPCC update

Dear Paddler

Well we head into week 7 of lockdown hoping for a quick resumption of our favourite activities, but at the moment this all looks a bit unlikely.

For those of you who have not received this information from British Canoeing, I attach the following information from British Canoeing.

I want to share with you again our advice about paddling at this time and also to reassure you that we are working hard behind the scenes on behalf of members to encourage the government to allow a return to socially responsible paddling as soon as possible.

The Big picture: Taking a step back to look at the big picture first, all forms of sport and active recreation other than running, walking and cycling have been suspended. No other community sport or active recreation is being encouraged. This is being driven by the government and reinforced by the arms’ length organisations including Sport England and the Environment Agency.

Public health risks are real: There remain significant public health risks associated with COVID-19 and the way in which it can be spread. There is currently no effective treatment or vaccine for the virus which we know can be fatal in some cases. We all recognise that the NHS is under massive strain and the country is still in lockdown until further notice.

Our advice: Our strong advice of 26 March remains in place, that paddlers ought not to paddle at this time until some of the restrictions are lifted.

The frustrations: We fully recognise that this is a deeply frustrating position for our members and the wider paddlesport community, as our paths and parks are full of people walking and running, there are more cyclists on the road than normal, and yet our waterways are empty and paddling is being discouraged.

The information above was sent out by David Joy the CEO of British Canoeing on Friday.

David then went on to say that British Canoeing are working closely with the Government, The Environment Agency and the Canals and Rivers Trust to push for an early resumption of paddling activities as soon as the Government starts easing the lockdown procedures.  However, this push for an early resumption is dependent on paddlers showing that they can follow recommendations and advice.

The club would therefore ask that you follow the Government instructions, and British Canoeing’s instructions and DO NOT go paddling at present.  I know that everyone is frustrated by the good weather, good water levels and holidays and no paddling, but if we want to get back out on to the water as quickly as possible we need to abide with the current rules.

As soon as things ease we will let you know what steps the club will be taking to enable paddling again.

Club Survey

Many thanks to those who have already completed the club survey, we have had nearly 30 responses so far which will help us to understand what our members want from the club.
You still have time to complete the survey and this information can be found by following the link here.

First Aid Qualifications

If you have a first aid qualification which has expired and are worried about what to do, British Canoeing has launched a 3 month on line first aid extension e-learning module which is free to paddlers.  You can access this module here:

Please note that you will still need to undertake a proper face-to-face first aid course after lockdown has lifted, to renew properly.

There are also a range of other e-learning opportunities available on British Canoeing’s website.  Please take a look and take any that you are interested in.

As a reminder, if you are interested in undertaking your Coach Sheltered Water Award, or other Coach Award, then now would be a really good time to register if you haven’t already, so that you can undertake the e-learning whilst you are in lockdown.  Remember you can come back and repeat the e-learning as many times as you like, but you must have undertaken all 19 modules before assessment.

As a final point, if you have been thinking about investing in some new equipment, then why not support our local canoe traders during this period by ordering kit from them.  Desperate Measures are taking orders online, which can be collected after lockdown, please remember that Kayaking and Canoeing are niche sports and we need our local stores if we want to look and try before we buy.

We hope that this is all of use to you, and remember that if you have any queries at all, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Dawn and the Trustees.