MEMBERS PADDLING AT THURLBY LAKE – COVID 19 UPDATE

Following further guidance by British Canoeing we are now better placed to bring you up to date with the future re-opening of Newark Canoe Club.

Currently, paddling is authorised in groups of up to 6 people applying social distancing of 2m, with the exception of those from the same household. People are not allowed to share equipment; paddlers should paddle only in waters within their capability and self-rescue is essential. Paddlers should stay local rather than travelling to find water.

We currently authorise those paddlers with their own equipment and who have been issued with a gate key based on their qualification level to access the lake for a couple of weeks now. The next phase for us is to open the Club to all paddlers that have their own equipment and we shall advertise the opening times for that in the coming days.

For those members who do not have their own kit and wish to use Club equipment, BC have advised that is now authorised based on a single use of loan items with washing and safe/secure storage of the equipment after use for at least 72 hours before it can be used again. In addition, BC require the Club to have an appropriate Covid19 Risk Assessment specifying safe operating practices that ensures people are protected from cross contamination.

The Committee will now begin work on producing safe procedures to allow all members to use the club during open sessions that will include the use of hand sanitizer, disinfectant and washing facilities for returned equipment. Naturally, this may extend the period that those without equipment have to wait to be able to paddle beyond the time that those with equipment can return to the club. Whilst this is disappointing it is essential that we can ensure members are protected and operate in a safe paddling environment.

The process of developing a suitable process will start on Wednesday night with a Risk Assessment walk through. Once we have agreed a process, we shall begin to purchase the necessary elements to implement the system and then allow all members back to the club, including those who need to use club equipment. We shall also be looking at an on-line booking system so we can prepare loan equipment in advance. It is important to understand that we are not restricted to only 6 people on the water on one time, but groups cannot be larger than 6. This means we need to be able to get people on and off the water with social distancing in mind, particularly at important potential choke points.

BC have advised that Club houses, changing facilities, toilets, etc should not be used at the current time. That means for the foreseeable future, members using the club will have to take account of the limited facilities as part of their paddling planning.

Please bear with us as we seek to ensure that you can safely return to the club to paddle whilst at the same time ensuring that those who have to manage the open sessions are also safe. More information will be available as soon as we are able to.