Club Safety Plan

last revision 06/20

1. “Club Activity”, “Peer Group Activity” and “Regular Club Activities”

  1. The Club promotes all forms of recreational paddle sport and canoe polo and flat water racing as competitive disciplines. All members have a moral obligation to follow good practice in preparing for and participating in all activities organised by or
    through the Club. This Safety Plan relates principally to Club Activities and Regular Club Activities but on a wider basis is intended to equip members with tools and information to paddle in a safe and responsible manner.
  2. Any member can use the Club e mail and Facebook facilities to attract like minded members to join him/her on the water. In addition the Club also runs a programme of explicitly coached/led activities (Frankwell/Pool training sessions/ polo Sessions/Llangollen intro to WW evenings being the most obvious examples).
  3. Both strands of activity are important but the Club maintains a clear distinction between them. Coached/led trips referred to as Club Activities/ Regular Club Activities are delivered by members approved by the Club working within an approved remit and in accordance with good practice within the sport All other trips etc will be peer group activities.
  4. The Club has adopted the following definitions:
    1. “Club Activity” means any paddle sport activity involving coaching or leadership offered expressly by or on behalf of the Committee or by or under the supervision of a “Paddle Leader” working within his/her remit other than a Regular Club Activity.  Club Activities shall always be identified as such.  In Club Activities Paddle Leaders are expected to follow good practice as recognised in the sport.
    2. “Paddle Leaders”:   Holders of a BC Coaching or leadership award shall automatically be Paddle Leaders in accordance with the remit of their award. Any Club member may be approved by the Committee as a Paddle Leader for a period of up to three years with such remit to deliver/supervise Club Activities as the Committee shall think fit. In all cases, the Paddle Leader status is terminable or modifiable by the Committee for cause. Paddle Leaders are required to hold a current First Aid certificate and an appropriate safety and rescue qualification.
    3. “Peer Group Activity” means any paddle sport activity promoted by members via the club’s website, its email facility or any other Club media and not offering coaching or leadership  beyond that found in a peer group situation. A Peer Group activity is very distinct from a Club Activity.
    4. “Regular Club Activities” means Frankwell sessions/Pool sessions/Polo sessions/Llangollen intro to WW evenings.

5. Members are free to promote Peer Group Activities via the Club‘s website, it’s email facility or other Club media provided they state that these are offered as “Peer Group Activities”.  In this way the distinction between Peer group Activities and Club Activities will be maintained as part of the daily culture of the Club.

2. Documents

To assist members in following good practice the following documents have been adopted and placed on the Club website for reference/use. Their existence is regularly drawn to the attention of the membership as a whole when the notice of the Annual General Meeting is issued:

Appendix 1:     Guidance on how to promote a paddle sport activity* (SCC Appendix 1 – Club Activity Checklist.pdf)

Appendix 2:     Recommended kit lists for personal & group kit for placid water/white water & surf/sea (SCC Appendix 2 – Recommended kit list.pdf)

Appendix 3:     Generic Risk Assessment Form* (SCC Appendix 3 – Risk assessement form (06.03.2016).pdf)

Appendix 4:     Check list of members attending paddle sport activity including details of safety kit carried, identification details, mobile phones carried and emergency contact details for a family member.* /** (SCC Appendix 4 – Member details and kit carried (06.03.2016).pdf)

Appendix 5:     Trip/Activity Planning and Briefing sheets- Sea and Inland* /** (SCC Appendix 5 – Trip + Activity Planning and Briefing sheets (06.03.2016).pdf)

Appendix 6:     Feedback Form* (Appendix 6 – Online Feedback Form)

Appendix 7:     Glossary of terms re coaching and leadership remits (SCC Appendix 7 – Glossary of terms (06.03.2016).pdf)

Appendix 8:     Club Policies on Child Protection and vulnerable adults, Bullying and Discrimination, Changing Rooms, Equality (SCC Appendix 8 – Club Policies on Child Protection and vulnerable adults, Bullying and Discrimination, Changing Rooms, Equality (06.03.2016).pdf)

Appendix 9:     Information sheet re Leptospirosis (SCC Appendix 9 – Information sheet on Leptospirosis (06.03.2016).pdf)

Appendix 10: Guidelines for Surf Sessions* (Appendix 10)

* Signifies mandatory for Paddle Leaders on any Club Activity other than Regular Club Activity.

** To be completed with the involvement of group members

3. Promotion of Club Activities other than Regular Club Activities

  1. Paddle Leaders promoting a Club Activity other than a Regular Club Activity must give the information required in Appendix 1 including guidance as to the minimum standard of skill/experience which is, in their opinion, needed for joining the Activity
    and this practice is recommended to organisers of Peer Group Activities also.
  2. Club Activity Surf Sessions shall be run in accordance with Appendix 10 of this Plan.
  3. Paddle Leaders of a Club Activity other than a Regular Club Activity must complete the documents in Appendices 4 and 5 so far as applicable and reasonably necessary (in particular collecting/verifying emergency contact details for group members) and deliver an appropriate group briefing before launching.
  4. Paddle Leaders must complete an online Feedback Form (link in Appendix 6) after any Club Activity/ Regular Club Activity in which a “near miss” incident or actual injury/loss has occurred.
  5. If a group at the coast decides to split up and paddle in separate sub-groups and possibly at different locations the sub-group leaders should be satisfied that the weakest paddlers in each group should be able to handle the expected conditions and that the ratio of experienced/novice paddlers in each group is appropriate for the expected conditions

4. Feedback

Completion of the Feedback Form is recommended in the event of an incident or near miss on a Peer Group Activity.  The form is also available for any member to complete after Club or Peer Group Activity, on an anonymous basis if desired.  Feedback enables the Committee and the membership as a whole to learn from what has gone well and from any time when things do not go well.  All feedback is encouraged and the Committee regularly review any feedback received.

5. Running of Regular Club Activities at Frankwell/Llangollen

5.1. The Paddle Leader in overall charge of the session will:

  1. Assess the river level and weather conditions on arrival at the site (and earlier if practicable) to decide whether the session is to run and if so whether participation must be restricted by age/experience.
  2. Operate in accordance with the generic risk assessment at Appendix 3
  3. Brief other coaches/helpers as appropriate
  4. Allocate participants to suitable groups (1:8 max at Frankwell when the river is slow moving; otherwise 1:4 unless the coach in charge of the group has support) and to suitable Coaches/assistants
  5. Be the first point of call if any Coach encounters behavioural management problems
  6. Be on site until all participants are ashore, (and, in the case of Frankwell sessions, all kit is returned to store and the field gates and Pavilion are locked or delegate these responsibilities to another senior Coach).

5.2. Coaches assisting the Paddle Leader in overall charge will:

  1.  Carry appropriate First Aid and rescue equipment
  2. Confirm that their group members are water confident and that the members’ own clothing and equipment and any Club clothing or equipment they are using is appropriate and in good order
  3. Confirm that their group members are familiar with capsize drill on dry land and know how to respond to being/seeing a swimmer
  4. Ensure that their group members are aware of good manual handling techniques
  5. Check for relevant medical/physical considerations and knowledge of Leptospirosis
  6. Brief as appropriate on relevant hazards (to include at Frankwell: rowers, Sabrina and anglers; at Llangollen the “no-go” channel right of the bottom island) and on group management
  7. Run the session generally in accordance with Appendix 3
  8. Use helmets during any pre planned rescue training
  9. Apply “first on, last off” at beginning and end of session

6. Running of Pool sessions and Polo sessions

6.1. The Paddle Leader in charge of a Pool session will:

  1. Seek to maintain a pathway round the edge of the pool clear of boats/kit
  2. Seek to keep the Pool clear of boats not in use
  3. Remind coaches/participants as necessary of the need for supervision/caution when participants are playing “stand up” games in boats or similar (such activities not to take place near the pool edge)

6.2. The Paddle Leader in charge of a Polo session will:

  1. Seek to maintain a pathway round the edge of the pool clear of boats/kit
  2. Seek to keep the Pool clear of boats not in use

7. General responsibilities of members

  1. Duty of care.  Even though paddle sport is an assumed risk sport all Club members will owe a duty of care (consistent with their age/skill/experience/ qualifications) to their fellow paddlers on all trips or activities in which they participate regardless of how the trip is defined.  This includes a duty to speak out clearly if a member feels that a proposed trip is beyond his/her abilities or acceptable level of risk or beyond the abilities of another member of the party.  All members should promote a Club ethos which encourages such openness.
  2. Child Protection and other Policies: The Club has adopted relevant policies as set out in Appendix 8 and all members must comply with these.
  3. Members with medical or physical conditions which could impact on the safety of themselves or of other group members must disclose these to the Paddle Leader at or before the group briefing

8. DBS Screening

Supervisors and relevant Coaches/helpers/volunteers are subject to DBS clearance in accordance with British Canoeing guidelines.  The Committee reviews DBS requirements at least half yearly.

9. Potential Claims on the British Canoeing 3rd Party public liability policy

All members have the benefit of 3rd party public liability insurance arranged by BC, whilst on Club Activities or Regulated Club Activities, (subject to exceptions relating to coaching/leadership in a commercial context). Whilst paddling on Peer Group Activities members will only have the benefit of the BC policy if they are individual members of BC;  in this situation membership of the Club as a body affiliated to the BC does not give the benefit of insurance.

In the event of any incident involving non-trivial injury on a Club Activity or Regulated Club Activity the Paddle Leader must complete the incident report form available from BC and Peer Group paddlers are urged to do so if an incident occurs for which they might be held liable.

10. Club equipment

The Club provides a wide range of boats and safety equipment for both inland and sea trips for use by members on a hire basis, including tow lines pump radios and flares.  It is the hirer’s responsibility to have any necessary skill set to use the equipment once borrowed and risk of loss or damage rests with the hirer.  Equipment can be hired/ returned to the Club containers by arrangement with any key holder (details from the Secretary).  Advance bookings can be made via the hire book in the container or, in the case of some of the boats, via the booking form on the website.


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