Tonbridge Canoe Club

Tonbridge Canoe Club activities during the Coronavirus pandemic


British Canoeing have issued revised advice to clubs regarding use of club facilities. This means we can now allow members access to the boatstore and start to have some paddling activity at the club for those of you that want to.

As we start using the club, we will of course have to respect the Government guidelines on social distancing, not gathering in groups, and hand sanitising. This also means there will be no access to the changing rooms, toilets and social room, so you will need to arrive ready to paddle and probably leave a bit damp.

We are running trial open sessions for members on Saturday mornings from 9.30am to 12.30pm. However these will not be the normal ‘turn up when you fancy and do whatever you want’ sessions. We must limit the number of members on site at any time and you will need to book an arrival time in advance following the instructions in the guidance circulated to members, state what boat you will want to use, and then follow the instructions of the session supervisor when you arrive. The committee will regularly review these sessions and adapt the guidelines and booking process as necessary.

A document giving details of the guidelines and conditions for paddling can be found here: Club Procedure.

The club will provide hand sanitiser and equipment cleaning spray at the clubhouse, but please bring some hand sanitiser of your own to clean your hands before you arrive, and after you have left the club.

There is a new combination for the main boat store locks and keyholders will need to follow the instructions in the guidance circulated to members to be given the new code.

What all this means for you:

Keyholders with their own equipment - this means that once you have the new door code, you will be able to access the boatstore as normal, to paddle when you wish to outside of club session times. You will need to book an arrival time if you want to paddle on Saturday mornings. Club guidelines are clear on your responsibilities for the cleaning of the locks etc when you arrive and leave which you MUST follow for your safety, and also the safety of the members using the after you. Please clean the contact points on your own equipment after use in case another member needs to move it in the clubhouse for some reason.

Keyholders who wish to use club equipment - All the above points apply, plus we strongly recommend you sanitise all the contact points on any club equipment you want to use BEFORE you use it, and you must do so AFTER using it.

Non-keyholders - you will be able to attend a Saturday morning session as usual, subject to there being sufficient capacity in the booking system for arrival times. If the plan for Saturday open sessions works effectively, then we will hope to shortly add other weekly sessions to give you more paddling opportunities, such as a weekday evening.

Junior members - we’d like to be able to get you back on river too but the requirement for you to be accompanied by an adult on the water makes that especially difficult to organise. If you can arrange to paddle with an adult club member from your family, or another adult club member you know, then that will be fine. If you do want to paddle at the club and you normally just join in with a group, that’s the difficult bit that’s not allowed at the moment, so for the time being you’re not going to be able to paddle. We’ll get you back on the water as soon as we can.

Guests and new members - unfortunately we won’t be able to welcome new members to the club until we can start running our introductory courses again. Now is also not the time to be bringing guests to the club, so please don’t bring friends or relatives down for a paddle if they are not already members, no matter how tempting that might be.

Courses and organised on the water activities - are currently not permitted by British Canoeing as they generally require close contact and group paddling. All our intended courses for this year have been postponed until further notice but hopefully we will have time to run them later in the year.

As with everything else we do at the moment everybody’s safety depends on all of us doing our bit to stop the virus spreading. Whether you are paddling at a Saturday club session or at another time it is imperative that you follow the Government and Club guidelines, particularly for social distancing and cleaning of equipment.

This instruction will be reviewed and further communications will be issued when new guidance becomes available.

 © 2020 Tonbridge Canoe Club