Prerequisites for Club Trips
The club has minimum criteria for joining in the Club's outdoor trips, including Tuesday evening Park and Play and Wednesday evening sea paddling. These are:
Paddle Discover (formerly 1 star) plus 4 trips with Club coaches OR
Paddle Explore (formerly 2 star) OR
Relevant previous paddling experience that can be verified by someone known to Club Coaches or Leaders.
These criteria help us to run safe trips, while ensuring that one person won’t hold back the whole group. The Club's full Trip policy and Participants Guidance can be downloaded below.
For those new to the sport, the Club does run introductory courses - and completing one of these will enable most people to join us on Club trips (they generally run in the spring, so that you can then paddle with the Club through the summer). Some of these are run by our own (volunteer) coaches, others might be organised through an external provider - but, if you do miss out on these opportunities, there are plenty of other ways to gain experience, including through some of the very good commercial providers locally.
Risk Assessment and Safety
As part of trying to promote a culture in the Club where everyone has a responsibility for their own safety while getting out and enjoying paddling, the Club's Risk Assessment policy should be read by all members before they embark on any Club activity; it can be downloaded below. This contains an Activity Specific Risk Assessment, which is intended to be a useful guide for thinking through the safety implications of a trip beforehand.
Before attending any Club event, please make sure that you either have all of the appropriate kit and safety equipment to hand, or you have arranged to hire it well in advance (see Equipment Hire; please note that, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Club boats will only be available for club events and activities in 2021).
COVID-19 update: in order to help us manage the risks around COVID-19 and ensure that the Club complies with Government/SCA guidance, we would ask all members to read the Covid19 risk assessment (see download below). This will be updated in response to any changes to the guidance - all members will be notified by email as and when any changes occur.
The latest guidance on paddling issued by the Scottish Canoe Association can be accessed here.
Contact Information for Club Events
In the event of any incident, it can be essential to have a contact number for each paddler and also emergency contact details. In the wider paddling community, a number of incidents have arisen in the past where the group has become separated and the rescue has been hampered because it has been unclear whether all paddlers were off the water. Shared contact details within the group helps avoid this situation. In the event of illness or injury, emergency contact numbers can also be useful. Members do provide such details at annual membership renewal, but they may not be appropriate to a particular day’s paddling, or may have changed.
All Club trips are now booked through WebCollect, which ensures that coaches and leaders have an up-to-date list of contact details for participants for every trip or event. It is up to participants to ensure, when booking, that the contact information they provide is correct. Participants will also be asked a simple yes/no question as to whether or not they have any medical conditions which may affect their paddling; this will highlight any potential issues to the coach/leader, but it is the responsibility of the participant to ensure that the coach/leader is aware of the details of their condition. The coach, leader or event organiser will destroy any locally held copies of that information once the event is over.
In case of any emergency, it is Club policy that each paddler equips themselves with a set of “tickets” or cards for recording essential paddler information and brings the completed tickets on each paddling trip. One “ticket” should be carried on the paddler (in your buoyancy aid) and one should be stored in your boat, somewhere it will easily be found. They can be laminated or placed in a plastic bag.