Lessons Learned from organising an event during Covid restrictions

U23 and Junior Selection – 22/23 May 2021

Two documents were prepared in advance of the event:

Covid Risk Assessment – Identified and mitigated risks to acceptable levels.

Competitor, Supporter and Volunteer Brief – Incorporated mitigations and communicated to all persons attending the event. Distribution was via email from the Canoe Slalom Entries data. This included links to the WhatsApp and online results so people could connect prior to the event.

Both documents were sent to the local Safety Advisory Group. British Canoeing were very helpful in developing both documents and liaising with the Safety Advisory Group https://www.hse.gov.uk/event-safety/safety-advisory-groups.htm

Particular areas that needed mitigation: refer to RA for further details.

Demonstration Runs

Demonstration runs by section were seen as impractical, as they would involve athletes crowding together. Instead, one hour of full run demos was provided to spread athletes and coaches out both in distance and time. Athletes and coaches had to wear masks during this period.

Control, Results, Notices

To avoid people needing or wanting to come to control, no paper results or notices were displayed. All results were available online and the link was distributed prior to the event. Simply Slalom can now do this by FTP to an FTP server.

WhatsApp was used to communicate. The group had 3 administrators who could post. Anyone could connect using the link, but could not post. All communication including Official Results, Protests, Notices, requests for volunteers, timings etc went on Whatsapp. Limited use of Tannoy was required. This was very useful and popular.

Care was taken to apply measures to protect those working on the timing system in control.


We didn’t allow changing in/near the toilet areas. Opened windows and doors. Provided hand gel.


As a last point, we were generally very pleased by the way attendees at the event responded to the restrictions we had to implement. There will always be a small minority who don't, and we used marshals to try to encourage people to comply where we could.

Thank you to all those who attended and were able to enjoy the first event of 2021.

Dave Royle