Paddlesports during Covid-19

The Group, like all scouts in England, have spent a lot of 2020 in lockdown. fortunatly from August to December we could meet face to face. This did not come without a great number of restrictions. We all had to write and get approved a Covid-19 risk assesment including cleaning, social distancing, track and trace, etc. We were restricted to only 15 young people at a meeting, with only 5 adults, meeting outside to start with.

For paddlesports this involved introducing new procedures, pre-registering, no swopping boats, cleaning boats and kit after every session, and the one the young people did not like was no group games.

To try and give the young people as close as the normal summer season, the instructing team put on a variety of sessions twice a week throughout August and the first half of September before the nights drew in. As we could not carry out the normal coaching at tilgate due to the need of avioding capsizes, we spread out further and paddles the Wey & Arun Canal, The River Arun, and the River Medway.

The last river trip of 2020 was back on the Wey & Arun Canal where we started the season. For a lot of the young people this was the best trip because it was peer led, meaning no adults paddled in the group. The other interesting comments that came from the young people was that they prefered the river trips to the coaching sessions at the lake.

The paddlesports instructors are now looking forward to providing a great 2021 season. We have planned our normal training fun sessions at Tilgate along with a number of river trips around Sussex, Surrey, Kent and London. This will all depend on the Covid-19 restrictions, currently we are allowed to meet face to face again from the end of March, but the day trips will only be able to go ahead when the Scout Association allows us.