Canoe Kayak Canada announces updated Sprint Code of Safety

June 18, 2019


The Sprint Racing Council (SRC) of Canoe Kayak Canada (CKC) annouced today the approval of an updated On-Water Sprint Code of Safety (linked here) developed for member Clubs and Divisions of the Sprint community. Safety is the number one priority of our organization and this objective is firmly reflected in the new 2019 Sprint Racing Code of Safety. 

The last major update to the CKC Sprint Code of Safety was conducted over ten years ago. In 2017, the CKC Domestic Development Committee (DDC), a subcommittee of the SRC, began an extensive 18-month review, working alongside policy and legal experts from The Sport Law and Strategy Group. During this process, CKC Athlete, Official, Coach and Divisional representatives were consulted as well as additional community coaches and officials. Medical advice was also received from CKC Medical Officer, Dr. Don Mackenzie. 

Following this extensive review, the SRC adopted the 2019 Sprint Code of Safety, which takes effect Thursday, June 20, 2019. 

“As the Chair of the Domestic Development Committee, I’m proud of the hard work put forth by our technical advisory group and partners in our paddling communities in updating our Code of Safety. We have set our safety standards high,” said L.A Schmidt.  “We are committed to conducting annual reviews of this Code in an ongoing effort to ensure the highest level of safety for our paddlers, coaches, officials and volunteers at our clubs, provinces and national levels.”  

The Sprint Code of Safety has also been updated in its format to provide both simplicity and greater clarity with a focus on minimum safety requirements for Regattas and Training. It also outlines responsibilities related to on-water safety for all Sprint Clubs and Participants. This formatting change has resulted in a more user-friendly experience. Further Information and guidelines are hyperlinked throughout and will be further supported by a separate Guidelines document - currently under development. 

Key updates and changes within the 2019 Sprint Code of Safety

  • Definition of Competition Period and related safety requirements  
  • New Extreme Heat and Humidity Guidelines including the use of Wet Bulb Globe Temperature to asses risk to participants. Importantly humidex levels are included to allow for a comparable standard without the use of new equipment   
  • Club Safety Officer Role Clarified and a requirement for Clubs to designate someone to this role by June 30, 2019  
  • All U10, U12, U14 and U16 athletes, as defined by the CKC Sprint Competition Rules, must wear a non-inflatable  Government of Canada approved PFD while engaged in any on-water activity   
  • Reaffirmed (updated/passed in 2018) that all Coaches, Officials and On-Water Volunteers must wear a Government of Canada approved PFD while engaged in any on-water activity 

The DDC and the SRC have also committed to a new annual review to ensure regular and timely evaluation of the Sprint Code of Safety. This will include consultation with member clubs and an annual on-water safety report to the sprint membership at the CKC annual summit. This review will also include a debrief on the newly adopted code and any learnings from this new approach in 2019. 

CKC will be hosting a Webinar designed for Club Commodores and Safety Officers on Tuesday, June 25 at 4:30 p.m. (PST). Key elements of the updated code will be highlighted, the club safety officer role will be explained, followed by a Q&A session. To register for this webinar please follow this link to the event brite registration

CKC would like to thank all of the stakeholders who contributed to such a critically important safety initiative. For further questions on the 2019 Sprint Code of Safety, please contact your Divisional Flag Officer or relevant SRC representative or Director of Development, Ian Mortimer.

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Canoe Kayak BC is the Provincial Sport Organization for the paddle sports and actively encourages and provides opportunities to enjoy, participate and excel in them. Members include competitive athletes, developing athletes, enthusiasts, coaches, officials, administrators and supporters of the sport. The association's mission enourages and promotes personal growth and success for our members through participation and performance in paddle sports.

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