Safeguarding Contacts

British Canoeing, and the Marathon Racing Committee are committed to ensuring that everyone can enjoy canoeing in a safe environment where they are protected from any form of poor practice, abuse and neglect.

If you know of a safeguarding concern or allegation, whether it has been disclosed to you by someone else, something you have witnessed or something that has been worrying you, don’t keep it to yourself – always report the concern. British Canoeing’s safeguarding contacts are:-

British Canoeing Safeguarding Lead Tel: 0115 8968842

If you have a question or concern about safeguarding in Marathon specifically, please contact the MRC’s Safeguarding Officer Kat Wilson

Safety and mutual responsibility in races

During the season so far, a number of incidents have been drawn to the attention of the MRC relating to capsizes. These may have been through instability, or lack of skill, consideration or unnecessarily aggressive behaviour on part of other paddlers.

The MRC would like to remind all paddlers, team leaders and race organisers of the following points:

  • Rule 5 iv) All paddlers are required to render assistance to other competitors in distress. – this means checking that a paddler in the water is able to cope with the situation well enough to get out of the water.
  • Rule 5 ii) Competitors must be able to swim adequately in the waters on which the race is being held. It is hoped that team leaders ensure that their paddlers know how to manage their boats when a capsize does occur, being able to swim to a place where emptying and re-entry are possible.
  • Should a paddler accidentally cause a capsize, it is expected that an apology and offer of assistance will be made.
  • Rule 6) DISCIPLINE – final paragraphRace Organisers should note the powers in clause 2.1 of the Procedures to apply immediate discipline where members or competitors have displayed violent or unreasonable behaviour. (Marathon racing is subject to British Canoeing Marathon Racing Committee Disciplinary Regulations and to British Canoeing Disciplinary Code. See
  • Race organisers are reminded that the HRM system provides the facility for them to enter time penalties or allowances. Should a paddler delay their own race to render assistance, it would be appropriate to use this. Should evidence make it clear that a paddler has refused to assist or ignored a situation that may require assistance; organisers should take measured and appropriate action.
  • It is accepted that a young junior may not be able to offer greater assistance than a tow to the bank, or staying with the paddler while they swim, but it is expected that an adult paddler will be able to offer greater assistance particularly if the swimmer is a junior.
  • Race organisers are reminded that reference to Rule 5iv) must be included in their briefing.

It is in the interest of all paddlers that they learn to look after themselves and each other in race situations and it is also expected that team leaders ensure that this is the case.


Racing and Buoyancy Aids

Those racing Waterside B at the weekend will be required to wear buoyancy aids by the race organisers.

The Marathon Racing Rules for Competition clearly state that Race Organisers have the final say as to whether buoyancy aids shall be worn, and who must wear them. The penalty for breaking this or any safety rule is disqualification.

Race Organisers may ask any competitor not complying with these requirements to withdraw, before or during the race, and to refuse to record that competitor’s time. If a paddler refuses to leave the course, he or she may be referred to the MRC for consideration of further disciplinary action, as their decision will have implications for the organisers’ ability to support the other competitors.

Our events are dependent on the consent of governing bodies like the Canal & Rivers Trust, and BCU insurance stipulations. The paddling community must ensure that these events are not put at risk by individuals ignoring the rules and race organisers.