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Whilst it’s not the most glamorous part of organising an event, there are certain areas of compliance that are important to consider. Getting these things right from the outset will help to keep everyone involved with the event safe and protected.

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Data Protection

In 2018, the laws around the collection and processing of data were updated via the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018. These changes impacted on every sector, including sport.

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When organising an event, there are a number of different reasons why you may need to collect personal data. For instance, personal data may be collected when:

  1. People register to attend an event (name, address, contact details).

  2. People compete in events (name, address, contact details, emergency contact details, relevant medical details, competition results).

  3. People purchase tickets to an event (might include name, contact details, address, card details).

  4. People participate in other activities at events (name, address, contact details, emergency contact details, parental consent).

  5. People register their email/address for the purpose of receiving marketing/promotional material.

  6. People are photographed or videoed at an event.

Whenever you collect and process personal data you must be satisfied that you have a legal basis to do so. In this respect, it must fall within one of the six legal reasons outlined in the relevant data protection legislation. These are as follows:

  • You have proof of consent from the person whose data you are processing.
  • You need to process the data for contractual reasons. 
  • You need to process the data to meet a legal obligation.
  • You need to process the data for the vital interests of the data subject or of another natural person.
  • You need to process the data because it is in the public interest to do so.
  • You have a legitimate interest in processing the data.

More detailed information on how these categories might apply with regards to the data you may gather when organising an event can be found in the information document below or in this Guide to the GDPR for Sports Clubs

An example of a data privacy statement is included below. 

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Data Privacy Policy

Under Data Protection law, you must also outline to individuals at the point you collect their data how, why and for what purpose you are collecting their data. This is best achieved in a Data Privacy Policy or Data Privacy Statement.

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This statement should include:

  • Your purpose for collecting and processing their personal data;
  • What personal data you are gathering;
  • The lawful basis for processing their data;
  • How long their data will be stored for;
  • Any security mechanisms in place with regards to the data;
  • Any third parties the data may be shared with - consider whether some data will be shared publicly, e.g. if you are publishing results;
  • The rights available to individuals in respect of the processing;
  • The right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority.

Further information on what information you need to provide to people when gathering their data in different circumstances can be found via the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). You can also find out more about British Canoeing’s overall approach to privacy and data protection, including our privacy notices, policies and contact details, in our Privacy Centre.

Membership and Insurance

British Canoeing clubs, RDTs and discipline committees  are covered to organise events through the British Canoeing Public and  Products Liability insurance.

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British Canoeing individual members also have this cover so can participate in any event. They also have a  waterways license as part of their membership so can paddle on any waterways which require it. 

Members of affiliated clubs are insured for recognised sessions and activities of that club, including events that the club organises.

Members of other affiliated clubs or paddlers who are not members of British Canoeing who wish to participate in an event will need to purchase a day ticket to participate. They will not however have a waterways license so this may need to be sourced elsewhere. 

If an event, e.g. a club open day, is open to members of the public who are not members of British canoeing but who may be interested in joining , individuals are insured for a maximum of 6 initial "taster" sessions. 

For indemnity to apply it is essential that the club records their name, address and dates of attendance. These details must be retained as they may be called upon in the event of a claim.


Everyone has a duty to protect clean sport.  We want to know when we compete or watch sport that it’s the real deal - that there is integrity in sport.  Cheating in any form undermines the spirit of sport and the efforts of clean athletes.

British Canoeing works in partnership with UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) and the International Canoe Federation (ICF) to ensure that the integrity of our sport is protected.

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British Canoeing encourages everyone to share the message of Clean Sport.  If you would like some resources or are interested in running a workshop for participants, please contact Gemma Wiggs, Anti-Doping Lead Officer ([email protected]).  For more information on British Canoeing’s Paddle Clean programme visit: This includes club resources and guidance on the basics of anti-doping.

UK Anti-Doping and the International Canoe Federation manage the testing of athletes and select which events to test at.  It is likely that they will turn up unannounced and will make themselves known to the Event Organiser.  If Doping Control Officers do turn up to test they will liaise with you to identify where best to undertake the testing.  Ideally, a disabled toilet with a room close by to do the administration.  You don't need to pre-plan this but just be aware that testing of any British Canoeing member can take place at any time in accordance with British Canoeing, UK Anti-Doping and ICF rules.