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British Canoeing Canoe Slalom International Panel statement – Covid-19 Update

Tuesday 10 November 2020

This is an interim update from the International Panel (IP) following the conclusion of the consultation process on the draft 2021 selection policies and in response to the challenges presented to training by ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.

The panel would firstly like to say thank you to all those that took the time to provide feedback on the draft policies and contribute to the final shaping of the policies. The IP has met to consider the feedback and is preparing a final draft for approval by British Canoeing governance committee prior to publication in December 2020. A full summary of the themes that emerged through the consultation will be provided alongside the policy when it is published.

What has become clear since the draft policy was prepared for consultation in early September is that the landscape regarding Covid-19 has deteriorated very rapidly over the past weeks with different restrictions coming into force in each Home Nation including a recent ‘firebreak’ lockdown in Wales and a National lockdown in England.

The panel acknowledges the challenges facing athletes all over the country as various restrictions remain in force and whilst significant effort had been put in to secure wider access to the Lee Valley Whitewater Centre, it is clear that there may continue to be restrictions in place throughout the winter and into spring 2021. The IP recognises that these present significant challenges to athletes, coaches, parents and clubs in preparing for selection.

For this reason the IP have determined that subject to the ongoing Covid-19 situation, the following changes will be applied when the policy is published in December: 

  • GBR U23 & Junior Team selection will take place separately from senior team selection ideally in May 2021 to allow more time to prepare for the selection on the preferred location of Holme Pierrepont.
  • GBR Senior team selection 2020 will take place at Lee Valley on 27/28 March 2021 as outlined in the draft policy document.

It remains clear that challenges caused by Covid-19 is ongoing and the IP will now continue to work with the slalom committee to firm up 2021 calendar proposals which will not be agreed until the 2020 ACM.

A number of other adjustments have been proposed in response to consultation feedback which will be shown when the policy is published but given the challenges presented by the current Home Nation restrictions, the IP wanted to share the above information.