Safety & Security

As with any sport, safety is of paramount importance to all participants. Being a water sport, all crew members, including the drummer and sweep, must be water-confident and be able to swim at least 50m unassisted in paddling clothing. It is compulsory for all Aoraki crews, during both on-the-water training sessions and competitive events, to wear an approved-standard PFD.

When on the water, before paddling away from shore, both at training sessions and during race events, it should be routine practice for crews to number off and buddy-up with their partner. In the event of capsize, partnered crew members need to look after each other. Note that, because of their inherent dangers, capsize drills should not be undertaken.

Team managers should establish details of any medication that may be required by crew members whilst training (such as inhalers, insulin, heart sprays, etc.). Identify any trained first aiders in your team and BYO first aid kit. Additionally, team managers must record details of next of kin in case there is a medical emergency while training or racing.

Given our changeable weather, team managers should warn crews at the start of the season to have suitable clothing both for paddling and when back on dry land. Crew members should be under no illusions about getting wet while training and racing! In warm conditions, a short-sleeved top + board shorts + water sports shoes/jandals should be sufficient on the water. In colder conditions, a thermal top and a windbreaker may be more suitable on top. Paddlers should avoid baggy clothes and long-legged trousers; theyll become cumbersome once wet, and dangerous if you capsize.

For sun protection, cheap sunglasses (or securely-held expensive ones!) along with a peaked cap can be used, along with the ever-essential high-factor sunscreen. Crew members may want to carry water bottles on the boat during training; please make sure they take them away when they leave.

When back off the water, crew members should have a towel to dry themselves and warm dry clothes to change into, along with a waterproof bag to carry wet paddling gear.

Aoraki Dragons has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to alcohol and drug abuse. NO alcohol, nor drugs for non-medicinal purposes, may be consumed within the 12 hours prior to dragon boating. In the event of any individual being caught breaking this rule during training or competition, the entire team may be either suspended from training or disqualified from the competition; with a follow-up appearance before the Board for disciplinary action.

Aoraki events are smoke-free. Smoking and vaping will only be permitted in designated areas (where these exist already at venues). Note also that Christchurch City Council parks and reserves are within smoke free policy areas (including Lake Rua and Childrens Bay, Akaroa).

To keep our expensive equipment safe and secure for all teams to enjoy the use of, we ask that all teams take precautions with the locks to our gated compounds and lock-ups. When you take equipment out or put it back, please make sure you lock up after yourselves. Please also keep an eye out for any suspicious-looking activity around the facilities. Weve had a number of instances of facilities being left unlocked and of break-ins. Keep bags and valuables in cars, out of sight and make sure cars are locked during training sessions and during events. At the end of training sessions and events, please make sure that all team rubbish is removed pack-in, pack-out.

We are kaitiaki (guardians) of the areas we use and need to treat them with respect, leading the way for future generations to enjoy.