KENNEL CLUB BOARD STATEMENT: KENNEL CLUB EVENTS
Following the statement made by The Kennel Club at the beginning of July, the Kennel Club Board would like to continue to reassure competition organisers, exhibitors and competitors that our sports committees remain committed to working on solutions to help enable shows, competitions and other events to resume as and when they can and it is safe for them to do so.
The Kennel Club appreciates the frustrations felt and experienced in trying to get events to recommence, but we are limited in giving specific direction due to the lack of clarity over the types of event which can take place. We are in regular contact with the Government, some of whose guidance is not always clear-cut, and will make a statement as and when we receive specific advice. We have been proactive within our remit to relax and suspend a range of competition regulations to assist clubs and societies with their risk assessments which are essential before a decision is made as to whether an event should go ahead.
Indeed, we have seen the cancellation of large events very recently, which has served to highlight the level of frustration felt by so many and we must acknowledge the tremendous efforts made by clubs and societies in attempting to stage such events during these turbulent times.
If societies want to go ahead with a show or trial the planning must be done with the utmost care to ensure that all participants are safe and measures are put in place to mitigate the transmission of Covid-19. Currently one of the most important aspects of event planning is to as far as possible ensure the club/society’s finances can carry the cost of any last minute cancellation due to a local authority imposed lockdown and can cope with the additional equipment needed to make their event Covid secure.
Large events in particular make a very serious and huge financial commitment well in advance of being staged, often with substantial non-refundable deposits involved, so this too must be borne in mind.
All risk assessments are unique to each event and venue, taking this into account we can share a range of headings which must be considered within a risk assessment. The purpose of which is to ensure that all reasonable steps are taken to mitigate the risk of transmission of Covid-19 and to implement social distancing amongst participants. These include:
Be flexible and adaptable
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One of the most important considerations is to think of the impact on financial planning, for example reduced capacity in respect of entries or spectators, local lockdowns and cancellation and the additional costs of signage, hygiene and cleaning measures required as well as all the pre financial costs in running an event.
The sorts of measure to take into account include:
The social distancing parameters 2m/1m (with mitigation), 10m2 per person density, ‘last mile’ (zone around event venue) and the effect on its local amenities such as hotels, campsites, pubs etc
Entrance/exit, queue management, pinch points – congestion, crowd density/capacity, ring management, touch points (shared equipment etc), ventilation (indoor venues), hygiene, catering, toilets, PPE masks
Individuals you need to think about - competitors/exhibitors, veterinary cover (if applicable to the event), judges, stewards, visitors, and any trade stand holders
Arrangements for ‘Test and Trace’
Regular contact with the Local Authority where the show/trial is taking place is considered essential especially in the run up to the event. The Local Authority will need to know the venue size, anticipated numbers of participants (exhibitors, traders, officials, dogs etc.) so that it can locally risk-assess in terms of the then current Covid-19 rates, other local events and amenities in and around the area.
Tony Allcock OBE, Kennel Club Chairman, said: “The Board would like to acknowledge the tremendous efforts being made by Kennel Club staff, many of them working remotely due to the current pandemic which has generated a vast number of enquiries. Event management and planning also involves a huge amount of work including liaison with associated bodies, all of which has been dealt with in a very efficient way often under very challenging circumstances.
“The Board shares the anguish and frustrations of the dog world with this enforced halt of our beloved hobbies; the same sentiment is being expressed by many involved in other similar competitive leisure activities. However, the overriding concern for all at this time is to keep people safe. We have sympathy with those trying to arrange events, large or small, and cannot stress enough the importance of keeping abreast of the Government’s guidance which is regularly changing and Local Authority consultation is essential. We are continuing to liaise with Government but in the meantime there is a range of advice and guidance for clubs and societies on our website for those which are considering running a show or trial.”