Nakkertok Racing Program Safety Practices

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Nakkertok Racing Safety Practices
Overall Approach
The safety of our athletes is the primary consideration in our program design and practice
planning. All coaches, and parents on safety duty, are responsible for ensuring that
practice sites are safe for all participants.
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Practice plans need to incorporate safety considerations – specifically discussing
the weather conditions, terrain, footing, lighting and minimum resources (staff
coaches, volunteer coaches, safety parents, etc.) required to safely run the practice
– resource needs will vary depending on the type of practice and the age of the
skiers.
Coaches, whether they are staff coaches or volunteer coaches, need to participate
in the go/no-go decisions regarding the safety of training locations for the planned
training activities.
Cancelling practice IS an option if we are unable to ensure the safety of the
athletes.
The program is not a drop-off program. Parents/Guardians/Drivers are to be
available for their children in cases of inclement weather, cold and at minimum
MUST stay at the practice location until they have heard the practice go/no-go
decision and/or any other practice changes. If weather changes
Parents/Guardians/Drivers are to return as soon as possible.
Injured skiers
Each racing program is to have first aid kits available at every practice session. The first
aid kit(s) can be either carried by a coach/ safety parent or made available at a commonly
known location. If an athlete is injured during practice they are to be assessed by a coach
or safety parent. Depending on the severity of the injury and the age of the skier,
different courses of action are to be taken. For T2T and Racing Rabbits the participation
of parents as safety support is critical to ensuring the overall safety of all the athletes.
In the case of a serious injury – unconsciousness, broken limbs, severe bleeding etc…
911 is to be called or if in Gatineau park call the Gatineau park emergency number 613
239 5353 and the skier to be given emergency first aid to keep them comfortable and
warm. In some cases due to location of training it may be better to transport the athlete
directly to hospital. If the athlete’s parents are not available, the athlete should have two
adults in the vehicle at all times one driving and one administering to the athlete. The
parents are to be called immediately. An incident report form will need to be filled out in
the case of serious injury, if in doubt fill out the form. The form is available on the CCC
website.
In the case of minor injury/cold – for racing rabbits, they shall not be left alone until they
can return to training or they are safely in the Nakkertok chalet or other suitable location.
In the case of T2T athletes, they need to be assessed and treated by an adult and may be
accompanied by an adult until they can return to training or to the chalet or other
location. In the case of L2C/T2C athletes and older they need to be assessed by a coach
and they can decide the course of action to be taken together. Parents are to be informed
of any injury as soon as possible.
In the case of serious injury during or outside of practices, coaches need to be informed
of medical consent that the athlete can return to training.
Thunder Storms
Due to the nature of our training locations the first course of action if to move athletes to
as safe a locations as possible. As guidance coaches are to use the Flash to Bang method
to monitor lightning for practices. With this method the seconds are counted from the
time a flash of lightning is seen until a clap of thunder is heard. When this number is 30
seconds or less, practices shall be moved as best as possible to a safer environment.
Lightning awareness should begin with the first flash of lightning seen or thunder clap
heard.
Large enclosed structures (substantially constructed buildings) tend to be much safer than
smaller or open structures. If however, such a building is not available, fully enclosed
vehicles such as cars, trucks, buses, vans, fully enclosed farm vehicles, etc. with the
windows rolled up provide good shelter from lightning. Never stand under trees, in an
open field or under an umbrella. In the case of roller-skiing/trail running coaches need to
move athletes to the safest environment under the circumstances as soon as possible –
this means avoiding exposed locations and/or highest points of land/trees in the area.
Practice should not resume at the planned location until you are past the 30 second flash
to bang time period.
Road Safety
Due to the high traffic levels, speed and lack of visibility the Nakkertok groups: T2T and
Racing Rabbits will not use Meech Lake road – for running, biking etc,, Alternate
starting locations and routes will be used. Other racing groups – L2C and T2C are able to
use the road provided they run on the shoulder of the road facing traffic.
When planning practices please take into consideration other users of the trails, roads and
facilities. As a large club we have to be conscious that our numbers are visible and have
the ability to completely overwhelm training locations. Consideration includes:
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Doing a reconnaissance of new locations to ensure suitability for our groups –space,
lighting and footing
Contacting other programs and facility users to plan and or schedule use of certain terrain
and spaces
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On the parkways ensuring that roads and trails are not cut off or otherwise blocked by our
use :
o ensuring that large numbers of athletes are kept to the side of the road
o time trials and other events leave an obvious through path for other users
possibly involving parents as safety marshals
Night Safety
We have received many comments over the years about visibility of our athletes at night.
We as parents and coaches are responsible for their safety. We need to be aware of the
visibility implications of practicing at night and adjust activities accordingly – athletes
situational awareness decreases significantly in the dark. ALL Nakkertok athletes and
coaches will wear some sort of night light, visible in the upper body area, when training
at night. This is not only for their safety but also for the safety of other users. We have
had several actual and near collisions over the years. The Nakkertok program will
provide the first light as part of the program fees.
Roller Skiing Safety
Roller skiing is a critical component of the training program for T2T, L2T and T2C
athletes. All athletes and their parents need to read and sign the roller skiing guidelines
form on the Racing Program website. This form outlines safe practices for roller skiing.
Coaches need to ensure that their athletes are adhering to these guidelines and a
practicing safe roller skiing at all times.
 All roller skiers MUST wear helmets at all times
 First year roller skiers will participate in a comprehensive learn-to –roller ski
program given by the T2T coaches. This program will include drills to improve
balance on skis legs-only, stopping techniques, learning how to fall, developing
confidence on downhill’s and overall improving agility on roller-skis. Coaches
will give this program in August and September of each year and incorporate this
program into the practice plans.
 Additional protective gear should be considered especially for novice roller-skiers
– with a focus on wrist guards and covering clothing.
Further information can be found on the CCC website regarding roller skiing safety.
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