Sanctioning and Event Management for Clubs

Events are a fantastic way to promote your Waka Ama club in the community. They are a great opportunity to get more paddlers, parents or anyone involved. Majority of the work for an event is in the planning. Running events can be hard... but done properly they can be easy!

  • Planning your events

    Planning is about deciding what kind of event your club wants, be that; a sprint race, a family fun day, a long-distance event etc. There are a number of areas to cover when you are planning an event. Below are a number of simple questions to consider before the day

    • Volunteers - do you have the right people in the right places? Do you have enough volunteers to host the event? What areas need volunteers - car parking, safety boats, registration, etc
    • Communication - Can you always communicate with the race officials on and off the water? What channel should the radios be on? Have you notified the coastguard?
    • Safety - Are the conditions safe? Do you have enough support boats? Are there any other events on that day? Where is the nearest hospital? Do you have someone with a current first aid certificate on-site? 
    • Venue - Is the venue suitable? Will the toilet facilities cater for the number of people? Do you need council/iwi approval? Do you have an indoor area for a prizegiving
    • Equipment - Do you have a printer and WiFi for the day? Do you have start flags or a loud hailer? Does every support boat have a tow rope - do they know how to use it?
    • Event organisation - Do you have a registration, safety check and results process


    This part of the process is the 'doing'. Ensure you:

    • make the necessary bookings (venue hire, equipment etc)
    • confirm all bookings and arrangements
    • completed sanctioning for the event - this is easy, see flow chart below
    • confirm and allocate volunteers -  it is a good idea to recruit members from your club so everyone is involved

    Event Checklist
    This lets people know what needs to be done. Don’t forget to put in contact phone numbers for people on the day – see attached example event checklist for a Waka Ama Regatta

    Marketing and Promotion

    Promote the event through posters or flyers if relevant, the media and social media are useful avenues for promotion that are FREE. Tying your event with a relevant community event can help promote and attract potential new paddlers to the club.

    Event Preparation 
    On the day of your event remember to:
    • arrive in plenty of time to set-up
    • remember to carry out all safety and sanctioning requirements
    • advise people if there is a change of plan or if you have to revert to the contingency plan because of bad weather
    • Ensure all volunteers and paddlers are briefed before the race
    • Explain emergency procedures
    • Ensure paddlers and spectators are enjoying themselves - people will only return for another year based on their experiences

    Remember that the safety of the paddlers is paramount, keep that at the front of mind when making your decisions


         Get together and evaluate what worked really well and what could be done better next time. Take the time to review your event and think about any changes that you could make for the next one. For example:

            This is also a great time to acknowledge and thank everyone for their efforts.
            Don't forget to report back to Waka Ama NZ as part of the sanctioning process - template available online.

            - What were the successes? 

            - How could it be improved? 

            - Finally, did the event achieve its goal or purpose? 

        Eight steps to Sanctioning your Club Event

        Please note: See attached PDF for more detailed information, this guide is for Waka Ama Clubs and Regions only


        What do you need to Submit?

        • A completed and signed Sanctioning Agreement
        • Completed Event Operations and Safety Management Plan (complete with course maps)
        • Covid Policy Sanctioning Agreement
        • Draft Participant Waiver