Worcester Rowing Club blade

Club Update May 20th

Dear Members,

Further to my previous communication, the Management Committee have now met and discussed the recent relaxation of certain restrictions associated with the current Covid 19 pandemic. As one of the first sports to be allowed to resume, there is a huge responsibility put on the volunteer members of your club to ensure any rowing is conducted in a safe and accountable manor. There is also a responsibility on you, the members, to prevent contamination and spread of the virus – social distancing and scrupulous hygiene are paramount to this. We have taken into account the latest advice and guidance issued by the Government, British Rowing and the Canal and River Trust. We will continue to review any further guidance and clarifications issued by the Government and tighten or relax these rules accordingly.

Whilst Worcester Rowing Club remains officially closed, the club is working on procedures and a safety plan to allow some WRC members to make a phased return to rowing.

By no means should anyone feel pressure to resume rowing. Any return to rowing is for exercise and not for full on training. The rowing world is a different place at the moment, with the fitness training taking place off the water and not on it anymore.  People classified as vulnerable by the Government will need to decide themselves if they want to come to the club.

We needed a small cross section of the membership to trial our new procedures on, so we will be inviting members with their own private boats to row from Saturday 23rd May.  This will be known as Phase 1.

We are looking to trial this for the next 2 weeks before rolling out Phase 2, which will expand to mean members can use private single sculls, club sculls, and club doubles/pairs if both crew members are from the same household.

Please contact me (anna_l_singleton@hotmail.com) to register your interest now in taking out a single or household pair/double for Phase 2. We will be undertaking a competency assessment and you will need granted permission to request access to boats.

If you are showing any symptoms of coronavirus or if you or any of your household are self-isolating, you should stay at home.

Phase One

British Rowing Guidance: Affiliated Clubs may, if they wish/are able to, allow members to use club/shared boats (in addition to private boats) from their facilities.

Open Facilities: Boathouse for private single sculls and blades only. Everything else out of bounds.

Coaching: Permitted on a 1:1 basis, based on bank coaching only. No launch use.

Member Responsibility: To arrive at the club in kit and ready to row. To bring their own 70% or higher alcohol hand gel to use before and after coming into contact with common touch points. To take a mobile phone with them in the boat.

Club Responsibility: To provide clearly labelled and appropriate cleaning products, signage to remind about social distancing and hand washing.

Equipment Cleaning: Boat hull, inside and out – spray and wipe with disinfectant; seats – spray and wipe with disinfectant; shoes – spray with disinfectant; blade handles – spray and wipe with disinfectant. This is a minimum. If you touch any other equipment, such as trestles or any other part of the boat they all must be cleaned too.

Boating Protocol: Message the Captain to say when you are going out, message the Captain at the end of your outing to say you have returned safely. Make sure the landing stage is clear before coming in to boat off.

To be absolutely clear:

What will be permitted

  • Use of private sculling boats and private sculls by the owner or members of the owners household only

What will not be permitted

  • Use of any club boats
  • Use of any motorised launches
  • Use of the clubhouse, changing rooms, kitchen, toilets upstairs
  • Group gatherings of more than 2 people, whilst maintaining 2m distance
  • Travelling to the club in a vehicle with members of different households

There are a new set of rules in place at the Rowing Club now. Please contact me and ask if something isn’t clear. I cannot stress enough how integral following these rules are for the club to be able to remain open. Key points are as follows:

  • There are no safety boats on the water. You must be competent to self-recover should you capsize.
  • We advocate a buddy system where you arrange to go out at the same time as another person, maintaining social distancing at all times if they are not from your household.
  • There is no access to any of the usual club facilities, just the main boathouses through the roller shutter doors.
  • You must bring your own 70% or above alcohol hand sanitiser with you. The club will provide cleaning equipment, but feel free to also bring your own. You must clean all equipment you touch like your life depends on it.
  • There will be a green bucket of ‘clean’ cloths, when you have finished cleaning place your cloth into the red bucket marked ‘dirty’. Use these with the pre mixed spray bottles of disinfectant.
  • There will be hand sanitiser inside the boathouses, please use this as frequently as necessary.
  • Be mindful the waterways have not been maintained and there will most likely be obstructions in the water, also being mindful of nesting birds.
  • Hi-vis is still essential. Make sure you have this with you or else you are not permitted to boat.
  • Strictly only 2 people allowed in each boat bay at any one time. If you arrive and there are already 2 people there, you must wait outside the boathouse maintaining a 2m distance from the door until it is clear to enter.
  • Be mindful of social distancing on the landing stage, priority is given to crews trying to boat off.

Thank you for your continued patience. It’s important we get this right first time as I am sure we are all well aware – there are no second chances with this virus.
Anna Singleton