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COVID-19 - An update from the Chief Operating Officer

Posted: 11 May 2020

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The latest announcement from the Scottish Government has made it clear that the current lockdown has been extended.  Whilst the latest advice has increased the amount of daily exercise permitted, guidance around the type of exercise and travel restrictions remain unchanged.  Consequently, there is no change to our current advice to all clubs and members of Scottish Rowing that all rowing activity should be suspended.

I can’t remember such a sustained period of blue skies and flat water and I know that many of you will be frustrated at being unable to get on the water, but we have a collective responsibility to continue to act in the wider public interest and support the efforts and sacrifices being made by frontline workers.

Looking to the future, the Scottish Rowing staff team are developing contingent plans for a “Return to Rowing” in preparation for the eventual release from lockdown, however we await more detailed guidance from Scottish Government to inform this work.  Although I am meeting regularly with British and Welsh Rowing to ensure our plans are, as far as possible, aligned across the UK, there may be differences in timing and/or detail.  We are also in regular communication with sportscotland, Scottish Government/Active Scotland Division and other governing bodies to ensure our approach is consistent with other sports and supports the Scottish Government’s Public Health objectives. This collaborative approach is critical if our plans are to have wider support and recognition.

It is clear that social distancing measures look likely to be in place for some time and it will take time to work through the details of how we can safely get back on to the water.  We do not underestimate the responsibility that will be placed on clubs and club officials and the work necessary to plan, implement and maintain appropriate social/physical distancing and hygiene procedures within a club setting to ensure they can operate safely and within the guidelines.  With this in mind, we need to be prepared for the reality that a return to full training and competition may still be some way off and we are working on how best to support clubs through these challenges.

We are as keen as anyone for members to be able to participate once more in our sport and are ensuring that rowing’s voice is heard alongside the rest of the sports sector however, any plans and decisions made will be made in the best interests of the health and safety of our members, and will be based on the advice issued by the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland.

Thank you for your continued patience and support at this difficult time.

Any changes or updates will be communicated directly to clubs and published on our website.