Posted: 14 April, 2022

Scottish Rowing today publishes its new strategic plan for the next 3 years to 2025, following an extensive period of review and consultation with members, partners and stakeholders.

This plan comes after a period of significant disruption because of the COVID-19 pandemic, not only within the sport but across society.  As we rebuild after this extensive disruption to activities through the COVID-19 lockdowns, there is an increased focus on the importance of physical activity for physical and mental health and wellbeing.

Our ambitious plan sets out how rowing can play its part in helping to get people more active - whether that is through trying rowing for the first time, becoming a club member, being an athlete with aspirations to perform on the world stage or giving their time as a volunteer to help make the sport happen.

Our vision for rowing in Scotland of a welcoming and thriving rowing community encapsulates our desire to see a vibrant, more inclusive sport.   Over the next 3 years we will be targeting:

  • More people taking part in rowing in our programmes and clubs
  • More people progressing towards their goals
  • A more inclusive and diverse sport; and
  • More opportunities for people to take part and enjoy rowing right across the pathway

To achieve this, we have distilled our proposed activities into three main strategic areas.

Extending our Reach

Extending the reach of rowing, with a focus on diversity and inclusion is the first strategic priority.  Scottish Rowing is proud of being 50:50 in terms of female/male participation, but we still have much to do to widen access.  We will work to reduce or remove barriers and to build a membership more representative of the communities we operate in.

Supporting Our People

Supporting and developing the people in our sport is central to our strategic plan.  Rowing relies heavily on volunteers; as coaches, club leaders, event organisers and officials and we need to invest in them if we are to effect genuine, sustainable change and ensure the sport has a strong future.  We will do more to develop the coaches, club leaders and volunteers to secure a successful, sustainable, inclusive sport for the future.

Providing Pathways for All

We have an increasingly successful pathway to develop talent, but we need to do more to provide more opportunities for participants at all levels of the sport to enjoy, achieve and progress in rowing at their own level.  Our third strategic priority is to provide pathways for all, offering a range of options to attract and retain participants.

As of April 2022 the first step in the implementation of this new strategic plan - the realignment of the Scottish Rowing staff team to these new priority areas – is complete.

We are delighted to announce that Andy Barton, (currently Workforce Manager) will be stepping up to take on the new role of Pathways Manager.  He will work alongside Lee Boucher, who continues as Head of Performance Pathway, to ensure Scottish Rowing provides opportunities for all participants.

Erin Wyness takes on the post of Competition & Events manager and is joined in the Pathways team by Jo Pinder in her role as Membership Services Officer.  The Pathways team will be completed by the recruitment of a new Workforce Manager.

Andy Barton, Pathways Manager, said, “I am thrilled to be taking up the new position of Pathways Manager. This new role has been created to better support club rowing and provide more opportunities for rowers to enjoy rowing in different ways.

“It is important that Scottish Rowing supports clubs and individuals to diversify our sport and provides new ways to participate and compete in our sport.  I am looking forward to working with the new Pathways Team to continue to develop rowing as a vibrant and inclusive sport.”

Mark Senter is taking the lead for developing and delivering community outreach activity.  As Development Manager, Mark will be responsible for the creation of new community projects with the aim of widening access and inclusion and for supporting clubs with their own outreach programmes.

There will no longer be a regional development contact for clubs and instead Mark will be the primary contact for clubs seeking development support.

Mark Senter said, “I am delighted to be taking on this new role as Development Manager for Scottish Rowing and having the opportunity to focus on building new partnerships, new places to row and taking rowing out into the community.

“I am also looking forward to supporting our current membership clubs with their ambitions to grow, become more robust and to reach out to their wider community to increase the diversity within their organisations.”

Speaking about the launch of the new strategic plan, Amanda Cobb, Scottish Rowing COO said, “This is an ambitious plan which puts people right at the centre.  As well as demonstrating our commitment to making rowing a more inclusive sport it recognises the importance of providing opportunities for everyone involved in our sport from beginner to elite rower.

It has been great to see the staff team taking on their new roles with energy and passion and I am genuinely excited to see the progress we can make over the next three year.”

Caroline Parker, Scottish Rowing President said, “This is my first strategic plan as President of Scottish Rowing and I am delighted to see the much-needed increased focus on outreach and community activities.

“As a club rower myself, I also know the importance of ensuring all members are valued and supported.  The new focus on providing pathways for all recognises the importance of club rowing and the need to ensure the sport remains vibrant and resilient.

However, to achieve this it is vital that we support and value the volunteers across Scotland without whom rowing would not happen.”

The full strategic plan in available to read or download HERE