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4th Jul, 2022

Improvements will get more rowers back on to the water

Liam Moakes 13th Jul, 2020

THE NEXT step in Stratford Boat Club’s safe opening from pandemic restrictions allows some launch use to get more of the club’s less experienced adult rowers out on the water.

Furthermore, the club is aiming for an almost complete resumption of the adaptive programme.

Some of the new openings to ease the situation include the number of boats out at any one time to eight as a maximum, or six individuals or five plus a coach if going out together.

The club has also made some alterations to the booking system to increase capacity with the limit of one session into the future to give members as fair access as possible.

Steve Wellstead, junior co-ordinator, said: “Unfortunately at this stage we haven’t figured out a way to make junior sessions viable just yet despite a lot of head scratching!

“Launch use solves part of the problem but the national government and British Rowing limitations on group sizes (coach plus five athletes), plus boat types/displacement and availability of our volunteer coaches multiply into an unworkable puzzle thus far!

“There are simply not enough available sessions in the right hours to get each of our juniors out even once a week at present.

“We are working on this and there are a few options but it’s going to require a bit more in depth planning with the volunteers who will be contacted directly to get everyone out on to the water!”

Looking further ahead, British Rowing is writing to the government to set out the proposed framework for wider resumption of crew boats and group sizes and coxes.

Other amateur sports with more than six in a session are now being allowed, starting with club cricket this last weekend.

Stratford Boat Club will only proceed once the governing body has submitted and has had a framework approved by the government. British Rowing has suggested this will be late next week so the club will wait and see.

The club have also noted the government and British Rowing’s advice that indoor activity such as the use of the gym will likely be able to resume from July 25, subject to several extra considerations on top of distancing and hygiene measures.

The club hopes to resume indoor activity by the end of July which gives it time to implement anything new as guidance evolves.

Sadly, restrictions have led to the cancellation of the very popular Junior Summer Camps throughout August.

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