Return to rowing – when guidance permits

Club captain Anne Purcell writes: I hope this finds you well. I’m sure like me you’ve been wishing that we could make full use of this glorious weather and get ourselves out on to the water. Sadly not yet. It’s encouraging that things are beginning to move and with the government initiating the first easing of lockdown procedures we can only hope, if things continue to improve, that future phases will follow smoothly.
I am writing to let you know that the committee has held a virtual meeting as our thoughts naturally turn to how, when the time is right, we can begin to make a return to rowing. The first thing to be clear about is that we will continue to follow government guidance on any easing of restrictions and the implications that this may have for rowing. At the moment, the only permitted activity as a club can be virtual social meetings.
Familiar faces: Virtual shed meetings are held every Saturday at 10am. Bacon rolls optional! Come along and join the fun.
In the meantime there is much we can do in the way of planning and preparation for engagement with any aspects of rowing whether that be social, maintenance or on the water activities. The Committee has convened a sub group to look at the public and environmental health issues around all of these aspects of rowing. We will need to consider our hygiene practices, maintaining physical distancing and the environmental impact of any procedures we put in place and ensure that we have completed the necessary risk assessments and developed clear guidance and protocols for members. Your safety and that of your families must come first.
Please click on this link to read and consider the latest SCRA guidance. Each club will be different in the measures put in place but in the meantime, as we enter the first phase of easing lockdown, all club activities are still suspended other than virtual meetings. I would ask all members to respect this by not entering the shed for any purpose unless it is with the prior approval of the committee. 
The sub group consists of a range of people with relevant skills and knowledge in a variety of fields – Anne F and Maria have an NHS background, Marianne has an environmental background, John will bring his vast knowledge of seamanship and latest guidance from the RYA, I am working in schools with a range of risk assessments and Covid guidance materials which will support the development of club guidance. We will also look to members to share their questions and thoughts as we must be able to reassure each other that we have considered all avenues and answered everyone’s worries adequately.
The key words here are when government guidance permits, and in the meantime we will do our best to make sure that we are ready for that day when it arrives.
It has also been decided, with regret, that we will not be holding our regatta this year. We have requested that the SCRA pencil us into the diary for the same weekend next year. Our youth regatta has also been cancelled at this time.
Take care everyone, stay safe.