Rowing ACT COVID-19 update 23 March 2020

Yesterday the Federal Government announced new restrictions on social gatherings in Australia, with gyms and indoor sporting venues closed down from midday Monday 23 March. The ACT Government also announced on Sunday they would be temporarily closing down all non-essential activities and businesses in line with the Federal Government advice. Rowing ACT has also sought further advice on closures from ACT Government Sport & Recreation.

Tonight Rowing Australia has strongly advised all rowing clubs in Australia to suspend operations and that members of our rowing community seek alternative ways of training that comply with Government restrictions.

Following on from these decisions Rowing ACT strongly advises that local rowing clubs and schools cease operations immediately.

This has been an extremely difficult decision, made with reference to the duty of care Rowing ACT has towards local rowers and their health and well-being while out on the water. In line with Federal and ACT Government directions there is also a duty of care to reduce possible transmissions to the wider community.

To this end, the on-water component of the Rowing ACT/ACTAS High Performance Program has also been shut down, with athletes to train from home from Tuesday 24 March. Rowing ACT administrative staff have been working from home for the last week and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Separate to this, the ACT Government has advised Rowing ACT that the only potential form of rowing allowed at present would be single sculls. This cannot be an organised club activity.

Rowing ACT advises that should individuals choose to row privately-owned & stored single sculls they do so at their own risk as we cannot guarantee their safety, and should:

  • check the status of their personal insurance as they may not be covered by club insurance at this time;
  • ensure that they have sufficient experience in a single scull given the cooler temperatures;
  • do not row if you would be considered particularly at-risk or associate with people who are at-risk from the COVID-19;
  • and in line with Rowing Australia advice consider rowing with another single, while maintaining sufficient social distancing both on and off water.

We recommend that all clubs confirm their insurance arrangements and their workplace health and safety responsibilities in determining if it is acceptable for people to boat privately-owned singles from their boatsheds.

We remain here to support our local rowing community and we will do what we can during this difficult time. We will continue to update the community as things change.

Should you have any questions about this then please don’t hesitate to contact Rowing ACT at eo@rowingact.org.au.