Resumption of sport activity (Rowing)

Rowing as a sport should be permitted to resume, under specific conditions
(1) only single sculling would be permitted (a single scull is a boat which can hold only one person; because of the length of the sculling blades (the oars) a separation distance of more than 2 metres is forced upon participants)
(2) social/physical distancing would be insisted upon during launching and disembarking of boats (individuals would be required to do this without assistance, which is normal) and during care and maintenance and washing of boats after outings)
(3) participants would be required to turn up already changed for sculling so that there would be no need to use changing room facilities (in the event of any urgent need to use such facilities, social/physical distancing could be enforced)

Why the contribution is important

This is an excellent idea because of certain characteristics of the sport of rowing and sculling:-
(a) it requires a high degree of discipline and develops and promotes such discipline
(b) because in normal circumstances, most participants row or scull in crew boats, it develops a high degree of team work and thus responsibility towards oneself and colleagues which would translate into responsible action during the crisis.
(c) Like all sports, it promotes health, but to a greater degree than most because it is an "all-body activity", exercising every muscle group in addition to the cardio-vascular system.
(d) Since it would be performed on the water, to which the general public would not seek access, the opportunity for chance encounters which would breach social/physical distancing rules would be extremely rare, meaning that (in combination with the isolation of each sculler even when in a group) it must be one of the sports with the greatest potential for avoiding the risk of infection.
(e) There are many young people involved in the sport who normally train assiduously and to a high standard, and this would be an opportunity for them to continue to obtain all the benefits of that training and the possibility of social interaction in the safety of the physical environment which prevents close physical contact.
(f) The mental health benefits of sport are well-known but there is additional benefit from being involved in water sport - as the Water Rat said to the Mole in Wind in the Willows: “Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing–absolutely nothing–half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”
(g) It is a sport for all, with what must be one of the widest age ranges of any sport. In normal times, there are regular sessions for participants from the youngest of ages to the oldest, with "veteran" rowing particularly strong and with participants in Glasgow (and possibly elsewhere in Scotland) in their eighties. It is also a sport in which females participate, often in greater numbers than males, although this varies from time to time and in which there is no discrimination on the basis of any protected characteristic (although it is fair to say that, depending on the degree of assistance that a disabled athlete might require in launching and disembarking, there might have to be restrictions for certain individuals).
(h) there would also be mental health benefits for parents, spouses, partners, siblings, and children, all of whom have had to put up with the (sometimes vociferous) dismay of participants at having had to sacrifice their participation!
Michael A. Foster

by MichaelAFoster on May 11, 2020 at 05:05PM

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