To all Clubs & Schools,
Following the recent 2 compulsory Safety/Training/Rules Seminars for all Clubs & Schools, the Rowing SA Board is now in a position to roll-out the attached Policy in a measured way, and we have included the following modifications since the presentations:
- Some wording has been added in the paragraph leading into the Fines/Penalties table, highlighting that Rowing SA will exercise some discretion with penalties, allowing for innocent mistakes by new crews or other extenuating circumstances.
- We have included a new ‘easier-to-use’ Incident Report Form on page 22 (also provided via link on our Website ‘Policies’ page) – this now covers all on-water and of-water incidents.
- Please note that there are some ‘additional information’ elements of this policy still being finalised (maps of other venues, emergency contacts, etc) – these are highlighted within the document and we didn’t want to further delay the Policy from being rolled out.
The Board would like to thank everyone for their attendance and input at the Seminars, and have noted the concerns/queries/suggestions raised, particularly at the School Rowing Directors/Coordinators session. We would like to emphasise that as discussed at the seminars, we are currently in the position of having to take decisive action to help ensure accountability across the rowing community and maintain our current Permit conditions with Council. It seems everyone had full understanding and acceptance of most of the measures put in the Policy, with the only contentious issues being the Fines and High Vis vests for coaches, however our commitment with Council is to roll this out in a measured way over the next 2 months and all aspect of the Policy will be reviewed at the end of the season.
The RSA Board heard some of the concerns expressed around discretion relating to a number of the more severe penalties and multiple breaches, however feel it is important to have that in place to cover the myriad of issues, circumstances and variety of crews within our sport. We will obviously do all we can to maintain consistency and provide fairness to all Clubs and Schools, but especially with the severe penalties it makes sense to leave in some form of discretion, which will be reviewed at the end of the season.
Finally, the Rowing School Directors/Coordinators also came up with some suggested initiatives for the Board and rowing community consider in terms of an additional shared resource, such as a regular Safety Patrol &/or Compliance Officer on and around the water during training times. The Board have committed to explore this further in the near future – there are obviously a number of cost and logistical issues to be worked through for an initiative such as this. However the Policy implementation could not be held back any further, and we will keep you updated as this progresses in the new year.
Please find the new Policy attached, and it is also available on our Website under the Policies tab, available via the following link:
We trust you understand the importance of implementing this Policy and look forward to working through it with you all, and reviewing at the end of the season. Can you please ensure it is communicated through your organisation via your newly appointed Club Safety Officer, and please let us know if you have any questions. I will be away next week and able to check emails at times, however if you have any queries please email both myself and Bec Lannan (firstname.lastname@example.org), and we will respond as soon as we can. I would like to stress that this new Policy will be rolled our sensibly and is not a huge departure from what has been in place. It brings everything together on one place and tightens up in a couple of areas that we need to in terms of safety and ensuring our current use of the West Lakes waterway is not compromised.
Our office will be in touch shortly to determine the number of High Vis vests required for coaches/personnel on bikes, and we will be placing these orders shortly.
Chief Executive Officer
Rowing South Australia Inc