A letter from the CEO – Remaining Regattas & Guidance

Dear Rowing SA Clubs,

RA_Coronavirus_Fact_Sheet_050320 (002)

Please distribute widely amongst your membership.


As you are aware the impacts of the Coronavirus are now being felt across Australia with clear direction being provided by the Australian and State Governments and their allied medical advisors. This in no little way is impacting the practice of sport across the Australian landscape which in turn is being felt directly by the rowing community with the recently announced cancellation of the Sydney International Rowing Regatta and the Australian Masters Championships.


Where to for our sport?

Rowing South Australia (RSA) is working in close collaboration with Rowing Australia (RA) over the conduct of RA sponsored events and is taking guidance from RA in the continued practice of the sport at club level and the conduct of RSA sponsored Regattas and events. RA in turn is providing very considered guidance to the State Associations based on its access to information available to it from its well-developed network of sources including the AIS, Sports Medicine Australia and the accountable Government Departments.  RA is exercising strong and appropriate leadership in its role as Rowing’s peak body in Australia.


New decisions made by Rowing SA

  1. Rowing South Australia (RSA) in consultation with Mannum Rowing Club have cancelled the Mannum Regatta which was scheduled for Saturday 4 April 2020.
  2. Rowing South Australia (RSA) has cancelled the Masters, 3rd Grade & Novice State Championships which was scheduled for Saturday 18 April 2020.


Upon Reflection

Over the last few days I have witnessed overwhelming support and community partnership within our rowing community. It was great to see the senior boys and girls have the opportunity to conclude their school rowing on Monday morning with the running of a modified Head of the River program. I would like to thank the members from senior clubs who helped out on Monday morning, our volunteers, staff, sponsors, clubs, schools and all members for your ongoing involvement in and support for our sport.


Rowing SA’s Current Position

  • The health and welfare of our members is our paramount consideration;
  • RSA will only distribute information which is either factual or considered to be the best available information at the time. This will include the conduct of regattas and events. RSA will not deal in speculation.  We request that our membership adopt this approach;
  • We will inform the Community promptly as new information and decisions come to hand;
  • Our decisions and plans will remain subject to change as new or differing information, guidelines or Government directives come to hand;
  • The practice of rowing is an individual’s choice and we ask that individuals not be criticised or ostracised for exercising their personal choices in these unprecedented times.


Other clarifications/recommendations

Rowing is a sport and a structure that sustains our community. Staying physically active is crucial to all health domains – physical, mental and immune health. We know that rowers start and end their day with rowing, and through these uncertain times, we want you to be able to continue these routines and to continue to build capacity and release stress in the safest of ways.


The AIS/AOC released a statement last Friday calling for sports to “prioritise the health of athletes, coaches, support staff and wider community by limiting the impact of the pandemic on our national health care system” and while younger people may experience a mild version of the illness, it is our responsibility to act now to limit the spread of the disease.


A clarification of terms:

  • Isolation = you have tested positive for the virus.
  • Quarantine = you have been (or are presumed to have been via travel) in contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus and are waiting to see if you develop symptoms.
  • Social Distancing = something everyone can and should do to reduce the risk of transmission.

Rowing Australia are recommending our asymptomatic and healthy rowers in clubs practice Social Distancing during this time:

  1. Distance yourself from training and club if any symptoms of cold/flu.
  2. Solo training will always be the safest.
  3. Avoid large group training in ergo and wattbike rooms, and avoid use of confined space where others have trained.
  4. Outdoor cycling and running is deemed to be low risk.
  5. Training in small squads and small boats is preferable, so your contacts with others are traceable (i.e. if one person becomes unwell, only a few have been in social contact).
  6. Ideally crews should train in smaller boats to limit exposure where there is an option (i.e. if there is an option to train in a 2-, choose this over the 8+).
  7. It is safe to train in the gym at the same time as other healthy individuals as long as you:
    1. Limit the people in the gym
    2. Practice strict hand sanitization if available, otherwise good quality hand washing before, during and after gym.
    3. Wipe down equipment after using.
    4. Avoid touching face and hair during training especially.
    5. Shower immediately post training.
  8. Where possible, work or attend university classes remotely.
  9. Take extra care after public places, supermarkets etc.
  10. If returning from overseas, athletes must abide by the Australian Government guidelines of self-quarantine, and for 14 days.
  11. Seek medical help early if you are concerned.


The following websites have reliable and up to date information for Australians and for Athletes and Coaches:



We ask that all questions or comments in regard to both National and State events be directed to this office and discourage direct approaches to Rowing Australia.


Thank you for your consideration and we are committed to keeping the community informed as information comes to hand.  We will appreciate you distributing this email to your Club membership.



Andrew Swift

Chief Executive Officer

Rowing South Australia Inc