The following correspondence was sent to all clubs today and outlines the Home Head League and event options during COVID-19.
To all Affiliated Rowing Ireland Clubs,
Like all sport during the COVID-19 Pandemic, rowing in Ireland has seen significant changes. We are enormously proud that it has not disappeared – this is due to the spirit and the passion for the sport in every corner of this island. Clubs are thinking outside the box and reinventing themselves to continue our sport. Our sport is all about People – our Crew working together for our common vision. We have a common goal now like never before.
The Board and staff at Rowing Ireland have offered ongoing support and advice throughout the last 6 months. Many challenges have been presented – answers have been sought – and it is our intention to continue with support going forward.
I would like to update you on current matters we need to look at, both for your information and where your Club input is needed. Clubs are asked to consider the items below, particularly the questions regarding 2020 Novice eligibility and 2020 Junior eligibility.
This will allow us to plan sessions by Webinars, possible Rule changes, possible events re-scheduling and possible new Championships and re-formatting the Championships.
Calendar 2020 – Oct to Dec
The events currently listed on the 2020 Calendar are going ahead. To date, none have been cancelled or withdrawn. Event Organisers have indicated that they are fully aware of Government COVID-19 regulations and will be continuously reviewing what is safely possible. It is highly likely events will be on a much smaller scale than before with possible restrictions on which Clubs may enter and the categories offered.
Novice eligibility for 2020 Championships
There has been a lot of communication and discussion about the 2020 Novice category, particularly with regard to missing out on the opportunity to compete in Novice Championship events. Your Club is asked to discuss the following:
Option A – Any eligible 2020 Novice should be able to enter the 2021 Novice Championship (i.e. a combined Championships with the 2021 Novices)
Option B – Any eligible 2020 Novice should enter newly created Novice +1 Championships in 2021 (i.e. separate set of Championships for the 2020 Novices at the 2021 Championships). To support this Novice +1 events would be offered at Heads and Regattas in 2021.
Junior eligibility for 2020 Championships
There has been a lot of communication and discussion about the 2020 Junior category, particularly with regard to missing out on the opportunity to compete in Junior Championship events. Your Club is asked to discuss the following:
Option A – Any eligible 2020 Junior should be able to enter the 2021 Junior Championships (i.e. a combined Junior Championships in 2021 including the overage 2020 Juniors)
Option B – Any eligible 2020 Junior should enter newly created Junior 19 Championships in 2021 (i.e. a separate set of Championships for the 2020 Juniors at the 2021 Championships)
We have to assume COVID-19 restrictions will still play a part in running events in 2021 so we are looking ahead at re-formatting the Championships to allow each category to be held at a smaller event with controls in place to respect mandatory regulations.
Rowing Calendar for 2021
Discussion regarding the 2021 Calendar was postponed at the July AGM to be dealt with at a re-convened AGM meeting in October or November. COVID-19 regulations have changed several times, even since July, and all advice informs us that regulations will be with us for some time to come so we are looking at the Heads and Regattas for 2021. We plan to re-look at what will be possible, realising that things may change on an ongoing basis.
Events 2020 and 2021
We anticipate events being smaller in scale than in the past, with possible restrictions on the numbers of Clubs able to enter events and limitations on categories to keep numbers under control. Rowing Ireland is encouraging small groups of Clubs to look at hosting local informal events, particularly as some Clubs may be unable to travel to events scheduled on the Calendar. Advice and support will be available from Rowing Ireland regarding smaller events.
Heads 2020 and 2021
To support our athletes and Clubs, we have created a new league called “The Home Head League”. A form is available on the website for completion and this will populate a standing table (https://www.rowingireland.ie/clubs/rowing-ireland-home-head-league/). Events may use this format for events booked in 2020 and in 2021. Details are attached.
We are also aware that clubs are looking for guidance for indoor training. The current numbers for indoor activity is the use of pods of six inside and 15 outside (RoI) and groups of 30 (indoors and outside) in pods of up to 10 (NI). We are attaching a sample sheet of how this might work in your Club. However, since every Club is different, we advise all Clubs to look at this holistically with their Club facilities in mind
Coastal and Offshore members.
The ADM will take place as scheduled in November and that will give us an opportunity to discuss the coming regatta season for these disciplines.
Following on from the webinars, where each Club can be represented, we will bring the proposals made from you to an EGM for you as clubs to vote on.
In the meantime, stay safe and keep an eye on our website and social media platforms for dates of the webinars.
Yours in Rowing,
Michelle Carpenter and Eamonn Colclough
On behalf of
The Rowing Ireland COVID-19 Working Group