The Rowing Ireland Working Group would like to take the opportunity to compliment all affiliated clubs and their members on their continued efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 amongst the rowing community.
A number of Rowing Ireland licenced events have taken place such as flatwater, coastal, and offshore events, where Rowing Ireland COVID protocols were in put in place and adhered to. With the support of the event organisers, participating clubs, and volunteers, there have been no reported outbreaks related to these events.
With the easing of restrictions, both in the South and the North, the working group are being asked, ‘can the wearing of masks on land be relaxed?’ It was decided that, with the current rise in case numbers both the North and South, it is not the right time to relax this guidance just yet.
The working group meets every Monday evening to review the current trend in the pandemic and to reflect on and interpret government, health authorities, Sport Ireland, and Sport Northern Ireland protocols. The group then communicates guidance to all clubs. This guidance is reviewed by Sport Ireland and Sport Northern Ireland to ensure we are continually doing the right thing.
We would ask clubs to continue to operate within the guidance to help keep us all safe. With larger events on the horizon, now is not the time to let our guard down. A small number of clubs and individuals are not complying with the “Masks on while on Land” guidance and this is placing us all at unnecessary risk.
The government’s guidance states that you do not have to wear a mask outdoor when you are not in a crowded area and can maintain social distancing. The working group is of the opinion that it is not possible to always maintain social distancing while loading, rigging, carrying, launching, and docking crew boats. For this reason, we are asking all clubs and their members to continue with the practice of wearing masks to keep us all safe.
Normality will hopefully return soon, but we are not there yet. We have worked hard together to stay safe; let us continue to do this for a little longer.
We thank everyone that has been involved including parents, family, and friends that have not been able to attend events so we can maintain strict attendance numbers.
We are back doing what we love – Rowing, enjoying our sport, and competing. If we work together, we can look forward to a brighter future.
Yours in Rowing
On behalf of the Rowing Ireland, COVID-19 Working Group.