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West Norfolk Rowing Club back on the River Great Ouse for exercise and training

With restrictions eased sufficiently and full safety protocols, members of West Norfolk Rowing Club have been enjoying outings on the River Great Ouse for exercise and training.

The sport comes under the regulation of British Rowing, so all BR restrictions as well as Government guidelines have had to be incorporated into safe practices in order to access rowing outings.

For the first couple of months back, only rowing in single sculls has been permitted, with the exception of a few household doubles, as once members are launched a clear distance is naturally maintained between scullers.

West Norfolk Rowing Club juniors. (40770393)
West Norfolk Rowing Club juniors. (40770393)

It was also necessary to allow only very restricted numbers on the club site at any time, no access to the clubhouse, and thorough cleaning regimes for all equipment, boats and oars.

Single boats are quite a change for those used to crew-rowing, but it has allowed safe access to the sport. Fortunately, the club has a range of single boats, and by booking and staggering launch times across the week it has been possible for members to get back out in this way.

A small sense of communal rowing has been possible with several singles on the water at a time, even if some rowers were more used to going out previously in crew boats (such as coxed or coxless quads) during once-busy weekend club sessions.

The West Norfolk Rowing Club committee has been working behind the scenes to keep up with changing advice and rules from British Rowing and Eastern Region Rowing Council.

It has been possible to reintroduce some coach-supervised outings for juniors within safe practices, and a buddy-system for less experienced adult rowers to have company on the river.

However, it has not been possible within the restrictions to offer the Learn to Row courses for beginners which the club’s volunteer coaches would usually offer over the summer months.

The club already has a long waiting list for places when any such course becomes possible.

There are no plans in sight for British Rowing to permit any racing events for the foreseeable future.

In the meantime, members are making the most of being out on the river in warm weather, under wide West Norfolk skies.

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