My rowing club is closed


Tim, a facebook follower of our Masters rowing international Group asks:

Our Club management has closed the rowing club. We are not allowed to enter the club or the boats until April 30th. Why can’t I use my single sculler for rowing?

Dear Tim, we know it is very sad. Many rowing clubs throughout the world have been closed or about to shut down their boat houses and gyms. I guess, the shut down is not about the potential infection with other rowers in a boat or at an erg. I think its all about social distancing. Your club is not the only organisation closing their location:

United Kingdom  (Update: Thank you – Kenny Baillie)

Advice for Clubs

Following latest announcement by the Government, British Rowing advises that all Affiliated Clubs should cease all club-based activity as soon as reasonably possible tonight and not reopen tomorrow until further notice. This advice will be reviewed, on an ongoing basis, in line with Government guidance.

In addition, British Rowing is now in the process of closing the National Training Centre at Caversham and transitioning our athletes to home-based training programmes.


  • How will British Rowing support clubs during this period?

    Our Club Support team is still available via the usual channels. Any clubs who require help or support during this difficult period should contact in the first instance.

  • How can we help support our members during this time?

    We recognize our responsibility to help keep the nation and the rowing family active and healthy even in these difficult circumstances. We are working to provide content (workouts etc.) and ideas to help individuals keep fit and active away from rowing clubs and at home and to help keep a connection between your members. To start with, our Go Row Indoor newsletter will become a weekly email from next week with workouts both on and off the machine – further details of other content and initiatives will be released shortly.

  • What about the financial impact of closing our club for an unknown period?

    We are very aware that closing for this extended period could cause financial concerns for some clubs. As the situation becomes clearer, we will be working to signpost any funding or advice which could help your club.  In the meantime, if this applies to your club, please contact to let us know.


Susan Smith, Interims CEO, released the following statement: Last week, we made the decision to cancel all domestic events through the end of April and, on Friday postponed the U.S. Olympic Team Trials I scheduled for this week in Sarasota. ….Professional sports suspended their seasons, while collegiate sports canceled theirs. Several of our larger clubs made the decision to shut down for a month and re-evaluate the rest of the spring season. We support that decision and recommend that all of our organizations do the same and pause their season for at least a few weeks.


The national organisation has canceled many events until May, some federal states have ordered the clubs to close down and to avoid crowed of more than 5 persons. Many general assemblies and club meetings have been postponed.

COVID-19 effects rowing clubs

Switzerland: Rowing club closed

The Swiss Federation has canceled most events until June. They have hope to to open activities again for the Swiss championships. The majority of the Swiss clubs are following the Swiss governmental regulation and are  until April. No training’s allowed.


Also the Australian Federation has cancelled many events. Next to the Sydney International Regatta, also the Master rowing Event has been canceled due to the Federal Government announcement that non-essential mass gatherings of more than 500 are recommended not to proceed

How about your club? Tell us about the policy of your club.


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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. CJD George

    Well, my answer is that “They are covering their *r**s by a typical play safe and ban it for all on the perceived risk of a very small minority of scullers or rowers being idiots and spoiling it for all.” Mind you, given the prats I have seen around in the Oxford area of UK, I have some sympathy. It is much easier to ban it and keep it safer. You might as well say cycling on the road is dangerous so ban all cycling.
    What would be reasonable?
    You have a rota of individual access to each bay (or if strict to each club member) so only one person at a time has access to the club set at, say 5± min, intervals to get his or her sculler off the rack. During that process the sculler wears a cough and sneeze mask, (to minimise droplets) and rubber gloves. The club has a pot of made up sodium hypoclhorite solution in which to dip blade handles and gloves followed by a soap solution and then clean water (tap over drain). Hands, handles, bay locks door handles etc and all parts of boat touched to be doubly washed first with the clorine agent then with soap then with rinse of water. No access to the boat house at all and change and shower at home.
    Rota deals with distance isolation. Chemicals deal with lipid membrane of virus.
    Obviously no one with any hint of symptoms to think of rowing it off. And any accidental overlap of timing to be contained by staying in the car. No car – or run or bike to boat house = no sculling
    pip pip Chris

    1. Bryan

      George, sounds like a real interesting idea. I wonder how long we could proceed with a process like this.
      Cheers Bryan

  2. DeDe

    Our club is closed. We did set up an erg loaner program. We cleaned the ergs, set up one-on-one appointments and this way some of our members get a chance to workout. Our sign up post started out with “I miss erging” – said no one ever – until COVID-19. It’s a drop in the bucket and we know other clubs are doing the same thing.

    1. Bryan

      Thank you for your comment DeDE. I miss erging….. sounds like my kids telling me ” I miss school”. How the virus changes our lives

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