The clocks go forward this weekend, and we can expect evening rowing to start soon. As Clubs are gearing up and getting ready for the regatta season and hopefully more pleasant rowing conditions – a reminder to all that we would benefit from reviewing our own club procedures that are in place. Club officers should consider whether everything is the same as last year in terms of personnel, experience, boats, conditions and environment. Do we still have experienced coxes and crews for our local conditions? Are they the same? Did we get anything wrong last year? It is a good time to review the clubs risk assessments, and make sure that all rowers and coxes are aware of club policies and follow them. Do your rules for use of club boats need to be revised in the light of experience, or as a result of any changes that you have identified, or risks apparent from your risk assessment? If it is felt that any changes should be made, make sure that the club membership all know of the changes. Communication is as important as consideration.
Good practice also requires that we check equipment regularly. Make sure that lifejackets are checked, and serviced or replaced as necessary. However don’t stop there. Make sure your boat and oars are assessed too, and take a sniff at your safety bag. Your equipment is only any good if it is going to work when you need it to.
Lets get out there and enjoy a season of rowing, confident that we take appropriate steps within our clubs to minimise the risks whilst still allowing us to enjoy the best sport on the water.