After almost 3 months, we are finally seeing the return of some sports after COVID-19 put the world in a state of lockdown such as Bundesliga and Golf.
Germany has welcomed the return of the Bundesliga with the first games being played tomorrow, all be it behind closed doors.
Rowing is one of the few sports that have been given the go ahead from British Rowing.
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A statement from British Rowing has announced:
“Given further clarification of the UK Government’s advice, we advise the Affiliated Clubs may, if they wish/are able to, allow members to use club/shared boats (in addition to private boats) from their facility.”
“British Rowing is pleased that restrictions are starting to be lifted to allow people back on the water but we believe that all rowers and clubs must act in both the spirit and to the letter of the Government guidance to protect the health of the rowing community, other river users and the wider public.”
Despite some of the biggest rowing events in the British calendar being cancelled such as the Oxbridge Boat Race, BUCS and Henley Royal Regatta, there is still a sense of joy to be able to go back out of the water, even if it is just recreationally.
Matt Phillips is the head rowing coach at the University of Gloucestershire and is also running for Club Captain for the next academic year.
“I’m glad to hear that rowing is coming back so soon compared to other sports. Even though we missed this years Varsity it will nice to be back out in the boats and get everyone together again (circumstanced allowed).
The shutdown of rowing came at a pretty bad time for us as we were in the middle of training for Varsity which was only a month away. We put so many hours and early starts into it. A lot of crew members were juggling training with dissertations and deadlines and it was a shame it ended the way it did. Obviously it couldn’t have been helped but it would have been nice way to end the year. Even though we have BUCS, Varsity is always the ‘big final race of the year’ competition that we always work towards.
From a coaches point of view it was gutting seeing all their hard work put to waste and it was some crews last chance to race before they graduated so it was a real shame.”– said Phillips
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It’s difficult to say when competitive sporting events will return, especially in rowing. Football and rugby is played within a stadium while rowing is on the river.
Over 250,000 people flood the banks of the Thames to watch the Oxbridge Boat Race every year so it would be difficult to police and prevent crowds.
“I’m looking forward to being back on the water. It’s been difficult. Here at UOG rowing we have nine training sessions as week so going from that to nothing has been a real change.
I’m looking forward to being back with the club, hopefully as Club Captain and seeing that the future has to bring. I don’t think any of us are sure what’s going to happen right now but we’ll be back training for competitions soon enough.”– said Phillips
With the restrictions on COVID-19 lifting slightly, it shall be interesting to see what other sports follow suit and potentially getting back on our TV screens.