Working towards a safe return to rowing at RRC

As you all would be aware the Victorian Government recently released revised guidance in relation to COVID-19 restriction and relaxation of some requirements which related to sports, cultural and recreation activities.

Rowing Victoria has released draft guidance and recommendations related to a safe return to rowing. Whilst these guidelines are not finalised or approved at the current time, the Committee is putting in place procedures in order that we can get back to rowing. We hope these can be in place by the weekend, however they are contingent on us being able to meet the guidelines. Please look out for further communication on the details that we all will be required to adhere to.

Among the requirements will be following:

  • If you are unwell or display any symptoms you must not attend the club to train. Members should consider their own well being and that of others when considering whether to row.
  • There will be no indoor activities at the club, the gym will remain closed and gathering in the club will not be permitted.
  • There will be access to the toilets, but the change room and showers are not allowed to be used. It is advised to dress for training before arriving at the club
  • Training sessions will be limited to 10 people (including any coaches) – we are working on a rostering and sign up system to enable this on a fair basis. It will not be possible to turn up to the club to row without signing up in advance so the 10 person limit is not exceeded. Private boats will not be in excess of this number, the 10 person limit and rostering/sign up requirements will be across the club whether using club or private equipment.
  • Single sculls only will be allowed. All members must sign out to track attendance and boat usage. Members must have passed swim tests and coxswains tests in order to row a single. Please work with your coach if you do not consider yourself competent in a single.
  • All equipment must be thoroughly washed – following the guidance we put in place prior to the club closing. We are reviewing our procedures and supplies.
  • Social distancing must be maintained including keeping 1.5 meters apart, not congregating within or outside of the shed. There should be no physical greetings etc. Frequent hand washing and good hygiene is required to be observed.

Once the requirements and our procedures are finalised to support a safe return to rowing, we will confirm the requirements that must be adhered to. 
We hope this will be in place to allow for a return to rowing at RRC over the weekend.

Updated RRC COVID-19 requirements – 21 March 2020

On water training times – changes in place must be followed from Sunday 22 March
As a result of updated guidance around social distancing and limiting the number of people gathering indoors via the 4m2 per person guidance we have decided to implement a strict at club training timetable by crew group. This timetable provides available sessions by training group (Black squad, yellow squad, development squad, Tiger rowing and other squad groups). If you are not in a squad you are allocated to the Tiger rowing/other session and open session times.
It is also split my male and female and in 2 hour windows (ie the 12pm session runs to 2pm, 2 hour windows that are not included are open sessions ie 4pm). See below.

For members wishing to train from the club the timetable must be followed, should it not be, the club would be required to close, as we would not feel we are able to meet the updated guidelines.
This requirement applies from tomorrow, Sunday 22 March. Sportsnoticeboard sessions with be updated ASAP.
Requirement to book boats
All boats must be booked on sportsnoticeboard.com.au, you must then sign out in the sign out book. For squad sessions our coach is required to book on sportsnoticeboard. For open sessions boats can be booked by individuals. This is essential so we can track who has rowed together and when in the event we are required to track members interactions should there be a positive case involving someone present at the club.
If you are having difficulties with sportsnoticeboard please reach out to the Head of Rowing.
Boat types available
From now on we are limiting boat to singles, pair and doubles. Fours/Quad and Eights are no longer allowed to be used.
Good hygiene continues to be essential
See the detailed guidance from previous posts. Please wash hands, boats, oars etc. Clean ergs thoroughly. Shower after training. Do not leave used towels and clothing in change room. Please follow all signs within the club.
Cleaning of boats and oars
Detailed instructions instructions have been left in the boat bay. They must be followed at all times.
Gym and Ergo access
The gym is closed. Ergo’s are available for use, but must be separated by 1.5 meters and strict cleaning is required to be followed as previously communicated. Preferred usage is outside on the deck, there are 4 standing in the classroom to be rolled out to the deck. Erg’s have also been spaced in the hall and classroom. We have no function bookings until the end of April, these erg’s in the hall and classroom are not to be moved.
Change room access
Given their size, the number of people in change rooms is to be limited as follows, women’s change room – 6 people, MLC change room – 6 people, men’s change room 4 people. I understand this will make it challenging, please be patient and respectful. If there are multiple sessions on a day arrive early and be prepared in advance so you are away from the change room when returning rowers need them. This is essential, if we can’t make this work we will have to reassess club access.
Yoga to replace boxercise
We have unfortunately cancelled our Monday night boxercise. We are replacing this with Yoga at 6.15pm on Monday. This will be run by Geraldine Goss. Please bring your own mat and towel, the club mats are not to be used. If you do not have a mat and towel you will not be able to participate.
Boat Lights
As the mornings and nights get darker please ensure you use lights on all boats. The club has a limited number, with increased use of smaller boats we recommend that those planning on rowing through winter obtain their own lights where possible. There are a number of online suppliers, including
https://shop.perfectbalancerowing.com/product-category/boatlights/
Shoes
All RRC boats have shoes available. However in the current environment some rowers may wish to source their own shoes. Check out this blog for guidance or reach out to the Captain. rrc fleet installed quick release rowing shoe system-
Finally, if you feel unwell do not visit the club – please follow Government advice if you present with any symptoms or if you have travelled overseas.
If you have a positive test in relation to COVID-19 please let the Committee know immediately so we can assess your contact with club members and facilities and we may take appropriate action regarding club facilities.
We will continue to provide regular updates as the advice and situation develops.

Updated RRC actions re COVID-19 – important actions to be adhered to

The situation continues to develop quickly, with the AHPCC providing guidance related to Community Sports including gym today.
The Committee is conscious of the positive physical and mental well being effects of rowing and social activity at this time and would like to keep the club operating as much as possible, however we are also taking into account official guidance provided.
It is important to understand that community sport and gyms have not been closed at the current time, however guidance continues to evolve.
The club remains open for those wanting to train and row, this is in line with current guidance should there be any update we will let you know. Members should consider the guidance and their personal situation to make their own decisions on how you train.
As a result of the guidance RRC have taken the following actions as of today, we would appreciate your support to address this:

  • The gym is closed – Given the close proximity and cleaning issues the gym area (weights etc) is closed immediately until we have an appropriate cleaning strategy in place to align with expert guidance. This is non negotiable for everyone’s safety.
  • Ergos and Ergbike must be separated by 1.5m when used – the ergos are available for use on the deck (preferred), in the classroom and main hall. Please bring and use your own towel. They must be separated by at least 1.5m when in use. Before use, wash your hand thoroughly and clean the erg. After use thoroughly clean the erg with wipes provided, wash your hand and shower.
  • Monday night boxercise is cancelled due to close proximity of exercise – we suggest coordinating and group or individual run outside in the short term. We are looking at running a yoga or core session, look out for details, however your own mats etc will be required.
  • On water activities continue to be available with appropriate hygiene considerations – consider your own circumstances and assess attendance at training. We plan to allocate training time to squads before Sunday to encourage social distancing at the club and in the change rooms where possible along with access to smaller boats
  • All boats must be booked online – in order to track boat usage we require all boats to be booked using Sportsnoticeboard. This should be in line with squad training time allocations. Please also include all crew names in sign out sheets to track who rowed with who.

Good hygiene continues to be essential. See the detailed guidance from previous posts. Please wash hands, boats, oars etc. Clean ergs thoroughly. Shower after training. Do not leave used towels and clothing in change rooms.
If you feel unwell do not visit the club  – please follow Government advice if you present with any symptoms or if you have travelled overseas.
If you have a positive test in relation to COVID-19 please let the Committee know immediately so we can assess your contact with club members and facilities and we may take appropriate action regarding club facilities.
We will continue to provide regular updates as the advice and situation develops.

Rowing Victoria recommendations for rowing training related to COVID-19

Following on from our previous guidance on hygiene when at the club and training, Rowing Victoria have recently issued these recommendations for rowing training.
Rowing Victoria recommendations for rowing training
There is lots of useful information in here to consider should you be training, please read it and take it into account.
The club remains open for those wanting to train and row, this is in line with current guidance should there be any update we will let you know.
Members should consider the guidance and their personal situation to make their own decisions on how you train.
I would like to highlight the following points:

  • If you are feeling unwell or exhibiting any of the symptoms we ask you to stay away from the club and follow Government guidance
  • Hygiene is essential – wash your hands, wipe down gym equipment after use, wash oar handles before and after rowing, shower following training
  • Bring a towel to the gym
  • Remove all personal items from change rooms that are not in lockers – there should be no towels or rowing clothes left in change rooms or hanging on lockers
  • Avoid large groups training close together inside – space out the ergo, there is the classroom, hall and outside

Thank you

RRC Hygiene guidance related to COVID-19

The NOVEL CORONAVIRUS 2019 (COVID-19) is causing worldwide concern with cases now occurring in many countries. Richmond Rowing Club takes health and safety seriously and wish to provide up to date information for members with regard to activities at the club.
The situation is changing on a daily basis, and it is important that the community follows current Australian Government advice. Click here for further details. The website also contains general advice regarding COVID-19.
The AIS website is regularly updated with advice on the impact of coronavirus and sporting activity. This important page can be viewed by clicking here.
If you are feeling unwell or are exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19, we ask that you do not attend the club or club events and follow Australian Government guidelines. For the latest information go to health.gov.au
Below we have listed important advice for all members to remain healthy when participating in rowing at visiting the club. This list is a guide and is by no means exhaustive of all preventative measures.
Hand Hygiene

  • Everyone must practice good hygiene, this is critical to help protect against infections. Good hygiene includes:
  • washing your hands often with soap and water, for 20 seconds, or using an alcohol-based hand rub
  • using a tissue and cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
  • avoiding close contact with others including personal greetings, such as touching, handshakes, kisses, and hugs. Fist pumps are appropriate.

Bathrooms
The bathrooms at RRC are regularly cleaned to ensure good hygiene standards are maintained. It is important to remember you must wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly after going to the bathroom and maintain good hygiene practices when using both toilets and showers at club.
Cleaning of Ergos
Anti-bacterial wipes must be used every time an individual concludes their session on an ergo.
Cleaning of Gym Equipment
Anti-bacterial wipes should also be used following use of other gym equipment including bikes and weights etc.
Cleaning of Oars and Boats
We know that oars and boats are shared by members. It is important that all oars and boats are thoroughly washed with appropriate soap and water (not just water) to ensure hygiene standards are maintained.

Ongoing benefits from sharing our facilities

We continue to be able to buy new boats and expand our fleet, we have recently christened new boats and announced additions to our fleet – we hope this will continue. In addition we are expanding our coaching resources and continue to improve our boat shed and facilities.
It is an important reminder that all of this is achieved for the benefit of the RRC members through the sublease of part of our club facilities to MLC and by allowing our facilities to be hired for events in order that we can generate these. We will see more of the MLC school rowers in the club over coming weeks and months as their rowing season increases and as Spring and Summer comes the hire of our venue will increase.
Given this arrangement it is important we all work together to use our facilities by accommodating the needs of others while they are present, as without ongoing subleasing and hiring of the venue we would not be able to fund our activities without significantly increasing our membership fees.
Currently we have an excellent relationship with MLC and get great feedback from people who hire our venue so things are working well. Therefore just a quick reminder of how to use the club when others are present and how to leave the club ready for others so this continues.

  • We have an agreement with MLC during term time that their rowers will have access to the gym and classroom area from 3pm until 6pm on weekdays – please be understanding of this and do not set up in the classroom before 6pm if it being used. If the main hall is available it can be used.
  • After 6pm if there are no functions on in either the main hall or classroom area please open the gym wall and set up your erg in the classroom area. If you start erging in the gym with the wall closed you are likely to be asked to move so others can access the classroom with their ergs or use the weights in the gym.
  • As you use the classroom, set up your erg so others can use the area with at least 8 ergs facing the window. If you set up in the middle of the room people are going to squeeze past you and get in your way.
  • Once you have finished your erg, wipe it down and restore it in the gym in the same way it came out so 12 ergs can fit in the blue lines neatly (it really does work). Similarly when you finish your weights session, restack the weights and bars, take the weights off the bars (they bend and get in the way!!!).
  • Last person/group out of the classroom close the sliding door so functions can happen the next day.
  • If there are functions on in the main hall when you arrive please use the gym with the sliding door closed and be considerate of noise.
  • In the unlikely event a function means you can’t access the classroom and main hall you can always take an erg downstairs into the boat bay or do your off water session outside for a change of scenery. If you are here for an on water session arrange yourself in the boat bay to minimise your impact on someone’s wedding or function.
  • When there are functions on members do have access to the change rooms and gym but should not hang around in the corridor and toilets, particularly if they are in rowing gear as this can be something of a shock to people attending a function!!!
  • Please leave the hall/classroom tidy when you leave, we book cleaners to come in the morning after each function has finished not before them.
  • If you come across an issue at the club where maintenance is required drop an email to Lucy our Facilities Coordinator at facilities@richmondrowing.com.au

All hall hires are booked in the club calendar on the website, it’s easy to check out when they are on and what time they run until – check out the calendar http://www.richmondrowing.com.au/events/month/.
As a Committee we have recognized that the hall hires are very popular in November and December so we have tried to limit the frequency of events and make sure the club is available on Sundays given this is a major training day. Invariably the busiest times for events are Friday and Saturday nights with the biggest ones using all our facilities with caterers occasionally having to store items in the gym, check out the calendar and time your training accordingly.
And remember in the unlikely event you are frustrated by only being able to use the gym with the wall closed or having to do an outdoor session on a Friday night, the hall hire is generating vital funds towards that new boat.