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|10/01/2013 - Link to RoSPA Safety Review (Jane Blockley)|
We've realised the button link on the left does not link to the review itself, but instead it links to the Hansard record of the parliamentary debate which eventually led to the RoSPA Rowing Safety Review being commissioned by the government.|
This link should take you to the review itself
RoSPA Safety Review
|01/02/2010 - New phase of Safety Review (Jane Blockley)|
RoSPA is planning to conduct a further audit of the state of safety awareness and provision in affiliated clubs and the sport in general.|
You may remember that the Minister for Sport gave Sport England the responsibility to monitor British Rowing's response to the RoSPA Rowing Safety Review, which was published in June 2008 (British Rowing is the new name for the ARA).
After meeting with BR, Sport England was not able to decide if BR's response was adequate or not (see previous news item dated 26/06/09). Therefore Sport England went back to RoSPA for their opinion.
The original RoSPA review identified serious deficiencies in BR's safety strategy and advised action to remedy them. This further audit will establish whether BR has acted on that advice and whether their action has improved safety at club level.
BR's 'Row Safe' policy allows the continued use of under-buoyant boats and, contrary to the Review advice, does not set a timescale for all boats to be made fully buoyant. The new audit will establish to what extent this BR policy continues to put their members at unnecessary and avoidable risk.
If BR's response to the Review is found to be inadequate, and if BR does not act in a timely manner to put this right, Sport England has the power to impose sanctions - Sport England channels public money to BR for the administration and development of the sport at national level.
|05/10/2009 - North West Region goes further than Row Safe rules on buoyancy (Stephen Blockley)|
From 1st October 2009, in the North West Region ALL boats competing in British Rowing (formerly the ARA) events must have integral full underseat buoyancy or additional buoyancy added by way of buoyancy bags or suitable alternatives providing a similar level of buoyancy. All boats are expected to meet either the BR buoyancy recommendation or the FISA minimum flotation standard as detailed in BR's Row Safe. Most significantly, this ruling also applies to boats used in training.|
The North West Region ruling goes further than Row Safe, which rules only that NEW boats must comply with said standards - but allows individuals to decide what level of buoyancy they want in older boats. Older boats make up huge proportion of the national fleet and tend to be used by the more junior and less experienced crews.
All crews visiting the North West to compete will have to comply with the new ruling, so the message about retro-fitting older boats will spread.
|26/06/2009 - Sport England to ask RoSPA's view of the ARA's response to the Safety Review (Stephen Blockley)|
On 30th April 2009 Sport England met with the ARA for an in depth review of the ARA's response to the RoSPA Review of Rowing Safety. Following this Phil Smith, Director of Sport for Sport England, wrote to our MP, Mr David Heyes, on 18th May, quote:|
"In respect to your question regarding whether this (ARA)response is both appropriate and adequate, given the obvious significant context and nature of the Review, I do not feel that it is currently within my gift or expertise to determine whether the response can be considered either at this stage.
In light of this, Sport England, together with the ARA will be asking RoSPA for their opinion on this. As the body responsible for the original review, I am sure they are best placed to discuss the ARA response to the Review and its future plans in detail. I would hope this exercise will enable me to have a greater understanding and assurance on the adequacy and appropriateness of the ARA response, and indeed help the ARA to take any actions necessary.
In addition, Sport England will also be monitoring progress made with the implemetation of the ARA's water safety sub committee action plan as an integral part of our ongoing monitoring of our investment in the ARA over the next four years."
At the time the Review was commissioned, the then Minister for Sport, Richard Caborn, personally assured us that the ARA would have to comply with the Review's recommendations. His successor, Gerry Sutcliffe, officially charged Sport England with the responsibility to monitor the response from the ARA. Sport England channels funding for sport, so has the ability to set targets and increase or decrease funding as it sees fit.
We now await further details of Sport England's terms of reference for RoSPA's renewed involvement.
Given that the ARA has not complied with the RoSPA recommendations on buoyancy (for a testable, tested and effective buoyancy standard for all racing rowing boats, both old and new), it seems obvious to us that, so far, the ARA's response has been inadequate.
We will keep you posted!
|01/05/2009 - ARA response to "In at the Deep End" and its implications (Stephen Blockley)|
Our circulation of "In at the Deep End" to ARA affiliated clubs has drawn an unwise response from Stuart Ward, Chair of the ARA National Water Safety Committee. On 25th March 2009, he included an official response in the ARA Spring Mailing to all clubs and events, and also posted it on the ARA website:|
Mailing to Clubs from Stuart Ward
In that mailing Mr Ward alleges that "In at the Deep End" (about the deficiencies of the ARA Row Safe document)contains "errors, confusions and misleading statements".
We always do our utmost to ensure that everything we say or write is evidence based,so are surprised and disappointed by these allegations.
Our response to Mr Ward, dated 28th March 2009, is here:
Letter to Stuart Ward re Row Safe
In this letter, we have included the evidence base for our statements made in "In at the Deep End", and ask that Mr Ward withdraws his his allegation.
So far he has only sent an acknowledgement of receipt. We are still awaiting his substantive response.
|20/02/2009 - Answer to anonymous enquiry on "Support Us" page (Stephen Blockley)|
We have answered the points made by "Rower and Coach" on our "Support Us" page on the rec.sport.rowing newsgroup:|
Answer to anonymous enquiry
We would prefer that enquiries are emailed to us directly so that we can be sure the answer gets to the right place. We will always respect confidentiality.