Wow. When I said yesterday that things were moving rapidly, I really had no idea, had I? Since then things have changed so fast with the government’s revised covid-19 advice that we are all left reeling.

The inevitable flurry of emails last night (not helped by my phone running out of juice half way through) was followed by an unexpectedly clear and decisive communique from Welsh Rowing that, somewhat to our relief, really made the decision a no-brainer. Here’s what they said:

Welsh Rowing advises suspension of all rowing involving non-essential contact until further notice.

Welsh Rowing has reviewed the UK Government’s advice against all non-essential contact within new enhanced social distancing rules, including advice against unnecessary travel.  We have concluded that most club rowing activity falls within this restriction and consequently advise that rowers refrain from training, competing and socialising with their clubs unless they can be satisfied that they are within the UK Government’s revised advice.

Today’s announcement follows the decision earlier today to postpone all Welsh Rowing organised/controlled events due to run in March and April which includes workshops, courses, training camps and our junior development day.

As a close-knit community, Welsh Rowing seeks to be proactive in protecting the health, safety, and well-being of our community, our member clubs, staff and volunteers. We are working with our partners to review and develop ways we can support the community during this challenging time. 

So that was it. We had no choice but to close the club. We have decided to let people take singles out, with caution and appropriate measures (provided, of course, the river cooperates, and we all know how that’s been going lately). But other than that… nada. Ergs gathering dust. An empty river.

I confess to having felt distinctly sad and sulky last night when the full implications sank in. But overnight I pulled myself together. There are others far, far worse off than me – people with businesses on the edge and much more fragile health than mine (I’m very grateful that my cancer treatment is all done and dusted now).

The prospect of not seeing my rowing buddies, except online, feels pretty desperate so I’m hatching a plan for hosting a very spread-out, outdoor circuits class in my garden for anyone getting withdrawal symptoms.

And then all we can do is pull together, as we always do, and get on with it. We rowers pride ourselves on our no-nonsense approach to life and on our sense of community. We’re going to need both of those qualities in spades in the coming months and just KBO.

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