Published 17/03/2020

Click here for the Rowing Australia COVID-19 Fact Sheet

Recommendations for rowing training: COVID-19

Rowing Victoria acknowledges the unfolding impact of COVID-19 on our members and the Australian community. RV will continue to take precautions in the interest of the health and wellbeing of our community, to mitigate the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and to minimise the inevitable strain

on our healthcare system.

The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) released a statement last Friday calling for sports to “prioritise the health of athletes, coaches, support staff and wider community by limiting the impact of the pandemic on our national health care system” and while younger people may experience a mild version of the illness, it is our responsibility to act now to limit the spread of the disease.

Rowing Victoria will continue to deliver advice as the situation develops, to ensure the sport of rowing may continue to be conducted where possible in a safe and responsible manner. Please visit the RV Site for future updates


We are recommending our asymptomatic and healthy rowers in clubs practice Social Distancing during this time:

Preventative and Cautionary Measures:

1. Distance yourself from training and club if any symptoms of cold/flu

2. Solo training will always be the safest.

3. Avoid large group training in ergo and wattbike rooms, and avoid use of confined space where others have trained ie heat tent.

4. Outdoor cycling and running is deemed to be low risk.

5. Training in small squads and small boats is preferable, so your contacts with others are traceable (ie if one person becomes unwell, only a few have been in social contact).

6. Ideally crews should train in smaller boats to limit exposure where there is an option (ie if there is an option to train in a 2-, choose this over the 8+).

7. Coxswains are recommended to use Bow Loaded boats where possible and to avoid sharing Cox Box microphones.

8. It is safe to train in the gym at the same time as other healthy individuals as long as you:

a) Limit the number of people in the gym

b) Ensure you provide and use a personal and clean towel

c) Practice strict hand sanitization if available, otherwise good quality hand washing before, during and after gym

d) Wipe down equipment after use

e) Avoid touching face and hair during training, especially.

f) Shower immediately post training.

9. Ensure that all oar handles are washed with detergent before and after rowing and all equipment is wiped with disinfectant

10. Remove ALL personal items from change rooms and the training spaces after use

11. Where possible, work or attend classes remotely

12. Take extra care after public places, supermarkets, etc

13. If returning from overseas, athletes must abide by the Australian government guidelines of self-quarantine, and for 14 days, only train alone, away from others

14. Seek medical help early if you are concerned.

Who is at risk?

According to the Department of health and Human services, early indications are that people over 65 and people with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart and lung disease are more at risk of experiencing severe symptoms. We recommend individuals in these categories to reconsider your need to utilise shared training facilities.

A clarification of terms:

  • Asymptomatic = producing or showing no symptoms.
  • Isolation = you have tested positive for the virus.
  • Quarantine = you have been (or are presumed to have been via travel) in contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus and are waiting to see if you develop symptoms.
  • Social Distancing = something everyone can and should do to reduce the risk of transmission.

Helpful links:

The following websites have reliable and up to date information for Australians and for Athletes and Coaches:



If you have any questions or concerns in relation to this matter, please contact Rowing Victoria on

48 The Boulevard, Moonee Ponds 3039  | Phone: (03) 9370 1973

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