The second lockdown has had far from positive impacts on sporting groups and clubs. With the Coronavirus pandemic spreading down streets with every minute that passes the hardship of a second lockdown is beginning to sink in.

 

Weybridge Rowing Club is one of the many sports clubs facing drastic changes and challenges in parallel to the pandemic. Rowing is meant to be a teamworking sport with up to 8 people in a boat at once. However with recent restrictions involving mixing of households, means this isn't possible. Maria Ibrahim, a rower from Weybridge Rowing Club talked with me about her experience and struggles through last year's season: “Winter of 2019 and beginning of 2020 was a tough time for me and my crew. There were many ups and downs including being demoted to the lower team. Me and my doubles partner were determined to fight back, train hard and come summer 2020 start winning races”. However in summer of 2020 all races were cancelled, no training allowed and with lockdowns shadow still looming made this impossible.

 

Rowing is rated as one of the top 5 most physically demanding sports in the olympics, so evidently rowers are training a minimum of 4 days a week. This would include water sessions and land training. This high demand for training isn't realistic in today's pandemic resulting in a backwards trend of rowers ability. With the second lockdown now implemented training has been cancelled again with no hope of a win. Like many others, Maria is struggling to see the benefits to rowing these days and is considering quitting. 

 

Rowing Clubs are obviously beneficial for the community. Bringing people closer together with the sponsored coffee mornings, BBQ’s and christmas fun races. Additionally, sports including rowing has been shown to help with mental health problems and so in conclusion with the pandemic this is seen as a huge opportunity to help others and the community. With many thinking of quitting the significant impact on clubs is huge; this could economically damage clubs.

 

Despite the restrictions British Rowing Club is trying to maintain motivation and limit the number of rowers quitting or losing hope. They update clubs throughout England on fun easy exercises to do at home to try keep on top of training. Although this will not have a big impact on improving their skills it's evident that they are trying to keep spirits and moral high through these challenging times.

 

It is indisputable that rowing has many benefits to a variety of groups and that they are a valuable asset to the community. More needs to be addressed about the impacts these lockdown measures are having on young people in the sporting industry.