Welcoming Adaptive Rowers

26 Feb

It’s never been easier to open your rowing club to the possibility of an adaptive athlete joining in.

First and forecast, “welcoming” adaptive athletes’ inquiries, does NOT mean the following:

  1. That such inquiries will necessarily lead to joining – not all clubs can support all impairments.
  2. That such inquires mean that the club has to have a whole “programme” – the best way to start with disability inclusivity is to get a single adaptive athlete involved and learn from the experience,
  3. That the club is in any way “accessible” – disabled individuals are well used to dealing with inaccessibility in their life,
  4. That the club knows anything about adaptive rowing – you don’t need to be an expert to support adaptive rowing…the fundamentals are the same and there are tons of people and resources who can help you get going.
  5. That the adaptive athlete will necessarily require much support – many adaptive athletes have very mild impairments that only require a modest degree of support.

The key to welcoming adaptive rowers is simply to be able to say something like the following: “While we may not be able to manage all impairments, we welcome inquiries from disabled athletes interested in rowing so we can do an assessment of interests and support requirements to see if we can successfully support them.”

(here are some other misconceptions about welcoming adaptive rowers – “Myths of Adaptive Rowing”.)

So, what are all those supportive resources to help you to help adaptives?

    • Adaptive Rowing UK – You’ve come to the right place to start. Over 250 pieces here with a range of guidance and information on all aspects of adaptive rowing.
    • Facebook Rowability Group – The Rowability Group is the main social media (by application only) in the UK which provides community of support and useful sharing.
    • Community Adaptive Group – The CAG is a group of experienced adaptive coaches and supporters who work on initiatives to facilitate adaptive rowing in the UK. It has sub-groups focusing on Coastal rowing, Indoor rowing, Neurodiversity, and Social Prescribing. The members will gladly provide guidance and assistance with any initiative to add or extend adaptive rowing.
    • CAG Equipment Loan Scheme – A wide range of adaptive equipment is available for free loan from the CAG.
    • Adaptive community – The adaptive community collaborates regularly and often will lend boats at regattas or other equipment for clubs to experiment with.
    • British Rowing Adaptive Grants – BR offers a regular scheme of grants up to £1000 to fund any accessible adaptations or equipment required for adaptive rowing.
    • LoveRowing Grants – This BR-sponsored charity also provides regular grants of up to £1000 for accessible adaptations or equipment required for adaptive rowing.
    • Other Grants – A range of other relevant grants are catalogued here, and experience shows that in most communities, charitable groups are very receptive to requests for supporting disability sport.

2 Replies to “Welcoming Adaptive Rowers

  1. Pingback: CAQ Equipment Loan Scheme – Adaptive Rowing UK

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