Neuro-Diversity Special Interest Group

25 Apr

This week, the Neuro-Diversity in Rowing Special Interest Group (a focused sub-group to the Community Adaptive Group, or “CAG”) held its first meeting (see photo above). It included a wide range of individuals with various interests and experience in the area of ND in the sport of rowing:

  • Bruce Lynn, adaptive rowing coach and CAG member, Marlow
  • Marieke Hagemans, British Rowing
  • Ben Marsden, pararower and assistant coach, Marlow
  • Rose Sargent, ND rower and coach, Cambridge
  • Chris Johnson, father of ND rower and adaptive session supporter, Marlow/City of Oxford
  • Helen Cooper, ND rower, Marlow
  • Clare Connolly, welfare officer working with ND and rowing, Bradford ARC

The session was a chance to get to know each other, the backgrounds and interests of the group. Then, the group brainstormed possible areas to work on going forward:

  • COMMUNICATION – better awareness and information for the community about ND
    • Writing an ND primer
    • Exploration of how other sports accommodate ND
    • ND is not just an “adaptive” issue or characteristic, but appears to be present across a range of types of rowers (though the most acutely affected are most often present in the adaptive prorgrammes and squads)
  • COMPETITION – better experience for ND competitors
    • Umpires/Marshalls – training, perhaps combined with training about umpiring young juniors and novices
    • Updated/Enhanced Classification
      • Status Quo: AR3-LD based on dated systems of IQ assessment <75
      • NJIRC: uses enrollment in SEND school as criteria
      • ADHD: diagnosed on a points scale
      • Other: Education, Health and Care Plans or other asssessments.
    • Coach involvement during racing

The CAG-ND would welcome any additional contributors who would like to participate in the discussions and possible initiatives that might grow out of them. Please contact Bruce Lynn ( for details.

For a starter on enhancing the communication around ND in rowing, check out CAG-MD member Rose Sargent’s piece on the BR website – “From adversity to victory: Rowing, disability, and finding community

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *