Hearing the Voice of Young People

Hearing the voice of young people is an important part of the sports development plan for rowing.  With support from Ben Hunt-Davis the chairman of the 2011 World Rowing Junior Championships, 20 young people from seven regions were invited to give their opinions and suggestions on a range of issues affecting them. 

Participants represented a wide range of clubs and schools taking part in the 2010 Junior Inter-regional Championships in Nottingham.  They were identified by the regional junior co-ordinators for the JIRC. 

The juniors unanimously agreed the importance of seeking their views and opinions and suggested that the consultations take place at local events in each region on an annual basis.  The key suggestions from the young people are highlighted below. Many of the ideas are already under development and some exist but require more effective promotion. 

Ben also took the time to explain his role as chairman of the World Juniors and sought ideas about how a greater range of young people could be involved. 

The Coaching and Development Team would like to thank Ben Hunt-Davis, Martin Humphrys and JIRC regional co-ordinators for making the event happen.  The most important thank you is to the British Rowing juniors who took the time to be involved and eloquently put forward their views.

Welfare
•    More funding from Government (to promote welfare)
•    Coaches who abuse their position dealt with more effectively (by clubs)
•    Better positioned racking for junior boats, cubicle showers in womens changing areas

Water Safety
•    We need more safety launches and more courses teaching “rescue” on the water
•    More capsize drills made available on the river as well as in pools (before you go onto the water)
•    Some clubs do not have (or seem to have) a safety officer.  This needs addressing

Rowing and Regatta Magazine
•    More items on local regattas, different sections – i.e. juniors, adults, GB Rowing Teams
•    Training and diet plans, technique support for young athletes
•    More info about how our membership is used

Membership
•    Greater support for schools, club officers for schools maybe ? 
•    Leadership awards for rowing, more info in R&R about how juniors can help clubs and schools
•    Scouts for regions
•    Info on volunteering at Olympics

Volunteering
•    More programmes in R&R
•    More people to come to club to advertise volunteering, specific courses for volunteering

Competition
•    More regional composite crews, regional camps in all regions
•    County level events
•    More bins! (at events)

Getting and keeping more young people involved
•    Teachers and gym staff trained properly in technique and how to treat an ergo
•    More publicity in schools, more erg competitions, rowing in the curriculum
•    More club open days
•    Local inter-school competitions (indoor  and water)

Coaching
•    Juniors present at coaching courses
•    Standard coaching styles around the country
•    Coaches to visit schools to raise awareness and encourage people to start rowing

Regions
•    A regional representative at each club
•    Move inter-regionals to different venues for equality
•    Support other types of rowing (e.g. coastal)
•    Improved communication in regions, better use of e-mail, Twitter etc

International Rowing
•    Lightweight category for juniors
•    More publicity for trials (including dates and results), more info on ergo scores and training plans
•    More opportunities to meet current GB athletes

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