British Rowing Statement

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In 2018, British Rowing, the governing body for rowing in England, was notified of allegations against Mr Andrew Cook in relation to his conduct towards male juniors in rowing through use of online activity. In line with normal procedure, a referral was made to the relevant Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO), and an investigation took place.

In accordance with Section 4 of British Rowing’s Safeguarding and Protecting Children Policy, which can be found here, the Case Management Group (CMG), came to the following recommendations:

  1. That Mr Andrew Cook serves a fixed-term suspension from all British Rowing activity for a period of 10 years commencing 05/06/2020
  2. That Mr Andrew Cook be aware that the British Rowing Governance Team / CMG may require Mr Cook to undertake a Forensic Risk Assessment following that period, at Mr Cook’s cost. This would only take place with a Forensic Psychologist approved by British Rowing
  3. That any ‘follow-up’ assessment, after conditions either 1 or 2 (or both) above should at a minimum include a requirement for Mr Cook to notify British Rowing of any approach / intention to join any British Rowing affiliated organisation in future

As a result of this, Mr Cook has been disqualified from participating in rowing activities under the governance of British Rowing, other than as a public spectator at an affiliated event, for a period of 10 years, effective from 5 June 2020. Once the 10 year disqualification is complete and following the satisfactory completion of appropriate safeguarding training and forensic risk assessment, prior to approaching any club, he is to advise British Rowing of any intention to make an application for club membership or to be involved in club activities.

British Rowing takes any matter relating to safeguarding children very seriously. It is essential that acts which compromise the safety and welfare of children are prevented, and that anyone who has contact with children does so in line with British Rowing guidance and adheres to the British Rowing Code of Conduct. Failure to do so will result in appropriate sanctions.

British Rowing’s Safeguarding and Protecting Children (SPC) Policy can be found here:

SPC policy

Safeguarding or child protection concerns relating to the sport of rowing, whether new or historic, should normally be communicated to the relevant Club Welfare Officer (CWO), unless there is a reason why this is not possible or appropriate. In such circumstances, British Rowing’s Lead Safeguarding Officer can be contacted at [email protected].

Concerns, particularly if there is an urgent risk of harm to a child, can also be reported through statutory agencies (NSPCC, Local Children’s Social Care, LADO, and Police).

For anyone with a child protection or safeguarding concern relating to rowing, who may not wish or feel able to speak direct to British Rowing, the following organisations can offer help or support:
NSPCC Helpline: 0800 800 500 | www.nspcc.org.uk
ChildLine: 0800 1111 | www.childline.org.uk

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