A Safe Return to Rowing – Update 20 October 2020

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Plans to re-open the club gym

I know that many of you are keen to be able to use the club gym again and I want to update you on the plans to re-open it.

The Panel has been working on this for some time but has been very conscious of the fact that indoor training is much more risky in respect of transmission of Covid 19 than outdoor training. It has therefore taken some time to devise a plan which minimises the risks but I am pleased to be able to tell you that we should be in a position to re-open the gym early to mid-November.

However gym use will have to be much more restricted than it used to be. I am sure that you can all appreciate that the way equipment used to be shared and the numbers that used to train together is completely unsafe in today’s environment. Numbers will be restricted and members will have to select one type of training equipment for their session so as to avoid sharing. Use of the gym must be available to all the members who wish to use it and with much reduced capacity there will have to be some rationing of use to ensure fairness. Full details of how gym use will operate will be circulated soon.

A crucial element in the plan to use the gym again has been the need to upgrade the ventilation system. The Covid 19 pandemic has revealed how poor our current ventilation system is with regards to spreading infections. To open the gym safely requires a completely new system to be installed. Expert advice has been obtained and a contract placed for this work. The cost is however very significant at about £18,000, particularly when the club income this year has been dramatically reduced due to the cancellation of regattas and training camps. Nonetheless the Panel has agreed to incur this expenditure recognising the importance of being able to re-open the gym. It does mean though that there will be no funds available for boat purchases in the coming year.

Further extra expenditure will be necessary on cleaning which will have to be much more regular than previously and to include disinfection of equipment and other surfaces posing a risk. A contract with cleaning contractors is to be arranged.

Full details on the rules for gym use and how the booking system will work will be circulated soon but I do have to sound a note of caution because the Government guidance for the control of COVID-19 is changing each week and if Peterborough becomes a high risk area then plans may have to be changed.

John Canton


20 October 2020