Rowing safely at Maidenhead – Induction guidelines

Use same checklist for juniors and adults, but tailor presentation to audience, and invite parent attendance (and appropriate participation).

1. Welcome - a little intro about the sport, the club and safety on the water.

2. Hazard perception (ask them for the list) - best done on the club balcony.

  • Emphasise stream/flow rate, wind, cold/rough water, other boats, equipment.
  • Explain how we address hazards - yellow/red boards, key navigation rules, maps, night-time and water rowing rules, weather, safety launches, equipment safety checks, emergency procedures, incident reporting, supervision of junior crews, awareness of cruisers and other vessels, every river user's duty of care
  • Mandatory safety checks - swim test, capsize drill (what to do if you fall in), importance of washing hands after outings (water-borne disease awareness)
  • Reminder that members are required to do their own risk assessment before they go out and are expected to take further appropriate precautions as necessary

3. Boathouse tour - walk round and show first aid boxes, emergency exits etc.

4. Understanding equipment (demo) - participants should be able to name all parts of the boat and oar, understand buoyancy, identify all types of boat, know how to put boat on the water, and back on the rack (tied down) by the end. Check for understanding. Reinforce this learning through L2R & after.

5. How to row - basic sculling technique points (demo), correct grip and posture, paddling, backing-down, squaring, feathering, stopping, turning etc.

6. What to wear, and not to wear, and why (demo) - safety implications, appropriate kit for different weather conditions, recommendations for beginners (low cost and functional) and club crews for racing, parental responsibility

7. Coxing - explain this important role, its responsibilities, equipment used etc.

8. Progression through club from L2R into racing, different squads etc, how the club is run (key officers - Captain, Juniors Captain, Club WSA and Welfare Officer), regattas and head races, key events in the racing calendar, racing at the club, training of all types - how much, how often?

9. What it costs - subscriptions (club and BR) and extras (regatta expenses, rowing kit and equipment)

10. Opportunities to volunteer and make new friends - pitch to parents!


Refer to the MRC Safety Plan, and abridged version (on the club website), along with other safety resources on the MRC website (, plus British Rowing's RowSafe guidance/minimum standards

Issue v1.0 2-June-2014