Club Safety

Our Welfare Advisors for 2023-24 are Clay Knowles and Lindsey Charman.  Clay joined the team in January 2021 and Lindsey succeeds Sarah Q who did such a great job.  The Welfare Advisors' role is to act as a safety net for the Committee and Club Members.  They advise on Safeguarding policies for young people and vulnerable adults and ensure we are aware of, adopt, and follow safeguarding policies and procedures – whether from BR or directly from our Club.  They keep the records of DBS checks (criminal records screening) for people working with young people (eg as coaches or safety launch drivers), and maintain a record of training courses for volunteers.  Less often, but importantly, they receive information from people with a welfare / safeguarding concern and refer it onwards in line with BR guidance, ensuring all parties are kept informed whilst maintaining confidentiality and protecting any whistleblowing.  They can be contacted at 

Our Safety Advisor for the 2022-23 season is Matt Curgenven and he can be contacted in real life at the Lake or on

Ardingly Rowing Club follows, in full, the current British Rowing Water Safety Code "Rowsafe" as displayed at the Club and on the British Rowing website and to the local safety polices of Ardingly Activity Centre (the managers of the reservoir water based activities)

In particular, the Reservoir Rowing Circulation Pattern must be adhered to at all times. Our Lake is generally very safe but it is shared with many other water users and rowing is a sport where we work backwards so we are more at risk than some other users.

The map below shows the outward and return rowing lanes. Note that the lanes are NOT straight lines, but follow the contours of the club side bank.
The only time this may be altered is if the session coach explicitly makes this clear at the start of session briefing. This "Long training route" uses the full width of the reservoir and so requires all rowers to be travelling in the same direction at all times. It may therefore ONLY be an option if there is on the water safety and coaching cover for the session


Our local rules are
  • High visibility clothing must be worn by all single scullers and steerspeople as their top layer
  • A red disc is displayed at the noticeboard when unaccompanied outings are strictly forbidden (due to lake water temperature)
  • A green disc is displayed at the noticeboard when unaccompanied outings are discouraged but possible, so long as you
    • Are aged over 18 (a Junior will not be able legally to assess their own risk)
    • Have been assessed for competence by the Club Captain (and your Coach) and approved for outings
    • Have performed your own risk assessment and completed the unaccompanied outings log
  • All coxswains and people in the launch must wear life jackets or buoyancy aids which are correctly fastened
  • Launch drivers must be RYA II qualified and wear the kill-cord in each launch
  • Any incidents should be reported on an Incident Report Form – available on the British Rowing website or from our Water Safety Advisor (who will also offer help for you to complete it if needed)
  • You should run through a simple boat safety check before your outing – the same as every Control Commission Umpire will ask before you race
    • Are the hatch covers in place
    • Are the heel restraints on the feet in place & no longer than 7cm
    • Is the bow ball secure
  • Outside of set training times, rowers are encouraged to organise themselves into groups on the water to minimise the risks of accident and to operate a buddy system in the event of a problem.
  • All rowers must use the rowing lane to travel up and down the Lake – ie to row up and down either side of the line of buoys to the West (LHS) of the Lake.

We have trained first aiders within the Club and at the AAC. A defibrillator is available at the AAC. Mobile phone signals can not be relied upon at the Lake.

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