Rowing BC Membership Discussions

As part of launching the 2018-2021 Strategic Plan, Rowing BC has invited member clubs and associations to discuss their membership trends over the past five years.  The intention is to discover tangible ways for Rowing BC to support the healthy growth of individual clubs and associations across the province.  To frame these conversations, Rowing BC has created and provided an analysis of membership trends for each organization from 2013 to 2017.

Rowing BC Executive Director, David Calder, and Programs & Communications Coordinator, Sonja Lonne, have been hosting these conversations since the middle of March, and are well over half way through the membership.  The intention is to complete the process in the coming weeks.

These conversations are an opportunity for Rowing BC to further develop relationships with member organizations, learning first hand what challenges and priorities exist throughout the community.  Based on these conversations, Rowing BC will create initiatives to support member organizations and their priorities.

During these conversations, Rowing BC has also been sharing insight into some of the exciting new initiatives already planned for this year. For those of you who haven’t had the first hand experience of one of these calls – here’s your behind the scenes peek at what’s going on!

Umpire Development | Rowing Conference

Volunteer Training | Coastal/Come and Try Initiatives

Masters Camps | Competition Review

Umpire Development

Umpires are an integral part of the health of the competitions in BC. In 2017, there were 55 active umpires across the province, on average each volunteering 9 regatta days over the course of the year.

Rowing BC aims to encourage more individuals to get involved in umpiring for the first time. There is no cost to the initial umpire training. Becoming an umpire is a great way to get involved in the rowing community in a new way. The more active umpires that are available, the more flexibility there can be for each individual to determine how many regatta days they are able to volunteer each year.

Rowing BC is encouraging aach rowing organization to find two individuals who would be interested in becoming an umpire. More information about becoming an umpire is available here. Registration for upcoming training is available on the Events Calendar. Training is scheduled for June 10th (Interior), September 16th (Mainland), and October 7th (Island).

Rowing Conference

Rowing BC is putting the plans together for a Rowing Conference November 17-18, 2018 in Burnaby, BC. This conference will be held in association with the Rowing BC AGM, and will include content aimed at coaches, umpires and administrators/Boards. The membership discussions are providing a valuable chance to collect information on what topics would be of interest at a conference, but additional input is welcomed by email to

Mark the dates on your calendar now: you won’t want to miss out.

Volunteer Training

Rowing BC has designed a volunteer training workshop to address challenges highlighted at last year’s AGM during the regatta discussion.  Since then, the Rowing BC Regatta Committee has undertaken work focusing on the skilled volunteer shortage, and ways to address this common issue for most regattas across BC.

The half day workshop will be offered at no cost to participants or clubs, and will teach basic helpful skills for volunteers to support a practice, a selection event or on regatta day.  The workshop will be offered a few set times each year (keep an eye on the Events Calendar for the first posting!). In addition, organizations are able to request Rowing BC deliver the workshop in conjunction with an event, program or regatta.

The workshop will cover three main components – coach boat driving, timing and time management, and general safety.

This workshop will increase the skill level of volunteers across the province.  Additional club input into the delivery of this workshop is encouraged to ensure specific needs are met.

Coastal/Come and Try Initiatives

The 2018 World Rowing Coastal Championships are coming to Sidney, BC!

We’re so excited that we wrote a story about it by interviewing Regatta Director, Brenda Taylor, and then wrote another one on coastal rowing featuring Rowing BC Board Member, Janice Mason.

Everything in Rowing BC’s 2018-2021 Strategic Plan is underpinned by growing rowing.  Bringing the 2018 World Rowing Coastal Championships to BC is a great opportunity to leverage and grow more rowing across the province. Rowing BC is working on plans for a summer initiative that would help to introduce coastal rowing to communities across BC, while at the same time helping member  organizations run additional come and try events.

More details will be released as the plans are finalized.

Masters Camps

Rowing BC is building off of the successful masters camps that were first launched in 2017.  New camps currently being planned will include traditional performance (speed and technical) camps, but will now extend to coastal rowing, rowing-tourism/adventure and multisport camps.

Camp details will be posted later this month.

Competition Review

Rowing BC is in the initial stages of undertaking a full competition review of the regatta structure in the province.  The first stage in this process is connecting directly with each Local Organizing Committee (LOC) to understand the motivations and objectives behind hosting each event.  These conversations are happening as part of the membership discussions.

Rowing BC will host conversations with LOCs and coaches to discuss gaps in the current competition structure for each band of competitive athletes.  Desired outcomes from these conversations will be changes to the current competition schedule, potentially including the development of RFPs for new regattas, the addition of categories at existing regattas and shifts to dates of existing regattas.   

This is a large project and has been identified as extremely important across the rowing community in BC. Rowing BC looks forward to initiating this process.