British Rowing to clarify lightweight rules

13th September

Junior rowers should not be permitted to compete in lightweight competitions, according to the British Rowing Medical Sub-Committee.

The Committee, chaired by Dr Richard Budgett – British Rowing’s Honorary Medical Advisor and Chief Medical Officer for the London 2012 Olympic Games – has agreed that ‘excessive weight loss, fasting, or calorie-controlled diets could have a serious affect on the growth and maturation of young people.’

Whilst accepting that a move to deter young rowers from competing as lightweights in events offered for adults could potentially restrict some talented young rowers, the Committee determined that need to safeguard young athletes justifies the decision.

The Child Protection Group, GB Rowing, and FISA all support the decision, and events offering lightweight competition have been asked to ensure that juniors do not enter these events.

Regattas currently offering lightweight categories are being advised of the decision, and this will be reflected in the updates to the Rules of Racing, currently being reviewed by the National Competition Committee.