While summer regatta facing seems far away, it was exciting to see the National Schools Regatta committee's announcement today with regards to their plans for the 2021 event.
Its great to see a commitment to gender parity across events. Changes at the junior level of the sport are so important and will set a new standard for future generations of athletes. The 55/45 split across boys' and girls' entries at the 2019 event should only grow closer to even in future years.
Similarly, the introduction of further sculling events to balance their availability with sweep events is great to see. Especially given the Henley Royal Regatta entry restrictions, clubs tend to favour sculling entries. Clubs on the whole play a key role in making the sport of rowing accessible irrespective of background and hopefully this change will help to encourage young club athletes to take part.
Events will remain available for second crews, aligning with the aspiration of the regatta's founder, Desmond Hill OBE, to 'provide wider experience and comeptition for juniors in school'.
To manage ever increasing entry numbers and ensure the continued safe running of the regatta, a new rule preventing doubling up has been introduced. The hope is that many athletes will still be able to compete across a wide range of boat classes.
The progression system will remain the same as in previous years, with crews qualifying for side-by-side racing being offered at least one but most likely two races.
Further information can be found on the NSR twitter page.