Young people on the shortlist being considered for national rowing honours will be the beneficiaries of a cardiac and circulatory testing programme, run by the national governing body British Rowing and with financial support from the charity RALPHH.
British Rowing consistently strives to ensure that the health and wellbeing of those pushing to represent their country is paramount. As with any exerting physical sport, it is important that those participating have a healthy cardiac condition. This is not obvious unless individuals have completed an electrocardiogram (ECG) and other tests to determine if they should be extending their love of a sport into consistent striving for the peak of recognition.
Each year, British Rowing likes to see every would-be national rower go through a medical test and in the coming Spring (2023) this is being assisted by a grant from the national charity RALPHH, whose primary purpose is to safeguard the cardiac health of young people participating in strenuous sport. The first of the partnership testing sessions will be held at the National Watersports Centre in Nottinghamshire during March, with a further two sessions likely to follow. In total, approximately 100 people aged from 17-23 will be covered.
British Rowing is also encouraging rowing clubs at all levels to provide defibrillation equipment, should this be needed in case of a surprise emergency. RALPHH provides grants for such purchases and has already been involved in helping schools and clubs making use of their home stretch of rivers to have improved access to life-saving support.
With the help of British Rowing, the intention is to reach more clubs and encourage their applications for grants from RALPHH. This message is being reinforced by a mailing from British Rowing to clubs, asking them to contact the charity on firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0794 9466795.
“We know that rowing is a wonderful sport that encourages initiative, commitment and working with others in gaining achievement. No one should be dissuaded from participating, however, for a minority of people their internal and unseen condition may make rowing competitively a step too far,” said Richard Allen, Chairman of RALPHH.
British Rowing Chief Medical Officer Dr. Lady Ann Redgrave welcomes the new relationship with RALPHH saying, "I am very grateful for the support offered to the Great Britain Rowing Team by RALPHH. Competitive sport is demanding on the heart - cardiac screening minimises the risk of a cardiac event in training or competition.”
The RALPHH charity was created following the untimely death of Robert Allen who, as well as being a school rowing coach at Kingston Grammar School was also a National Schools’ champion. Well known for his ability, the rowing community has since been at the forefront of support for RALPHH through extensive fund-raising and in directing rowers to the RALPHH website www.ra-lphh.org, where useful information is available for those considering stepping down from rowing, or other suitably physical sports, so as to protect future health.