The organising committee of the Head of the River Fours recognize that the welfare of juniors is paramount in planning and running the event. Further, the committee intends to ensure that any allegations or concerns of harm to juniors involved in the event are taken seriously and responded to quickly and appropriately. The event has appointed a welfare officer who will act as the point of contact for any allegations or concerns on the day of the race. Their contact details will be included in the Competitors Instructions posted on the web site and will be made known to race officials. They will have a dedicated phone on race day.
The welfare officer for Head of the River Fours 2019 is Alison Faiers. She will be available throughout the duration of the event and will be contactable by any race official via the radio network or by mobile phone where this is deemed more appropriate. The dedicated welfare officer mobile number for the event is 07709 905706 which will be active for race day. The welfare officer will determine appropriate action to be taken, and should any incident warrant such action, will be responsible for reporting to the police and the British Rowing child protection officer.
Given the nature of the event, where crews are boating from a variety of locations along the river, it is not possible for the event organizers to take responsibility for security at any specific location. Adults with responsibility for children entered in the event are expected to ensure that boating locations are suitable. Adults – coaches and parents – are also reminded of the need for suitable clothing for the event, given that there is the possibility of a long wait before the start; crew coaches are further reminded that in rough conditions, it is they who must make the assessment of whether their crew can safely boat and race in the conditions – particularly so where there is a junior cox.
In the event that a participant goes missing for a period exceeding 20 minutes, the welfare officer should be contacted and they will contact the police if this has not already been done.
The Crew contact details entered on the the British Rowing Online Entries system (BROE2) will be used to contact the adult responsible for any junior reportedly involved in an incident. It is therefore incumbent upon the person entering the crew to ensure that a usable contact number for race day is included in the entry. No individual contact details for juniors will be held by the committee.
Given that the river and its banks are open to the public, all competitors in the event may be photographed by amateurs, or professionals who sell their photographs. It is possible that these photographs may be used for identification or publicity purposes. HOR4s cannot prevent this, as the Surrey bank and all four bridges are open to the public. Competitors will be made aware of this and should not enter if this is of concern.
The Organising Committee is aware that alcohol will be available for purchase at most host clubs. They are also likely to be serving food from the same location, so exclusion of Juniors will not be practicable. The various issues arising are set out in British Rowing Guidance WG 3.3. Host Clubs are reminded of their duty to safeguard under 18s using their facilities. The responsible adult for any junior competitor is reminded to ensure that more senior members of the crew do not purchase alcohol for the under 18s.
With reference to BR’s Safeguarding Policy section 4.3, please be aware that – to the best of our knowledge – no host clubs have separate changing facilities for under-18s. On a similar topic, if an overnight stay is called-for, WG 4.1 should be referred to.