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Code of Conduct


The Bridport Gig Rowing Club (BGRC) Code of Conduct reflects the broader codes promoted by the CPGA and British Rowing to encourage the sport of social, leisure and competitive open water rowing in Cornish pilot gigs.

BGRC is a community amateur sports club (CASC) which aims to be inclusive by valuing equality of opportunity for all.  We therefore expect all members to promote the positive aspects of our sport, particularly those of sportsmanship, fair play, friendship, common sense, respect and working together collaboratively.

While representing BGRC we expect our members to follow these guidelines, both on and off the water, whether at regattas, or at their home bases.

  • Consider the wellbeing and safety of all.
  • Wear clothing and footwear appropriate to the sport of gig rowing and the weather/sea conditions.
  • Promote the benefits of the sport in social and competitive participation.
  • Adhere to the guidelines and rules as set by the CPGA and British Rowing, including the welfare of adults and children, health and safety, sea safety, racing rules and general rules.
  • Respect – Listen – Respond’ to BGRC coxswains at all times, especially at sea, during boat launch and boat retrieve.
  • Encourage all participants to value their performance and those of others, not just results.
  • Make sure of the appropriateness of age, ability, and experience to the activity.
  • Set a good example – accept the coxes and umpires’ decision, maintain composure at all times.  If you are representing the club at races, regattas, or any other event, not to shout or ridicule other rowers or officials.
  • If you are representing BGRC by wearing club kit, always act with integrity, composure, and good grace.
  • Promote the positive aspects of the sport, especially fair play, friendship, and respect.
  • Accept responsibility for your actions.
  • Display high standards in use of language and manners.
  • Report to the club Membership Officer any known medical conditions or changes to medical conditions that may affect your ability to participate in any club activity.
  • Avoid any actions that may endanger other club members and make the Safety Officer and Captains aware of any actions that might be endangering another club member.
  • If you are making up the crew in a BGRC Junior boat (or a Learn to Row (LTR) boat), please be aware that BGRC is bound by Safeguarding requirements established by CPGA & British Rowing.  It is vital that all club members must adhere and respect safeguarding, equity, diversity, and inclusion requirements & guidelines.


BGRC demands an environment that is free from discrimination, harassment, bullying or other intimidating personal behaviours.  We are committed to maintaining a professional, harassment-free working and rowing environment.  All members, officers and directors are permitted to participate in – and enjoy – their rowing as individual club members without harassment.

The following behaviour is expressly prohibited and may result in exclusion from BGRC:

  • Unwelcome conduct – whether verbal, physical, or visual – that is based on a person’s protected status, such as race, colour, religion, sex, gender, age, national origin, citizenship status, disability, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other protected status or protected characteristics.  This includes harassment of another individual whether verbal, physical or visual.
  • Abusive language and/or physical aggression, deliberately causing injury to another or any disorderly conduct or malicious disturbance. This includes intimidation or harassment of others.
  • Sexual harassment. This includes unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favours, as well as other physical, verbal, or visual conduct based on sex when:

*  Submission to the conduct is an explicit or implicit term or condition of participation; or the conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with the individual’s participation by creating a hostile, offensive, or intimidating environment.
*  Sexual harassment is conduct based upon sex, whether directed toward a person of the same or opposite sex.


Bullying of any kind is not tolerated in any form.  Forming social media message groups that are not inclusive, will cause division and establish factions and may be considered as insidious bullying.  BGRC does not support the formation/existence of selective social media message groups as they are not in keeping with the club ethos and as such should be closed down.

However, a difference of opinion, or robust debate, is not bullying; members are allowed a right of reply and explanation of an action in a situation where two parties may have differing opinions, which should be democratic and supportive.


No performance enhancing or illegal drug taking is permitted.  Any individual found doing so, especially whilst representing BGRC and wearing club kit, may be subject to disciplinary procedures.


Every person who takes part in gig rowing has the right to do so in a safe and enjoyable environment, free from judgment and abuse.  The abuse of children, young people, the vulnerable – in fact anyone – can occur in any environment e.g. home, school and sports clubs.  People the child knows, and trusts commit the majority of child abuse.  Children also disclose abuse to people they know and trust.  This could be a member of our club.

Having an awareness of following good safeguarding procedures applies to all rowers, coaches, volunteers, and anyone involved in rowing within BGRC.  All of these people have a duty of care to safeguard the welfare of children and prevent their abuse.

All BGRC officers are expected to attend a Safeguarding Awareness course when they commence their term of office.

Any concerns about safeguarding should be raised with the BGRC Welfare Officer & Safeguarding Lead, Sue Skillend.  The BGRC Welfare Officer contact email is


BGRC has a specifically designed Junior Code of Conduct and a Parents Code of Conduct which are listed separately.  It is the responsibility of parents to ensure that they and their child(ren) are aware of and adhere to both policies.


BGRC has a separate policy on how to proceed with registering a complaint.  A complaint form is available to anyone who wishes to formally register a complaint which assists with keeping the reporting of any issue to a factual summary.

We strongly encourage all club members to use the complaint form if this course of action is necessary.

In the first instance all parties involved in a grievance/complaint should attempt to resolve the issue informally, respectfully and via a face-to-face discussion with all parties involved.

In the event that an informal discussion between parties does not resolve the issue, the impartial involvement of a Captain and/or the Rowing Captain can be requested to facilitate resolution.

Should it not be possible to reach resolution via a discussion involving all parties, any member can raise a grievance/complaint via the submission of the complaint form to the BGRC Directors.

The BGRC Directors and the BGRC Welfare Officer will agree a process for examining, addressing and responding to the grievance/complaint.  Discretion will be used if the grievance relates to a Director or the Welfare Officer.  The complainant will receive a written response to their complaint from the Welfare Officer, or an elected Director within 21 days of receipt of the written complaint form.

All formal (written) complaints should be brought to the attention of BGRC Board of Directors (email: within a month of the time the said grievance/complaint occurred. 

Retrospectively reported grievances may not be examined or considered if they are raised 6 months (or more) after any alleged issue arises.

    We recognise that social media offers excellent opportunities for BGRC members and members from other clubs to stay in touch, share ideas and information, promote BGRC and the sport. Currently BGRC uses the following social media platforms:
  • BGRC has a private, closed group, members only, Facebook page called ‘BGRC Members Group’ (which is managed by the club Membership Secretary).
  • An additional Facebook group called ‘Bridport Gig Rowing Club’ is a public, open facing page, which is specifically for ex-members, family, friends, and supporters, to keep in contact with BGRC activities (which is managed by the club Communications Officer).
  • Instagram
  • Twitter

We encourage all members to join us and be active participants. However, there are a few very basic rules which we would appreciate you following when using all types of social media.

  • Be respectful to each other.
  • Be thoughtful – don’t post updates/photographs which could cause embarrassment or harass another.
  • Handle complex issues privately and through the correct channels.
  • Don’t escalate contentious issues.
  • Don’t share other people’s personal information.
  • Don’t share confidential information.
  • Adhere to the Code of Conduct guidelines above, when posting to Facebook.
  • Remember that in addition to BGRC club members, friends from the wider gig rowing community may also be members of our Facebook group and as such our members should represent BGRC positively.

We have one administrator on our Facebook page, Karen Buchanan-Harlow (Director and Membership Secretary).  If you would like to be added to the Members only Facebook page, you should contact  The BGRC Communications Officer is a moderator on the closed group (  If you are unhappy about a post which appears on our Facebook page, please contact one of these admins.


The above criterion regarding social media is also applicable to any articles, editorial or press releases given from BGRC members or BGRC representatives, that may be given to local, or national, press.  However, we work hard to contribute and maintain a good community presence and negative press is never encouraged.

Please remember the following if approached by any member of local, or national, Press for a comment, for an editorial, or copy:

  • Always check who is asking for copy, and why.
  • Always check your information is accurate.
  • Stop. Think.  Before you give a quote or article – could it reflect badly on BGRC, or on a club member?
  • Always contact the BGRC Communications Officer and/or BGRC Board of Directors in advance of any kind of press release, to ensure any editorial/copy is released in a manner and format acceptable to BGRC.
  • NEVER give a quote to a member of the Press about anything that is serious or sensitive.  In these situations, a formal quote will be issued centrally by BGRC, via either the Communications Officer, Safety Officer and/or Board of Directors
  • Do not promote your own business, or outside interests, via a BGRC press comment or press release.  Please remember this is a platform for BGRC related news only.


BGRC Directors

Last updated : March 2023