The IOC Athlete Career Programme supports athletes who are making the transition from sport to career. For more information, visit the IOC webiste here.
The Athletes' Kit is developed by the IOC to help athletes learn about "Education", "Life Skills" and "Employment. Download the English version here.
The Women Athlete Business Network is working to create an environment that supports elite female athletes who seek to develop their leadership potential from the field to the boardroom. Find out more here.
Athletes are frequently seen as role models and leaders in our society. With this comes a level of responsibility to society. There is a growing trend for athlete leaders to take action by becoming involved in community causes, charitable ventures and sports-related activities that have a positive impact on their community. This happens both during and after an athlete's sports career. Find out more here:
Fairness is crucial for any sport. As is expected for an outdoor sport, fairness is a much-debated subject among rowers, coaches and their team. Changing weather conditions are a fact of life and adverse weather is part of rowing. Sometimes there is a subtle advantage for certain racing lanes. Sometimes it’s just an instinctive feeling and sometimes we can measure these advantages objectively.
There are several rules (e.g. rules, 70, 71 and its by-laws) within the FISA Rulebook, dealing with adverse weather and how to deal with it. There is the option of moving all lanes to one side of the course or the other, or even re-allocating the lanes. And, up to now, FISA has established a Fairness Committee of experienced coaches and former rowers who have the responsibility to make these difficult decisions.
The FISA Athletes Commission believes that it would be more appropriate that the athletes themselves take responsibility for the selection of the lanes we race in. We would like rowers to have the authority to choose and to be accountable for the selection of their lanes based on their performances in the previous rounds of racing.
After some discussion, FISA has agreed to test an alternative system that would allow this to happen. The system will rank crews based on the order of placement in the previous round as it is done in the past. But instead of having them ordered in each lane. as in the classic pattern, the highest placing crew will be allowed to choose its racing lane first, the second highest placing next, the third will choose third and so on. The overall lanes to be raced in (FISA requires eight racing lanes to be available for racing, and then six will be used depending on weather conditions) will still be decided by the Fairness Committee in order to minimize the disparity between lanes, as much as possible, during unfavorable racing conditions.
Athlete lane selection gives responsibility to the rowers and further increases the need to perform in preliminary rounds of racing. The choice of a specific lane can be for tactical or fairness reasons and remains at the discretion of the athletes. The system will be tested during the first World Rowing Cup of 2018 in Belgrade for International events only.
FISA recently published a short explanation about this experiment in the FISA Circular. The Athletes Commission members, Robin Prendes and Frida Svenson, will be available to answer live questions online at a set date and time. Be on the look-out for updates on the FISA Athletes Commission Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages.
It is a rule (FISA Rule 63) that a crew, when warming up or cooling down, stop for races that come past. It is important to ensure that it is fair for all crews racing. If you do not observe this rule, an umpire can take action to give you a yellow card. Additional penalties may be given for repeated offences.
Please do not throw plastic drink bottles into the water at the start of your race. Rowing is a ‘Clean Water’ sport and FISA takes its responsibility to the environment seriously. Please pass any unwanted water bottles to people on the start pontoon.
In the 2015 season, FISA umpires will be more strict on race uniforms. Umpires will have photos of a country’s official team uniform circulated to them to check the proper uniform is worn.
During racing and victory ceremonies, athletes must not carry or display any advertising which is not permitted under the Rules (Rule 50 and Appendix 5). The penalty for doing so may be relegation to last place or exclusion from the event. Tattoos and other ‘body advertising’ are not permitted.
*Please consult the FISA Rule Book for the complete rules.
For more information on your athlete commission representatives, click here
The Athlete Commission is here to help you as athletes. If you have questions, comments or concerns, please email:
WADA regularly updates what is and is not prohibited in the world of sport. We urge you to check all substances through the WADA website, and be aware that newly banned substances such as Hypoxia-Inducible Factor (HIF) stabilzers and activators (e.g. xenon and argon) (prohibited from 1/9/2014) are used in ‘altitude tents’ that you may sleep in or ‘altitude rooms’ you may train in.
Every athlete is responsible for his/her medication. Please check with your team doctor or visit your NADA website to find out about banned substances. Here is a short video clip that may be helpful for you: http://www.bbc.com/sport/tennis/35759241
FISA works to ensure the safety of rowers. One of the ways to do this is to reduce the risk of “Sudden Cardiovascular Death in Sport” in our sport. FISA has recently introduced the IOC recommended Pre-Competition Health Screening.
The process involves completing a questionnaire, submitting it to your doctor and undertaking the exam and diagnostic test.
This has been for rowers competing at the Junior World Championships in 2014, but from 2015 all rowers competing at the World Championships, the Under 23 World Championships and the Junior World Championships are required to have done this.
Weather can have a major influence on the conditions for the athletes at rowing regattas. This applies to any rowing course in the world, whether on a natural lake or on a custom built regatta course.
When weather creates unfair conditions for the rowers, the FISA rules call for a means to attempt to restore, as much as possible, the fairness of the competition. For each FISA world-level event, the FISA Executive Committee establishes a Fairness Committee according to Rule 71.
This Committee consists of three people with appropriate experience and ability to take the appropriate measures if the weather creates unfair or unrowable racing conditions. The Fairness Committee has the duty to determine if the weather has created, or is about to create, unfair or unrowable conditions. It is then their responsibility to identify and adopt what they determine to be the most appropriate action among several alternatives listed in the Bye-Law to Rule 71.
The Fairness Committee studies carefully how wind effects the racing course. They may identify and use a range of tools and information to carry out their role effectively and have a range of strategies to ensure fairness. For example they can recommend which lanes are used, change the time of racing or, in extreme circumstances, recommend a time trial format to replace a round of racing.
The Fairness Committee exists to ensure that racing is as fair as possible for you.
Please be aware of the advertisement rules at all times. Even small breaches of the rules (including during the race and on the victory ceremony stage) can result in a crew being relegated to last place in their race. It can also damage the cooperation between sponsors and the Organising Committee or FISA. In the long term this affects the whole rowing community and for example, might make running regattas more costly which should be avoided.