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2018 Commonwealth Beach Rowing Sprints Forward Thinking

Annamarie Phelps tells Row360 about the new rowing discipline being piloted by Commonwealth rowing federations. Rowing has been excluded from the Commonwealth Games programme since 1986, but this vibrant new format may herald the radical reinvention of rowing as a sustainable, global sport.
Photography TOM HURLEY BRITISH ROWING

A bout four to five years ago the freshly appointed chief executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), David Grevemberg CBE, rewrote their strategy. Called “Transformation 2022”, it came out shortly after the IOC’s Agenda 2020. It incorporated a new human rights-based approach and focuses on the Sustainable Development Goals. Unfortunately changes to the programme of the Games at the same time took out all outdoor water sports. That means there’s now no sailing, no canoeing, no open water swimming and still of course no rowing. The CGF wanted to focus on sports that would be easier for small nations to host and compete in.

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About Row360

Welcome to Row360, the world’s only global, independent rowing magazine. Row360 brings you features from around the world, profiling the best athletes, coaches, and others from the whole rowing community – Olympic, adaptive, college, club, ocean, and more.