Veterans Survey – RESULTS

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The CPGA asked us to help them survey rowers about their views regarding changing the age-brackets applied to Veterans and Super-Veterans from 2016. They have also asked all gig clubs to feed back a response to them as well. 

Read here about the CPGA Veteran and Super Vet age proposal

96 people completed our online survey and these are the results.

Results of Veterans Survey

Respondents were also asked to make any additional comments if they wished to. These were as follows:

1. Year of birth eligibility is standard for other British Rowing competitions. Average age makes since to me.

2. Our (ladies) team from Holland started entering competitions only a couple of years ago. We are greatly enjoying ourselves. Our ultimate goal is to come to the scilly’s as supervets. If you raise the age this dream will go down the drain…

3. I support lifting the age limit as it would give fairer competition.

4. Most people are not ‘done’ at 40 and in the gig world, 40 + year olds are still pushing hard. Why try to contain or limit them . The vets crews now are getting ever more competitive, so why not extend the age. Just don’t do it overnight to 45

5. By upping the age limit by 1 year, each year, it means there will be no new people entering the category for the next 5 years. This is not promoting vets rowing, and could in fact, reduce numbers (assuming some will retire).

6. This change will:fill B crews with older rowers which will stunt progression of youth into senior crews,reduce the standard of vet and super vet rowing by only allowing older rowers to participate, hinder chances of 40-45 y/o rowers winning anything.

7. Moving a year at a time has to be the way forward. Moving to 45/55 in a single move will disrupt and disband many already established vet and super vet crews and may see rowers exit the sport – that would be a huge backward step for the sport.

8. Really cant see the rational in this. Most events have mixed/female & male boats all taking part together in one race so looks busy. Nothing to stop any vets rowing in either A or B races as well.

9. You either have to keep things as they are OR make the change in one hit. Trying to make a rolling change is too complicated. I am 50 and really don’t mind if they make changes to the ages.

10. Even better, raise vets to 50 and SV to 60 – much more representative of today’s physical capability by age!

11. Think there should be more than one race for vets at Scillies.

12. Maybe push it back to 2017 starting at Scillies

13. I think it’d be good if there were more age groupings, like in CRA events. Does this new proposal cover Scillies?

14. I think it would be quite unfair to move straight to 45, as it would disqualify a number of people who may have had a couple of seasons rowing veterans. The issue of falling b crew rowers would not in my opinion be resolved by raising the vets age.

15. More needs to be done to encourage junior rowers, as they are the future of all clubs.

16. Gradual change will be very confusing, lets change it straight away

17. Change to age categories plainly needed. I rowed a season in our Ladies A crew at age 61 and was in the winning Scillies SuperVets boat at age 64. Keep rowing til your heart stops!

18. Being 43 now and turning 44 in Sept. I am training now for my next year’s event which will be 1st visit to the Scillies and a change in the Vets age would ruin my dream of being in competative class. This maybe the case for some new rowers.

19. We could also introduce more categories – for example 40+ 50+ 60+ to make the vets fairer

20. Vets/SuperVets races are getting more competitive but to move straight to the higher age groups may disrupt clubs that have established vets / super vets crews and no other rowers to step in for those that would not qualify hence the stepped option.

21. To give people the chance the row it would be better to keep the age as low as possible as it then allows rowers to just row for the vets which will free up other crew if the rower wishes to do so

22. It would encourage younger people if their teams didn’t contain Vets/Supervets. As there have been a lot more ‘mature’ people racing in recent years, including quite a few in their 60’s, it would be good for Vets/Supervets to have a closer age group.

23. I feel it will be far too complicated to stagger the age increases over 5 years. Just do it from 2016. The sport is attracting so many older people now, people are fitter and rowing for much longer…may soon have to consider supersupervets.over 65s.

24. I do not see the point in raising the category age by only 5 years. Make it either 10 years, add another category of over 60 years or don’t bother changing it at all. Yes people may be getting fitter but it is down to the individual never the less.

25. If the proposal goes ahead, to reflect the increasing age of participants, then there should be more races at individual regattas for the age groups.

26. I don`t see the connection between raising the vet ages and decent B crews as most smaller clubs probably have A and B crews made up containing good vet rowers and larger clubs have the beauty of choosing the best people for the A and B crew first ?

27. I think if it’s going to change it needs to be done in one hit. This means more older rowers (which there is a high number of) will get the opportunity to row in a supervets crew. Rather than having a 46 year old that could row in all crews!

28. An Incremental increase is the fairest way forward if we are to increase the age limit.

29. Are there any other competitive sports that don’t rank you as a verteran at 40? Would we not be better off creating another category for 60+? See british cycling categories for MTB veteran (40-40), grand veteran (50-59) and super veteran (60+).

30. This proposal is not an effective means to “fix” a perceived problem with vets racing.

31. Raising the age incrementally is too complicated and very likely rules will be broken. Make the change in one hit. There are plenty of new people entering the sport at all ages, including 55+! This doesn’t affect B crews as they’re open to all ages.

32. The proposed increase in age seems to be at odds with any initiatives to increase participation in the sport. I don’t think vets row only vets races at the expense of B(or even A) races, most will do both to ensure younger rowers get out on the water

33. Think a jump by 5 years is too much and is harsh on the current rower who will miss out.

34. People are without doubt living longer, more concerned in keeping healthy and taking exercise; rowing is the perfect example of this; so having a super vet level of 60+ is the way to go and the sooner the better.

The following additional comments were written under the ‘Other’ option above:

1. Leave vets at 40 and increase super vets to 55

2. Increase the ages for vets to 50 and Supervets to 60 in one hit.

3. Increase the age for vets to 50 and super vets to 55 or 60

4. Change needs to happen in one go it would get confusing changing every year

5. A gradual change is a good idea.

6. Don’t mind the top two options but fix the age and stick with it.

7. I see a much more inviting and expanding way of coping with the new age groups. We simply extend the age gap for the initial vets category, for instance; ‘Normal’ selection is 18-40, a span of 20ish years, so why dont we extend the vets to this also, so I would propose the vets being 40-60 then supervets being 60+. the current capacity for 40-50 is quite a small range and it ends up being a mix of super and normal vets. Where extending this will give more scope to the vets and more of a clarification on the 60+ rowers (lets face it, a 50 year old is barely a super vet!) This is all coming from a 27 year old. I feel it will expand each category and subsquently the B’s alot more.

8. I think more groupings would be a good idea

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