Constitution and Rules

Shiplake Vikings Rowing Club



The club shall be known as the Shiplake Vikings Rowing Club hereinafter known as THE CLUB.

The objectives of the Club are provision of rowing and coaching to its members using the Shiplake College Boathouse and its facilities.

The following are the classes of membership:
a. Full Members: over the age of 18 or not in full time education.
b. College Staff Members: staff of Shiplake College
c. Junior Members: under the age of 18 on Sept 1st of the relevant calendar year
d. Associate Members: For volunteer coaches and junior helpers

Candidates for election to membership shall make written application to the Secretary / Treasurer of the Club on the form provided. The power of election shall rest with the Committee, who may refuse to elect to membership any applicant without disclosing a reason for so doing.

A person who has been expelled from, or refused membership of, British Rowing, shall not be eligible for membership.

The Committee may at its sole discretion, decline to accept renewal of membership, from any person, without disclosing the reason.

Member losses or damages
The club shall not accept liability for loss or damage to members’ property;

The Club will ensure that the talents and resources of all members are utilised to the full and that no member receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of gender, disability, marital status, race, religion or belief, ethnicity, age or sexual orientation or is disadvantaged by conditions or requirements which cannot be shown to be relevant to performance.

The Club accepts the policy and procedures relating to Child Protection, as set out by British Rowing. A Junior Member’s Code of Conduct, a Junior Welfare Policy and Anti-Bullying Policy are appended to this document. The Club requires all members to accept them as a condition of membership. Copies of the policy are available from the Club Secretary.

Each applicant for membership shall, if his/her application be accepted, pay an entrance fee, the amount of which shall be determined by the members in General meeting. The current entrance fee is set at £nil.

The rates of subscription shall be determined by the members in General meeting and shall be due on election and, thereafter, on or before the end of September in each year. Subscriptions run from September to August each year. Members joining partway through a year will pay pro-rata to the quarter in which they join.

New potential members are allowed three sessions free of charge. They are permitted to pay a One-off session fee (see below) for a further two outings. After this, they are required to become full members

The total number of members may be restricted at the discretion of the committee. The nominal maximum number of members is 50.


Type of Fee

Current Level


Full Membership Fee

£230 p.a.

or pro-rata by quarter for new members

One-off Session Fee


per session

College Member Fee

£105 p.a.

for staff of Shiplake College

Junior Fee

£285 p.a.

Or pro-rata by quarter for new members

Associate Fee

£0 p.a.

For coaches or coaches’ children.

Racking Fee

£170 p.a.

Members wanting racking also pay racking fees

Racking Fee: Single and double sculls only

Temporary membership


For 5 sessions used over 3 months.



A. Any member may resign giving one-month’s clear notice in writing to the Secretary. Any member violating any of the rules or regulations of the Club or being adjudged guilty of unsatisfactory conduct may, by resolution of the Committee, be suspended or expelled. Any member so suspended or expelled may appeal to an Independent Hearings Panel if the officers of the Club approve such an appeal. The panel may be drawn from the membership of the Club or from other clubs in the region. The panel will hear and receive evidence, reach a conclusion, affirm or reject the sanctions imposed as appropriate.
B. Any hearings panel must give a fair and independent hearing to the appellant within an appropriate timescale. Hearings must not contravene the Human Rights Act 1998 or any other policies of the Club and Amateur Rowing Association. [Note: See current ARA Guidelines for the Composition of Hearings Panels published in the Almanac.]
C. A member shall be deemed to have resigned from the Club if, after due notice in writing, they have not paid the annual subscription which becomes due each September. They may, however, rejoin at any time during that year (subject to space) without payment of any entrance fee.

A. Only members entitled to vote are eligible to hold office.
B. Any member shall be eligible for election to the Committee of the Club.

A. The Committee shall conduct the affairs of the Club as a whole and shall consist of a Chairman, Secretary / Treasurer, Captain and other Officers as deemed necessary. The Committee shall have the power to co-opt up to two further members but co-opted members shall have no right to vote at Committee meetings.
B. Nominations for the position of Chairman, Secretary / Treasurer and other Officers shall be put forward in the form of a motion under the terms of Rule 12.D.
C. The term of office shall be for one year, and members shall be eligible for re-election.

A. Chairman: The Chairman will preside at all General Meetings of the Club and at all meetings of the Committee and shall be responsible for guiding the activities of the club in accordance with its general policy as expressed by the majority of its members. The Chairman shall represent or arrange for the representation of the Club at British Rowing regional level and at meetings of other organisations. The Chairman shall ex officio be a member of any other committee of the Club.

B. Captain(s): The Captain will be responsible for training, coaching and representation of the Club in competitions.

C. Secretary: The Secretary will be responsible for the organisation of meetings of the Committee and of the Club, and the recording of minutes relating to such meetings and all correspondence relating to the general business of the Club.

D. Treasurer: The Treasurer will be responsible for the collection and disbursement of all monies belonging to the Club and will keep proper accounting records of all such transactions. He or she will present to the members at the AGM a balance sheet and income and expenditure account showing the Club’s financial position and the results of its transactions for the year. The financials transactions of the Club will be conducted through a bank account managed by the Treasurer. The committee as elected at the AGM of September 2018 comprises the following:

• Chairman
• Sec / Treasurer
• Captain Seniors
• Captain Juniors
• Safeguarding Officer
• Safety Rep
• Marketing Officer
• Fundraising Officer
• Equipment Officer

A quorum shall consist of not less than 3 members.
A. The Committee is responsible for the general conduct of the Club’s business and activities. The Committee shall meet at irregular intervals during the year, as required by the business to be transacted.
B. Special meetings of the Committee shall be called by the Secretary on instructions from the Chairman, or not less than three committee members.
C. In the case of casual vacancy among the Committee, the said Committee shall be entitled to appoint another eligible person to act until the next AGM. Any retiring member of the committee is required to nominate a replacement before his/her resignation is accepted.

The club normally meets on a Sunday morning at 8:30am. Access to the boats is allowed at other times but it should be noted that the School (Shiplake College) has priority of access at all times. Members requiring keys at other times should contact a key-holder – see above.

All committee members are key-holders. Other individual members may be issued with keys at the discretion of the club chairman. Any key-holder is required to sign the keys register.

Club members are strictly forbidden to use any equipment during times when the river is considered by the Environment Agency to be Not Suitable for Navigation. This state may be noted by a Red Board at Shiplake Lock. The club and its members are not insured at these times. All efforts will be taken to notify members in such circumstances but members should also make their own independent enquiries if in any doubt. Members should also check the website “River conditions” as published by the Environment Agency ( prior to rowing. Yellow boards are a sign of increasing stream and single sculling in such circumstances should not be undertaken, other larger boats can be used but with caution. When red boards are shown no rowing should take place.

A. An Annual General Meeting (AGM) shall be held in the autumn of each year. There shall be laid before the meeting a statement of accounts made up to the last day of October. AGMs are normally held in September each year.

B. An Extraordinary General Meeting shall be called on the instructions of a simple majority of the Committee, or on a requisition signed by not less than 10 of the members of the Club entitled to vote.

C. Not less than 21 days clear notice shall be given, specifying to all members the time and business of a General or Extraordinary Meeting.

D. Motions for discussion at Annual General Meetings not of origin from within the Committee, shall be lodged with the Secretary at least 14 days preceding the AGM, and be signed by 5 members entitled to vote.

E. At any General Meeting, a resolution put to the vote of the Meeting shall be decided by a show of hands, of those entitled to vote, except when more than one nomination has been received for a position on the Committee, in which case voting will be by secret ballot.

F. At all General Meetings the Chairman will preside or, in his/her absence, the voting members present will elect a Chairman for the meeting.

G. At all General Meetings not less than 33% members of the Club entitled to vote shall constitute a quorum.

H. Absences of Quorum: If after half an hour from the time appointed for the meeting, a quorum is not present, the Meeting, if called at the request of the members, shall be dissolved. In any other case, the Meeting shall be adjourned until a time and place to be fixed by the Committee. If a quorum is not present within half an hour from the time appointed for an Adjourned Meeting, the members present shall be a quorum.

I. Accidental Omission: Accidental Omission to give notice of a meeting to, or the non-receipt of notice of, a meeting by any member shall not invalidate the proceedings of a meeting. E-mail notification is deemed and accepted by members as an appropriate means of communication.

The General Committee shall manage the affairs of the Club. Financial or legal liability incurred in the rightful exercise of their office shall not, however, be the personal liability of the Committee, but shall be the responsibility of the Club as a whole.

Only full members and family members over the age of 18 years are entitled to vote at all meetings.

A. These rules shall not be altered, amended or rescinded except by a General Meeting of the Club.

B. A resolution to give effect to a change must be passed by at least 75% of the members present at the General Meeting and voting on this behalf.

Every Annual General Meeting shall appoint an Auditor who shall at the conclusion of the next financial year examine the accounting records of the Club, and report to the members on the income and expenditure accounts and balance sheet that are presented to the next AGM.

In no circumstances can any profit be distributed to members, but any profits earned shall be used in furthering the objects of the Club.

The Club can only be wound up by at an Extraordinary General Meeting convened for that specific purpose and, in such an event, any surplus assets shall be handed over to the Shiplake College Boat Club or to a charity or charities agreed by the meeting which formally terminates the Club.

Any matter not provided for in these rules, or the Committee whose decision shall be final shall deal with any question over the interpretation of it.

The Committee shall appoint a member to act as Safety Adviser whose duty it will be to understand the requirements of the British Rowing Code of Practice for Water Safety and advise on their prominent display, their observation and their implementation at all times.

It is the responsibility of all members to carry out a risk assessment prior to boating. As a member of a crew, the risk assessment shall be carried out by a coach, if present, or by the crew by agreement.

Each member shall sign the following declaration on an annual basis:
I agree that I am in good health in relation to the activity of rowing.
I acknowledge that there is a certain risk associated with rowing (which includes sculling). I confirm that I am able to swim a minimum of 100 metres, to swim at least 50 metres in sports clothing, tread water for at least 2 minutes, swim under water for at least 5 metres.
I hereby agree to observe the Club’s rules and code of conduct and safety rules. The Club’s safety rules and code of conduct can be found on the SVRC website. The club follows British Rowing’s safeguarding principles which can be found at
In particular, I understand:
• I will always stay with the boat unless it is unsafe to do so;
• I will wear appropriate close-fitting clothing (not jeans or hoodies with front pockets);
• I will not row or single scull when Shiplake Lock is displaying a Red Board;
• I will not single scull when Shiplake Lock is displaying a Yellow Board;
• I am aware of the effects of cold shock and hypothermia and understand that sudden immersion in cold water can seriously affect my ability to swim.
• I am aware that the Club does not provide Personal Injury Insurance.


Junior Safety and Welfare Policy


The safety and welfare of Junior Viking Members is paramount. This means that the Club is fully committed to understanding and following the British Rowing Guidelines on Child Safety and Welfare Policies. These Policies are outlined in three documents produced by British Rowing being:

The British Rowing Row Safe Guide

The British Rowing Safeguarding and Protecting Children Policy (updated Feb 2013)

Model Anti-Bullying Policy for Rowing Clubs

Junior Members are encouraged to be open at all times and to share any concerns or complaints that they may have about any aspect of the club with one or more of the following persons:

• Junior Captain
• Safeguarding Officer

In addition to the policies and guidelines on safety and welfare outlined in these documents, the Club subscribes to the follows codes:

Junior Safety and Welfare Codes

1. Induction

All Novice Juniors joining Shiplake Vikings shall undergo an induction process which shall include:

• An introduction to the different types of rowing equipment and its terminology;
• An introduction to using an ergometer and basic rowing techniques;
• An introduction to sculling using the Club’s Aquajogs or similar training boats.

In addition ANY Junior joining Shiplake Vikings, whether experienced or not, shall be required to complete:

• A capsize and swim test as prescribed by British Rowing
• All new Junior member shall be given a copy of the Club’s Safety Plan and shall satisfy the Club’s Junior Safety Adviser that he/she is familiar with this Plan

• An introduction to the River between Sonning Lock and Shiplake Lock, its peculiarities and hazards
• A competency test in a fine single to be certified by the Club’s Junior Captain.

No junior shall commence regular training on the water without first completing ALL elements of the above induction process. Novice Juniors must wear a personal floatation device until they have completed the induction process.

2. Training on the River
• No Junior Member shall go afloat in any boat unless he or she is accompanied by a nominated Club Coach or any suitably experienced person nominated by a coach.

• All Juniors training on the River shall remain within the sight of the accompanying Coach. If any Junior advances sufficiently ahead of the Coach such that he/she might disappear from the sight of the Coach, he/she must immediately stop and wait for the Coach to catch up.

• All Juniors should show consideration to other River users which shall include cruisers, barges, canoeists and fishermen.

• All Juniors should attend training sessions suitably prepared for the prevailing conditions including when appropriate, leggings, a base layer, hats, with a change of clothing, water and sunscreen.

• Juniors should demonstrate care for any boat they are assigned and report any damage or defects

3. Training off the Water

• No Junior shall use any Club or College equipment without permission and supervision from a nominated Club Coach or any suitably experienced person nominated by the Coaches.

• No junior who is J15 or younger shall train with any free weights unless they are used as part of a lightweight circuit routine

4. Bullying

Shiplake Vikings is committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all its members so they can train in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at our club and it will not be tolerated at any level. If bullying does occur, all rowers or parents should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. We are a telling club. This means that anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell the Club Welfare Officer, a Coach or any committee member.

The procedures that need to be followed, if a bullying incident is reported, are clearly laid down in the above-mentioned British Rowing Anti-Bullying Policy. Victims of bullying and anyone reporting any bullying need to be assured that any information they provide shall be dealt with confidentially and tactfully. No further steps will be taken until the Club Welfare Officer has had a meeting with the Junior or Juniors concerned.

5. Coaches and Helpers

All Junior coaches and any other adults who coach, help with or regularly come into contact with Junior Viking members are expected to read, learn and follow the aforementioned British Rowing guidelines on safety and child welfare. They are also required to pass the British Rowing DBS clearance procedures before undertaking any activity involving Junior Viking Members. DBS certificates from other organisations are not acceptable.

Version 1.1
Amended 28/08/2019 by MBG