World Rowing awards to take new format for 2020

Lack of racing forces major shake up of international rowing's annual awards

1 minute read
Words Benedict Tufnell
Photography World Rowing/Benedict Tufnell
Published 22.06.20

According to World Rowing, the FISA Executive Committee has determined that presenting awards for this year “would be inappropriate as there will be almost no rowing racing in 2020.” Instead FISA plan to replace the annual awards with “a month of rowing celebration.”

Photo Sinkovic brothers honoured as best male crew at the 2019 World Rowing awards.
Credit World Rowing/Benedict Tufnell

The World Rowing awards, which honour the best of the year’s men’s, women’s and para crews based on performances throughout the international racing season, are typically presented at the conclusion of the annual World Rowing Coaches Conference each year in November. However, with almost no racing opportunities in 2020, World Rowing have chosen to replace the awards with “a celebration of the sport of rowing, and how 2020 shaped the rowing community.” This celebration will last for the entire month of November 2020.

World Rowing say the public will be asked “to nominate an individual or individuals who have acted with courage, helped others, or created new ideas on how to handle the difficult situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Through the month of November, those nominated individuals will be featured through World Rowing’s communications channels.”

Photo The 2019 World Rowing Awards held in London.
Credit World Rowing/Benedict Tufnell

“This is a most unusual year for sport with so many events being cancelled or postponed,” says FISA President Jean-Christophe Rolland. “We wanted to show that through the year there was still much happening in the rowing community, whether it was rowers innovatively adapting their training to be indoors or rowers helping on the front lines, especially in essential services.” 

Recently the World Rowing Awards has also incorporated the presentation of the Thomas Keller Medal, Filippi Spirit Award, Distinguished Services Medal and Sustainability Award. World Rowing say these will also go on hiatus “as the sport collects itself and gets ready for the 2021 season.”