Rowing News | Rowing Canada publishes independent High Performance Review


Rowing Canada was recently released Independent high-performance testing revealed a culture of “organizational issues, abuse and other forms of disrespectful behavior” in Canada’s high-performance program.

The report, prepared by Rubin Thompson, LLP, was released on October 3.

“While we heard from participants about four thematic issues in HP program culture, which are summarized below, it was apparent that there were two concerns behind many of the comments participants made in their surveys and interviews,” it said it in the report. “First, many attendees identified the actions of former Head Women’s Coach Dave Thompson and their view of RCA’s response to his actions as something that had deeply damaged their trust in RCA and left them traumatized, angry, hurt and disappointed. Second, many participants told us that they felt RCA’s HP environment was not athlete-centric, meaning that athlete perspectives were not considered in decision-making. These participants expressed strong feelings of resentment, anger, and powerlessness in this regard.”

The 62-page report details a number of systemic issues in Canada’s rowing system and outlines a program plagued by dysfunction.

The report contains four categories of recommendations to improve the health of Canada’s high-performance rowing program. The four categories are “History Recognition and Verification Processing; Embracing a culture of safety and respect; improving communication and transparency; and promoting inclusion.”

“There is no doubt that RCA faces significant cultural challenges in its HP environment,” the report concludes. “However, the organization has embarked on a path that aims to promote a safer, more respectful, more inclusive, more equitable and more diverse HP culture. Additionally, there is a tremendous desire for change among many members of the HP community. We hope this report and our recommendations serve to help RCA create a better HP environment for all.”

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