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Give choice between new and regular rowing pakje

15 people have signed this petition. Add your name now!
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15 people have signed. Add your voice!
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Dear T.S.R. Vidar rower,

Yesterday the color theme for the 2015/2016 rowing season was officially disclosed. Soon after a picture of the new onepiece rowing suit (hereafter: pakje) circulated in social media.

With this petition we express our profound rejection of said pakje towards the Lustrumbestuur (cc Vice Praeses) and request an immediate appeal of the decision to endorse said pakje as the only admissible outfit for rowers representing Vidar during the upcoming rowing season.

We propose instead to give athletes the choice between Vidar’s new as well as the old/regular rowing kit during the upcoming season.

Signing this petition means arguing in favor of giving the rower the option to choose between starting in the new or the regular (non-lustrum) pakje during the next rowing season!

The reasoning behind our initiative is as follows:

There is no accounting for taste. For it is highly subjective and up to each and everyone’s own judgement. Whether someone likes the new pakje or finds it fashionable is entirely up to her/his own taste. In fact, everyone at Vidar is entitled to have her/his own opinion about it. And while the color scheme as well as the pakje divide the minds as in probably no jubilee before, this proposal shall not argue along the lines of differences in tastes.

Instead we argue as the party most affected by the decision to solely endorse the new pakje: since we will be wearing it and we will be paying it.

While the decision to compete against other rowing clubs wearing said pakje is a personal and thus subjective decision too, it is not open to each and every one at Vidar. It is the decision of the athlete alone! For it is the rower that represents Vidar in victory and defeat, through blood, sweat, and tears.

Now, the paradox of rowing is that this most physically demanding of sports requires mental toughness as no other discipline. Serious competition starts with being mentally prepared. And feeling confident and comfortable representing Vidar in one’s pakje is, as a matter of fact, factored into a competitive state of mind (to various extents depending in each rower).

And just as the decision to compete is essentially the decision of the rower, it is also his/her decision to self-finance it in the first place. For it is the athlete that pays a rowing kit at the beginning of each season! With a cost of approximately 56 EUR for the pakje alone (which is not sufficient for a rowing season due to required uniformity of a crew) and a cost of approximately 236 EUR for a full rowing kit (including pakje, turtle, short- and long-sleeve thermos-shirts, and a thermo-leggings) it is extremely disturbing that the athlete appears to have no say in the decision to choose the outfit she/he wants to compete in.

In our surprise and to reflect the opinion on this matter, we started this online petition – those signing it demand to have a choice. We hope that within the next days rowers indicate their preference to express their content or discontent regarding this decision. We expect the poll to tell a consistent story (one that is echoing in social media already): rowers at least want to choose between starting in the new or the regular pakje for the next rowing season.

Given the frustration (regardless of the individual reasoning behind it) that this new pakje has stirred up in not even two days, in particular from the rowers who will eventually have to wear and pay it, it does not seem wise at all to go ahead with the intention to declare said pakje the only admissible outfit for rowers representing Vidar. The required uniformity of a boat crew during a competition can be adhered to with any outfit as long as it is uniform. This would apply to any alterative pakje including our regular rowing suits (which could still be obtained from the Powerhouse store).

Whether or not we can accommodate each other, e.g., by offering the athletes a choice between the new and the old rowing kits should be determined in the near future. What is not surprising and should be understood is that she/he who pays the piper calls the tune.

We are looking forward to your voice. Thank you for your understanding!

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