How old do you have to be to join a Junior learn to Row course ?
We take junior rowers from year 7
When do courses take place ?
Typically we run these during the summer school term, because the better weather suits getting used to how to row.
We run the courses in the afternoon, with a junior session before the course, so that some of the juniors who can already row can help during the course session.
How are the courses run ?
Our courses are supervised by a qualified rowing coach, assisted by parents and junior rowers.
They combine some land based tuition - where we use rowing machines to teach the sequence of a good rowing stroke, in a way that allows us to get close to the participants and explain to them any ways they can improve what they are doing.
We also use other land based exercises to help participants with working as a team.
The time spent on the water will be in stable boats - to minimize the risk of capsize.
We have a range of stable boats:
stable singles - with floats to keep them upright
stable doubles (which are wider than racing boats to make them more stable without floats, and we typically start out with an experienced junior rower in one of the seats)
stable quads (which are also wider, and have a cox to steer them, and will typically have one experienced junior rower as well, at least initially)
Can I help out in any way ?
If you have time to help out then we would welcome you doing so.
We would typically ask you to do something that does not require specific rowing knowledge, e.g. holding on to the end of a rope which has a boat on the other end, to keep the rowers safe during the early stages when they are just getting the hang of rowing, or walking along the tow path alongside a boat to keep an eye on them - e.g. to tell them if there is a canal boat coming or something in the way.
If I enjoy the course can I join the club afterwards ?
Yes, absolutely, we do not expect everyone to join, but we can handle a significant number of new rowers each year.
If you do want to, then the club has a monthly membership fee which is currently £24, although as with everything the club runs, in cases of hardship they will consider a reduced membership rate.
How long will it take before I can get to be a competitive rower ?
This is hugely variable - the shortest time I have ever seen from completing the learn to row course to competing for the first time in a British Rowing competition was just over three months, but for the majority of junior rowers it is more like a year, and for some it can take two years.
What if I don't want to compete, and just want to enjoy rowing for fun ?
We provide opportunities for everyone, whether or not they wish to compete.
There are currently opportunities for non-competitive junior rowers to get out on the water on Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon, and to do indoor training - whether on rowing machines or doing circuit training - on two weekday evenings.