Rowing at University in Cambridge
1) When does training take place?
Training sessions take place every day, and are planned to suit the timetables of individual rowers. Novice sessions are likely to run at all times of the day from 8am, with outings scheduled to fit in with lectures, lunch breaks, and other sporting and work commitments.
We can only row during daylight hours so early mornings and evenings don’t feature except over the summer months. If you’re interested in starting rowing, trying to avoid daytime commitments will definitely be a help in making sure you get the outings you want.
Most novice rowers will do between three and four outings a week, with the greater part of the training usually taking place at the weekend. Each session lasts between 1-2 hours. However there’s plenty of flexibility in the training plan to allow us to cater for all levels of commitment and enthusiasm.
2) What sort of kit do I need?
To start with you need standard sports kit – a t-shirt, shorts, trainers, and something long sleeved and a hat for colder days. Optional but helpful extras would be long socks (preferably in First and Third gold!), and a light waterproof jacket. You will also need some sort of water bottle. It’s highly unlikely that you will fall in, however there is some splash so you should expect to get a little damp. So old trainers and T-shirts would probably be your best bet.
If you decide that rowing is the sport for you then it’s possible to order First and Third kit via the Kit and Social Secretary. The college will pay for around £30-50 of kit per person per year – enough to cover the essential lycra all-in-one. You can also get your hands on cheap yet stylish novice stash in the second or third week of term.
3) What else does the boat club offer?
As well as eights, the boat club has a substantial number of smaller boats for those who wish to learn to scull. We have a full-time boatman who is happy to arrange coaching. We also have a gym for fixed weight circuits and a room full of Concept2 ergometers which are available for everybody to use.
Every year we organise training camps and trips in the holidays. Recent destinations have included Seville (Spain), Ghent (Belgium), Berlin, and the UK Water Sports Centre in Nottingham. Our rowers also frequently compete on the tideway in London, at Henley, some have raced across the channel, and some have even rowed across the Atlantic! Plans are in the pipeline for more training and racing trips this year.
Most importantly, joining the boat club is a great way to meet new people studying lots of different subjects - overseas and home students, graduates and undergraduates. Our dedicated Kit and Socials Secretary will be providing a great line-up of socials, starting with the Chaplains' Squash, legendary boatie cocktails (free to freshers), fireworks party, whole club formals and formal swaps with other colleges, termly formal dinners and lots more. For grads we’ll also be meeting up for college BA dinners in and out of term. Then there are all the barbeques, “crew pastas” and nights at the pub!
4) How hard is rowing? Do I need to do much fitness training?
Like any sport, rowing requires a lot of physical effort and you can expect to get tired! On the other hand, learning to row will often involve a lot of technical training and the intensity of novice sessions is therefore quite low.
Anyone can start rowing, however fit they are, and whether or not they’re the ‘sporty type’. The myth that you need to be tall and weigh 100kg to row is just that, a myth … Take a quick look at the pictures of our extremely successful Bumps Eights for evidence! A lot of novices come to us with little experience of training and go on to secure places in our top boats. As it’s you who decides how much training you want, you can build up your fitness gradually.
5) I already have rowing experience. How do I get involved?
We’re always pleased to welcome school and university rowers, who are fast-tracked straight into the upper boats squad. In the first instance, please contact the overall (captain).
6) How good are First and Third?
Put straightforwardly, we are the best college club in Cambridge. Both our women’s and men’s squads occupy extremely high positions in the university bumps, and the last two years have seen record numbers of wins in all types of boats and over all distances on the Cam. Off-cam we compete comfortably in the S2 and S3 categories in national regattas and the Head of the River races, and we are one of the few Oxbridge colleges who can expect to qualify at Henley Royal Regatta.
A number of our rowers have gone on to personal success with the university men’s, women’s, and lightweight boat clubs – Tobias Garnett, James Strawson, Seb Pancratz, Rachel Croft, John Kiely, Abbie Fox, Julia Summers, Fran Rawlins, Helen Ralston and Lilie Weaver in the last few years. We maintain excellent links with our old boys and girls and benefit from their support with top level coaching throughout the year.
Partly due to its size (about 10% of the college are active members of the boat club at any one time, and something like 90% of Trinity undergraduates give rowing a try at some point in their college career) the boat club is well funded and you can expect to receive excellent training and support.
7) Where do I sign up?
If you would like to get involved with rowing at Trinity, contact the Lower Boats' Captains: email@example.com. You’ll also catch us at the Chaplains' Squash and Boatie Cocktails in freshers week – or just ask anyone wearing navy and gold in the college bar and they’ll be able point you in the right direction.
Looking forward to meeting you!
Miles, Allen, Alex W, Tom, Charlotte, Alex C, Katie, and Hannah
Lower Boats Captains 2009-2010