First and Third Trinity Boat Club
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Rowing at University in Cambridge

Novice FAQs

When does training take place?

Our novice squad is large enough that we have sessions happening every day- this makes it easy to fit sessions in around everyone's schedules.

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 for about an hour and a half. However there's plenty of flexibility in the training plan to allow us to cater for all levels of commitment and enthusiasm.

What sort of kit do I need?

Standard sports kit is enough to start with – a t-shirt, shorts, trainers, warm kit for cold days, and a light waterproof jacket for rainy days.

If you decide to continue rowing then you can order First and Third kit via our 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 order stash later in Michaelmas term

How much does it cost to take part?

You don't need to spend anything if you don't want - to start with you don't need to buy any kit, entry into the main novice races is paid for by college, and (unlike many other college boat clubs) we have no membership fee. If you continue rowing, you will need to buy an all-in-one, but this can be reimbursed through the college Sporting Expenses Fund.

After your first term, you will be charged half the cost of race entry fees for races other than the largest races (Fairbairns and the two sets of Bumps races), but this is typically only about £2-3 pounds per race.

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 fully equipped erg room with Concept2 ergometers which are available for everybody to use.

Every year we organise training camps and trips in the holidays. Recent destinations have included Chester and London for training camps, and this year we are going to Newcastle for our camp. Our rowers also compete in London, at Henley, as well as some more local races.

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 Social Secretary will be providing a great line-up of events, starting with boatie cocktails (free to freshers). We also host a huge fireworks party, club formals and formal swaps with other colleges, termly formal dinners, WPRs and lots more. For grads we'll also be meeting up for college BA dinners in and out of term. There are also more casual events, like barbeques, "crew pastas", and nights at the pub.

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 can also be quite low. So anyone can start rowing, no matter how fit they are - we look for potential. Our experienced coaching team will turn you all into pro athletes in no time!

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. Contact the Overall Captain for more information.

I am a cox/would like to learn how to cox. Who should I contact?

Contact the Coxing Captain for more information.

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.

Our top rowers regularly trial for the various university boat clubs. This year, we are proud to announce that Chris Black is trialling for CUBC, and Jon Williams and Michael Thornton are trialling for CULRC. Recent First and Third rowers who have rowed in the university boat races include Sara Lackner, Tobias Garnett, James Strawson, Alexander Kasas, Seb Pancratz, Rachel Croft, John Kiely, Abbie Fox, Julia Summers, Fran Rawlins, Helen Ralston and Lilie Weaver.

Where do I sign up?

If you would like to get involved with rowing at Trinity, contact the Lower Boats' Captains: You'll also catch us at the Chaplains' Squash and Boatie Cocktails in freshers week – or just ask anyone wearing blue and gold stash in college and they should be able point you in the right direction.

We look forward to meeting you!

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