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The Club is committed to encouraging junior rowing, and some milestones in building our organisation and capacity are:
- 2000 approved to deliver the Go Row scheme under the National Junior Rowing Programme
- 2001 joined Project Oarsome and established formal links with local state secondary schools;
- 2004 awarded Clubmark accreditation by Sport England as a safe, efficient and child friendly club.
We have an open membership policy and accept young people into the junior programme aged ‘under 14’ or older (age categories in rowing are defined in the same way as they are for school years, by your age on the preceding 1st of September, and so that’s how they are described here). Children of existing Club members younger than this may be accepted subject to an agreed level of direct parental supervision and support.
New juniors are introduced to the sport through a learn-to-row scheme that the Club currently runs once a year. This begins with land-based activities in the spring term and moves onto the water after Easter. Enjoyment, personal challenge and a sense of achievement are seen as key motivators for staying in the sport, and our juniors are encouraged to take part in competition, whilst recognising the value of fitness and exercise for its own sake. Rowing is a physically and technically demanding sport, and the commitment needed to make good progress is attending 3 times each week.
If you would like to join our waiting list to receive information about the next junior learn-to-row course, please email our Junior Co-Ordinator mailto:email@example.com – and let him have the Junior’s details – name, date of birth, address and a parental contact phone number.
Our junior training groups, described below, take account of a combination of factors that include age and progress in developing skills and experience, plus application to training and interest in racing. This helps us to organise the Club’s resources and is not intended to be too rigid or limiting. What someone wants in the sport may change over time and we aim to be as flexible to individual needs as possible and to help everyone to achieve their potential in rowing.
Ages mostly under 14s to under 16s (we do accept older beginners, but if the intake is oversubscribed they may be directed to one of our adult learn-to-row courses)
The beginner stage, learning basic skills and confidence, starts with the learn-to-row schemein the spring term, initially in the gym and on rowing machines. Water sessions are then added after Easter, and this stage is normally completed by late summer.
Ages mostly under 15s
The development stage aims to further develop individual confidence and competence in fine boats and to learn to train for competition. Juniors typically spend a full year in this group when they move on from the beginners, but those aged J16 and older may (subject to progress) be offered a fast-track route to trial in the performance group after the October half term.
Ages mostly under 16s or older
There is a more demanding programme in the performance squad, which aims to compete regularly at regional events and beyond up to national championships. This is not an exclusive or elite group – it’s built around young people who want to improve and believe how much they can achieve if they set effective goals. Commitment to training is essential, with a minimum requirement of 3 to 4 times each week depending on age and increasing as their skills, mobility, fitness and ambition develop.
Ages mostly under 16s or older
Those who have attained a reasonable level of skill but cannot commit to the competitive training programme may attend self-directed recreation group sessions on a more flexible basis, but under supervision and at the same times as the development group.