September 19, 2016, by Guest Blogger
Introduction to Boat Club
Joining the Boat Club as a fresher is one of the best decisions you can make in your time at UoN. Like many people, I was sceptical about joining – rowing clubs are notorious for their early mornings and lack of social life, the polar opposite of what most students want from university – but not only is this not true, Rowing as a sport is one of the most rewarding things you can do during your degree and UoNBC is one of the best student boat clubs in the country.
If, like me, you’ve never rowed before uni, there are specific men’s and women’s squads for novices, both with their own committed coaches, coxes and boats, allowing as much time as you need to get the hang of the sport early on. In fact, the first few weeks are free so you can have a real taster of what the year and the sport are like, which is a huge advantage if you just want to try it like I did.
Both squads train alongside the senior men’s and women’s squads, which really helps you improve and makes the boat club one of the most social clubs at UoN, with 80 of us down for most sessions and plenty of off-water recovery time. Even during freshers’ week, you can be out on the water next to Trent Bridge and under the Forest Ground, enjoying our beautiful scenery and one of the longest stretches of useable river in the country, with the width of the river affording us constant coaching. Admittedly, the winter sessions can be cold, but this is true for any sport and the club kitchen keeps you warm between sessions. As for the rumours, the only early mornings required of the Novice squad are at the weekend and there are plenty of people who can testify that this doesn’t affect Ocean Fridays – in fact many of our own socials are organised for Ocean nights, so you won’t miss out.
Our club also gets one of the biggest weekly crisis ticket allocations of any uni club, and with the variety of socials (including 3 legged, boat parties and plenty of fancy dress nights outside of the weekly crisis and sober socials to Planet Bounce and Laser Quest) and 80 other squad members meaning we certainly aren’t boring, while our post-race nights out are legendary.
Oh, and everyone knows about the physical benefits of rowing. Progression doesn’t stop at novice year, with 2 of our senior boats qualifying to represent Britain at the European Championships – and three of those eight rowers started as novices when they were freshers, including one of our Women’s 4 who won to be crowned European Champions.
After Easter rowing is very much down to your personal schedule and ambition, as the coaches are very sympathetic during exam periods – for the most part, you can decide when you want to row and which regattas you want to enter, which gives you great opportunities to experience regattas and win races. Also, Rowing looks great on your CV, even just a year of it as most employers recognise the commitment and organisation top-level rowing requires.
So with the coaching, the facilities, the social life, the CV boost, the travel and experiences, the fitness and the opportunity for progression UoNBC offers, why wouldn’t you join?