Christchurch Rowing Club
Christchurch Rowing Club does a superb job of providing access to high quality rowing to people of all ages in their community. Club Representative Jenny Gould recently took the time to give us an insight into the work that they do.
She told us, “I’ve been working here for four years having been a member before that. I love rowing myself, although with a small child I don’t always have the time now! The difference at this club compared to many in the area is that we offer a junior rowing programme as well as adult and the opportunity to compete inland at river events and/or on the coast.
Our members range from age twelve through to retirement with two gentlemen turning eighty this year. One of the nicest aspects of this is we often have different generations from within the same family in the club at the same time.”
“The club is run and managed by a fantastic team of volunteers, many of whom have a long history with Christchurch Rowing Club. All our coaches are volunteers, giving their time and expertise freely and all new members are made aware that this is an important aspect of the club. We are very fortunate to have a membership who rise to the occasion, getting involved in organising social events, bacon butties on cold mornings, repairing boats, ensuring the fuel tanks are topped up ready for the coaching launches to take to the waters and much, much, more.
The greatest example of this is when we host our annual Head Race and Summer Regatta. These are huge events which take a lot of time and planning and the entire club come together making them a success. We are very fortunate to be supported well by our local community and will be celebrating the clubs 70th year this summer. One area we are looking to expand is our team of cox’s, if you are interested please get in touch.”
“The racing season has started now and everyone has had a chance to see what their competition is going to be like and if all the winter training has paid off. Our different squads have various goals with two of our junior members aspiring to team GB following in the footsteps of CRC grown GB U23 rower Matt Aldridge.
The majority of our adult rowers compete in the Hants & Dorset coastal season. We always aim to get our ladies and men’s novice crew wins in so they can progress to the next status, our Junior Men’s squad are aiming for the championships and we have a large ladies squad this season aiming to secure the Ladies Junior, Senior and Masters 4+ championships as well as some small boat titles. Our senior men’s squad are aiming for Henley. They’ve won three championships in a row in past seasons so were looking for a new challenge.”
“We are committed to youth development and run at full capacity in our junior section each year. We offer a ten week course for any child looking to try the sport and work with two local schools through the winter delivering land training sessions prior to the water course in the summer. Our senior men have set their goals very high and are showing tremendous commitment levels. I think having those role models for young rowers coming through the club is really important.”
“Our biggest challenge is meeting demand; we have a large fleet of boats however by the nature of the sport we are limited to the number of sessions we can offer by the number of seats in boats we have. Having such demand is a great position for the club to be in and certainly helps motivate us to think outside the box on how we can get more people involved in the sport in the future.”