St Pauls Girls School Go Race Indoors

On Friday 8th February St Pauls Girls School, Edgbaston, Birmingham
was host to the first Go-Race indoor rowing competition to be run
by the ARA’s Birmingham coaching team. The team included
Community Sport Coach Maddie Millichap, Community Sport Coach
Stewart Redden and HSCT coach Liv Pembroke.

The school had allowed the ARA coaching team to organise a day
for 165 girls from Year 8 to receive individual coaching
during the morning session whilst also finding time to practice
team rowing and their coaching skills on each other, ready for the
‘Big Event’ in the afternoon.

Showing all 165 how to row on the indoor machine, as well as
introductions to the machines and the correct feet
positions meant the coaches were operating to very
tight time scales (necessary when the next group of 40 were waiting
outside)!

This situation soon took a positive spin as the coaches encouraged
the girls to coach one another which they did willingly. After the
technical instruction, each group was then divided into teams and
practised their ‘change-overs’ with one coach shouting ‘change’
every thirty seconds or so. At the end of the session the
girls were ready and prepared for the afternoon’s racing.

The coaching team used C2’s Venue Race programme to link the rowing
machine monitors to a laptop and projected this onto a screen on
the stage of the school hall, so that everyone not actually racing
could see how their team was progressing. This made things very
lively and the ARA coaching team decided that microphones are
definitely a resource they need for future events!

The girls were divided into teams of five, and 33 teams managed to
compete in just over an hour. The girls’ response to the racing was
fantastic, even those who had been less than enthusiastic in the
morning sessions! The winning team, G.A.S, managed an
impressive 1111m in five minutes, closely followed by the Fallen
Angels at 1105 m. It was a great day for all involved and
quite exciting for the coaches and teachers. The next step for St
Pauls School is the formation of a link with the Birmingham Schools
Rowing Association, where the ARA coaches will help some of
the girls try rowing on the water for the first time after Easter.

Olivia Pembroke HSCT Coach Birmingham
Madeleine Millichap CSC Coach Birmingham
Stuart Redden CSC Coach Birmingham

Jo Atkinson

ARA Team Leader

West Midlands