University and GB Rowing underpins Olympic medal table
From BUCS (formerly BUSA) at www.bucs.org.uk
University rowing was celebrating today after a record medal haul from the Shunyi Rowing-Canoeing Park (16-17 August 2008).
Twenty university students and alumni took home five of the six Olympic medals, including two bronze, two silver and one gold – the biggest medal haul for GB rowing since 1908.
Karen Rothery, Chief Executive of British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) said:
“Our universities have some of the best rowing facilities and clubs in Europe and there’s no doubt that the support of higher education has contributed to the development and experience of our rowers in Beijing this year.
“Over 90% of the GB rowing team competed for their university club and six of the medallists first took up the sport while studying. It’s clear that university allows students to take advantage of the sports on offer and rowing is one which is becoming increasingly popular; over 50 student clubs competed in BUCS competitions in 2007/08.
“As the rowing team travel home with their bronze, silver and gold medals we’re looking forward to the next four years of rowing on a national and international stage. Working closely with the Amateur Rowing Association we’re already discussing how we develop the sport further on campus and increase student participation at a grass-roots level ready for London 2012 and beyond.”
BUCS will host its first rowing event (the small boats head) on 25 – 26 October 2008 at the Princess Royal Sports Arena, Lincolnshire. BUCS has aligned the event with the GB assessment trials to give more students the chance of getting to 2012.
For those athletes who are already competing at an international standard, BUCS is also working with GB Rowing to send a Great British team to the 2008 World University Championships taking place in Belgrade, Serbia where they hope to repeat the success of 2006 when the team won two gold and two silver medals.
British Universities and Colleges Sport