Participation in rowing continues to grow

Participation in rowing and sculling in the UK showed a ‘statistically significant increase’ last year, according to the recently-published 2011 Watersports and Leisure Participation Survey.

The survey – undertaken by the British Marine Federation in collaboration with a number of water-based institutions – shows an increase in the number of UK adults participating in at least one of the 12 core boating activities*.

In 2011, close to 3.2 million UK adults participated in one of the 12 activities, up 0.3% from 2010 – an increase of roughly 300,000.

Of all the boating activities rowing and sculling showed the greatest increase in participation – up 0.24%.

The survey also showed an 11.4% rise in people travelling abroad to row, highlighting the increasing popularity of overseas training camps and competitions.

‘British Rowing welcomes this good news from the Watersports Participation Survey, which has been reporting trends for the last 10 years,’ said British Rowing National Manager Rosemary Napp.

‘It supports the most recent British Rowing membership figures, which show our largest ever increase in the last year.’ 

The 2011 survey was commissioned by a consortium including the British Marine Federation, Royal Yachting Association, Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Royal National Lifeboat Institution, British Canoe Union, and Marine Management Organisation.

To see the results of the survey in full, visit

*The 12 boating activities include Small sail boat racing, Small sail boat activities, Yacht racing, Yacht cruising, Power boating, Motor boating/Cruising, Using Personal Watercraft, Rowing/sculling, Canoeing, Canal boating, Water skiing and Windsurfing.

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