International Women’s Day: Why rowing is oar-some!

Today is International Women’s Day. To mark the occasion, we’ve asked women from across the rowing community to tell us why they love rowing.

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Why is rowing a great sport for women?

“I often describe sculling as ‘yoga on water’”, Jane Giddins, Club Chairman and rower

Lydia Paynter, cox and social sec

“Female rowers are the epitome of dedication, motivation and sheer will power – and there’s nothing like a friendly gossip at 6am to get your day started!”

Rosemary Thom, British Rowing Masters Committee volunteer and rower

“Firstly it’s something that you can do all your life, I know women who still row in their 70’s and 80’s.  It’s also a sport where you can be part of a team, but if you master the art of single sculling you can train on your own, which gives considerable flexibility time-wise.  And you do it sitting down….what more can I say!”

Jane Giddins, Club Chairman and rower

“It is extremely technical and you have to be prepared to master the technique before you use a lot of power. I often describe sculling as ‘yoga on water’. I also think the extremely close bond of rowing in a crew is something that women really value.”

How does rowing make you feel?

Annamarie Phelps, Chairman of British Rowing and mum of three rowers

“I love being out on the water it’s an immense feeling of freedom away from all the confines of urban life and traffic. It is a great stress reliever. I love that feeling that you’ve really worked hard at the end of a session.”

“It makes me feel exhilarated, excited, fulfilled and 100% satisfied”, Frances Houghton, Olympic Silver medalist and GB Rowing Team member

 

Lydia Paynter, cox and social sec

“At times it is incredibly challenging but there is nothing like the pride of my crew getting me over the line, one of the girls smashing their PB or my friends achieving things they never knew they could.”

Frances Houghton, Olympic Silver medalist and GB Rowing Team member

“When some strokes, or a race, or an outing come together it feels really good. It makes me feel exhilarated, excited, fulfilled and 100% satisfied. It makes me want to go out there and do it all again. That is probably why I’ve been doing it for so long!”

What do you love about rowing?

Charlotte Wilding, student rower

“If you get the boat in time with everyone’s power sending the boat away you can hear it sing on the water – it’s great!”

Rosemary Thom, British Rowing Masters Committee volunteer and rower

“Apart from the obvious; exercise, technical challenge, racing, it’s that women who row are just such nice and interesting people.  Plus you can justify eating cake without feeling guilty.”

Grace Clough, GB Rowing Team member

“It’s never too late to give it a try”, Rosemary Thom, volunteer and rower

“Having had a disability since birth a life-long dream of mine has been to go to a Paralympics. Rowing has opened up an opportunity for this dream to become a reality. Finding rowing has meant I can push new boundaries, both within myself and training, but also in terms of the level I could and still possibly can reach in sport.”

What advice would you give to women thinking about getting involved in rowing?

Jane Giddins, Club Chairman and rower

“Just do it! You need to be reasonably fit and active, but you can improve your strength and fitness as you learn. Age is no barrier – at Minerva we recently started up weekday sculling and most of the people we have taught to row are women between 40 and 60. I should add that they are all now completely addicted and we are setting up more sculling courses on a Thursday morning this year.”

Rosemary Thom, British Rowing Masters Committee volunteer and rower

“It’s never too late to give it a try. I was in my mid-forties when I started and the only thing I regret is not beginning sooner.”

Annamarie Phelps, Chairman of British Rowing and mum of three rowers

“Give it a go, check out the club finder on the British Rowing website! What have you got to lose…and so much to gain. But keep your hands healthy, you’ll need plenty of Sudacream.”

If you’ve been inspired by these women and want to get involved with rowing then visit the ‘Go Rowing’ section of our website to find out more.

For more information about International Women’s Day visit http://www.internationalwomensday.com/.

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