Five reasons to join a rowing club during Freshers Week

If you are starting at university soon then have you thought about joining the student rowing club?


Hatfield College BC students relax during a session

Adam Kirk, President of Hatfield College Boat Club at Durham University, explains why joining your university boat club should be top of your list.

I joined Hatfield College Boat Club two years ago and many of my best university experiences have happened because of my involvement in student rowing. Here are five reasons why I’d recommend joining a boat club at your university.

1 – Friends
The moment you join a university boat club you immediately have something in common with a large cross section of people from different years and degree subjects. Aside from making lifelong friends, this can also be especially helpful when it comes to tricky homework problems or course queries.

2 – Great socials
My boat club always holds a themed social in the first week of the academic year to welcome all new members and I highly recommend getting involved. We hold some great social events throughout the year, ranging from ‘pub golf’ bar crawls to the Boat Club Ball where we renew links with alumni members.

My boat club always holds a themed social to welcome all new members and I highly recommend getting involved

3 – Fun and fitness on the water
In Durham there is a strong rivalry between the 15 college clubs which makes for great competition throughout the whole season. All universities will have different structures and levels of participation available so make sure you find out what suits you best.

4 – Personal development

A student-led club has a very different atmosphere to a town or school club and there will be plenty of opportunities for you to develop new skills.

One of my proudest moments was preparing a novice team for their first race on the Tyne. I was also lucky to receive funding for a Level 2 coaching qualification from the College Trust. It’s worth thinking about how you would like to expand your involvement in rowing as there might be funding available to help you do this.

The continual turnover of students means that there will always be a demand for new members to take on roles in club management. At Hatfield College BC there are ten annually elected positions ranging from treasurer to club president. You will have a say on a range of issues from purchasing new equipment to improving member welfare and safety. This is great fun, highly rewarding and will look good on your CV when you come to apply for jobs!

5 – Time management skills
Some degree subjects have more contact hours than others so effective management of your time is a valuable skill that will need to be developed.

Fitting in a morning outing in all types of weather before 9am lectures can sometimes be a struggle. On reflection, this has probably been the biggest challenge, but having a routine – and knowing that other students are prepared to make the same commitment – makes it much easier.

So if you’re interested in giving rowing a go, why not find out if your university has a boat club by using our online club finder.

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