Row Yourself Home with Minerva Bath Rowing Club’s latest video

Minerva Bath rowers have their own club song on video, released recently. Read on to find out how the stirring Row Yourself Home came about #YourStories

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Rewind to Friday 12 August 2016 when Helen Glover and Heather Stanning won a second Olympic gold medal at the Rio Olympics. Back at Minerva Bath Rowing Club, where they used to row, club member Ben Hawkes was nervously following their race with clubmates at the Boathouse pub next door.

“We screamed a lot and had a few lemonades and, walking home, I started humming and came up with the first line of the song,” recalls Hawkes. He found a welcome collaborator in Mark Dunnell and, over two years, the humming developed into Row Yourself Home.

Hawkes says: “Before Mark got involved it was a second-rate folk song; he added the strings and general fairy dust that really made it pop.”

Then the whole club became involved in digging out photos of racing, training and general tomfoolery for a ‘top secret’ project about the club.

Some images also pay tribute to the club’s early links with the suffragette movement, reflected in the Minerva purple, one of the three suffragette colours which represents loyalty.

The photos were turned into a video, with Hawkes adding modestly: “The quality of the pictures was top notch so all I had to do was put them in a semblance of order and click ‘play’ on a slideshow application.”

I just wanted to reflect the soul of the club

When the top secret project was finally unveiled at the 2018 annual dinner, club members were amazed to see the result, and equally amazed to hear Hawkes singing!

“There were a few people welling up which is always a good sign!” he says.

“I just wanted to reflect the soul of the club which ultimately is its members and its history. Every club has its characters who have the club running through their veins. We have lots. They’re brilliant and I’m proud to say they’re my friends and crewmates.

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“When I joined in 2013 I was going through a severe bout of depression. A friend told me to focus on one thing to get through and I focused on my Concept2. That led me to Minerva.

“The club and the sport helped pull me through a dark time in my life and for that, I’ll always be thankful. I figured that this was a good way of repaying that kindness.”

This story originally featured in Rowing & Regatta magazine. Find out more about the magazine here

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