The Qualities of a Rower

Some myths

  • You will be a useless rower if you have weak arms
  • You will be a useless rower if you are not very tall
  • You will be a useless rower if you are not very strong
  • You will be a useless rower if you are not very fit
  • You will be a useless rower if you are not very rich
  • You will be a useless rower if you are not very organised

The reality

If you are tall, strong, fit, rich and organised, we would love to see you! As will pretty much any other sport (but clearly rowing is the best for you...!).

However- if you are not any of those things, or indeed all of those things, IT DOES NOT MATTER!

Rowing is not an arm based sport. It is about the legs, so these mirror-muscled bound hulks you see in the gym are usually useless to start with at rowing. They have muscle and are strong, sure, but it is in the wrong places. If you are said mirror-muscle machine, by all means come along, but you will need to balance your body and put the muscle on your back and legs. This will of course will do your body a world of good!

Being tall is really useful to a rower- we rely on leverage, the taller we are the longer the levers we have. Not being tall does not mean you can't do it! Alas, someone taller than you MAY be able to go quicker than you, but only if you let them. Train harder, be better!

Rowers ARE very strong and fit. But were they before they rowed? Unlikely! Don't let your current state of fitness put you off, we are used to out of shape smokers who did nothing but work for their 'A' levels and did no exercise. As long as you want to stop the smoking, we will show you how to train to be a top level athlete. Don't expect miracles, it takes time and effort, but we can help you to make that happen.

Rowing costs money, but no more so than any other sport! The perception is that it is for the wealthy because of Henley etc and that the boats cost an arm, a leg and any other spare limbs, however the club buy those- you don't have to! As a guide, to do absolutely everything the club has to offer and buying every piece of kit will still come in under £900 in the first year, even if we go abroad for a training camp in the sun (scratch a few hundred if we stay in the UK) and each year after is cheaper because you don't have to keep buying all the kit! We as a club choose to do things like the training camp because they make the experience from good to amazing. We promise- it is worth every penny!

Organised- well, ok, you do need to be organised. Training takes time, as does your degree, and your social life. Most freshers are newly away from home- we can and will help you if you struggle managing your time. Just because you do an intensive course should not put you off joining! The chances are we have had someone in your situation before you and they have got through it, just ask!

What we look for is none of the above. There are a few specific criteria, e.g. you must be able to swim and in a good state of health (again, talk to us, we can accommodate some disabilities and health issues, but we must talk about them in advance), but the main ones that we look for are determination and commitment. If you are a 3ft tall obese smoker with no money and no organisational capacity, but have the drive and will to overcome these things, we still want you to join. Of course, if you are not challenged by any of those issues, you should no qualms what so ever!

See you in September!