Freshers’ Programme

552856_10200385828304895_988933544_nThe Boat Club is the most successful sports club at the University. Successes include winning the BUCS Victor Ludorum trophy for ten years since 2004, as well as 7 ex-Durham University students having competed at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

In 1989 the DUBC Freshman Squad was established, and since then our reputation for taking novice athletes to international standard competition has grown. Ex-Durham fresher rowers include Steve Rowbotham, Olympic bronze medalist at the Beijing Olympic Games, Emily Taylor, European silver medallist in 2008, Phil Congdon who is currently in the GBR development eight and William Warr who represented Great Britain at the 2014 U23 World Championships.


The Freshers’ programme has a nationally-recognized role in identifying and developing top-class rowing talent, which includes the provision of a full-time talent development coach to work exclusively with this group. Throughout the year, our Fresher Crews regularly compete and win medals in national competitions. In 2012/13 the Freshers’ squad won 4 BUCS gold medals and 2 silver medals, as well as numerous wins at Strathclyde and Durham Regatta.

We are looking throughout the academic year for people who are:

  • Athletic
  • Sports orientated
  • Team players

No rowing experience is necessary. We do, however, seek out motivated individuals with a proven track record of success in other disciplines.

If you are interested in the programme we would like to hear from you. Applications by email to:


  • Do I have to have rowed before? No. We will teach you everything from scratch.
  • What sort of club is it? The boat club is one of the biggest clubs in the University. We have been reigning BUCS champions since 2004, compete at the highest level and have 5 professional coaches on the staff.
  • What does the programme involve? You will be part of the Freshers’ Group, who train and race together throughout the year. You will be racing mainly against beginners from other universities in eights, fours and single sculls, leading on to national competitions by the end of the year.
  • What sort of coaching is there? You will have your own professional coach, as well as receiving support from several other professional coaches during the year.
  • How often do we train each week? We tend to start with 4-6 sessions per week and build up to around 8-10 sessions a week by the Summer Term.
  • Will there be socials? Yes, there are regular boat club socials and the Freshers always become a close-knit group.
  • When does the racing start? You will start to compete in races as soon as you are ready. This is normally around November/December in the first term.
  • Are there any training camps? Yes. There is a training camp in January before the start of the Easter term, and again in April during the Easter holidays.
  • Will the training be hard? Yes, but we build up gradually.
  • Where does it lead to? This is a fast-track programme for dedicated team-players who love the sport. Several of our Freshers have gone on to row for the University, and some have gone on to represent Great Britain in the Olympics after graduating.

For further information, please contact Sam Tuck, the Freshers’ Coach: