Dear Parents and Alumni
With the onset of winter our programme moves into a less eventful stage of training and preparation for the spring. As a result this week we have a couple of guest writers to keep you entertained, Will Toogod and Sadie Hodgson have written a little insight into our development programme and how it leads into becoming a senior athlete with the club. Sadie is a new member this year while Will has returned from a successful year in the development squad to row for the senior team as well as taking on the treasurers role in the exec.
Before that, we have a couple of save the date notices for you all. Saturday the 9th of January will be our annual alumni races where we invite everyone to join us for food and drink at London Rowing Club as well as a chance to hop in an eight with the current athletes for some friendly racing on the tideway. The second date will be the Eights Dinner on the 19th March after The Head of the River in London. The venue is provisionally Fulham Stadium, just up river from the finish line. The evening’s events include the presentation of palatinates to this year’s crews, a guest speaker, a raffle and a three course dinner so keep an eye out for an email with more details of the event and how to get tickets coming soon!
Sadie Hodgson-The development Squad
The first couple of weeks with the Development Squad have flown by. The early mornings have been a little bit of a shock to the system (I think everyone would agree) but are made a lot more bearable by how brilliant the rest of the team is. Already a tight knit group, everyone is so supportive and positive which makes all the difference; if you can’t have a laugh with someone before a 7am session then what is the point of training as a team? As absolute beginners it is up to Allen and Harriet, alongside all our other coaches, to bring us up to speed with all things rowing. And who knew there was so much? You would be fooled to think training for rowing would be the same repeated movement over and over. From weekend college runs, to Cam sessions, to cross training and strength and conditioning, there is a lot to fit in. Having only been on the water a couple of times due to the weather, the tank has been great in improving technique and timing as well as use of the ergos. I don’t think any of us have ever been as finely tuned with our glutes as we have in these first few weeks of being in the squad. Or in fact, believed it was possible to be able to eat so much and still feel peckish an hour or so later. I know that for myself, and I’m sure for a lot of the squad, until coming to Durham I hadn’t considered rowing at all. To be able to try something completely different to such a high standard is something that doesn’t come around that often and it why being a part of the development squad is so special. We are all looking forward to getting out on the water more, especially after meeting our fantastic new coxes, and preparing for our first race at the end of January.
Will Toogood- Seniors
One year on, I find myself fully emerged in the culture and vision of DUBC after only learning to row 12 months ago. The goal is still the same but apart from that, all other things step on from a development programme to a senior squad programme.
My time spent in the Development Squad last year was the best first year I could have ever asked for at University and in a new sport. Unlike any other sport the catch up process is one of the most time consuming yet rewarding experiences I have ever taken part in. Starting in a novice crew partaking in Heads then consequently Regattas around the country it gave me the opportunity to experience a taster of how testing rowing can be even at the best of times. The long ergs, early mornings and long days spent training, with a select group of boys can generate the closest and most special of friendships: The ultimate reason why I decided to row with DUBC for another year.
The time commitment is still just as demanding however the volume of training is the big shock; the time spent on the erg this year compared to last is just colossal. Although due to the step up in mileage, the gains that the squad has made and for myself in particular are incredibly rewarding.
DUBC this year has improved to another level from both a coaching and program point of view but also from the athletes. It sets to be an extremely exciting year across both squads, definitely one worth sticking around for.
Next time we should have some results to share post Rutherford weekend, and more details about our events, so all the best until then.