This series of videos – filmed in 2022 – celebrates just some of the hundreds of rowing clubs and communities around the country that make our sport so special.
Birmingham RC is a small club in the heart of its community, providing rowing opportunities for all, from juniors to older masters, and from the latest crop of enthusiastic graduates of the club’s Learn to Row courses to serious racers.
Based on Edgbaston Reservoir, which is often quite short of water, and with limited facilities, Captain Mindy Hothi’s focus on investing in boats means the club can support everyone, whatever their rowing ambitions. And all of them clearly love rowing there.
For many of Birmingham RC’s members the club is also a really important source of friendships in a big city. Find out more about what goes on there that they like so much in this #DownMyClub video.
Bristol Ariel RC
Based on a particularly beautiful stretch of the river Avon, just minutes from the city centre, Bristol Ariel RC is at the heart of its community. Its members all love the exercise, but as they explain in this video, it’s the friendships and the sense of belonging that makes the club so special for them.
Alongside its busy on-water squads and Learn to Row courses, Bristol Ariel runs a popular Go Row Indoor programme. This is delivered by a mix of volunteers and fitness professionals. Find out more about it – and the club’s sporting exchange with Linden RC in Hannover, Germany – by watching this latest episode of #DownMyClub!
Christchurch RC in Dorset is a flourishing community club with members of all ages from 12-80. Its unique location on the River Stour, which leads into Christchurch harbour and on to the south coast, allows it to offer several different types of rowing. The club’s main focus is Hants and Dorset coastal boats but they also enjoy river racing and touring boats, and have several members who race in the new World Rowing-type offshore coastal sculling boats too.
Meet some of Christchurch’s members and find out about the club’s parent helper scheme for supporting their juniors, their coxing programme and much, much more in their #DownMyClub video.
Isle of Ely RC
Isle of Ely RC is based on some of the best rowing water there is; a 5km-long, largely straight section of the Great Ouse in beautiful countryside just north of Ely. In the past, this stretch was largely only used by Cambridge University BC but Isle of Ely RC was set up in 2004 to give all members of the local community the opportunity to row in such an ideal location.
Find out more about the club’s connections with the University Boat Race, why their colours are light and dark blue, and what it means to its members in their #DownMyClub episode.
Lea RC in Hackney, east London is a diverse, ambitious and successful club with a strong community spirit. It’s based on a stretch of the River Lea that runs past the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and is rowable all year round. It is the closest rowing club to The City – less than 30 minutes away by bike or public transport.
Meet some of Lea RC’s members and find out more about the many different types of rowing going on there in Lea’s #DownMyClub episode.
London Otters RC
London Otters RC is an LGBTQ+ inclusive club based at London’s Royal Docks. The club prides itself on welcoming everyone and teaching anyone to row – it’s about having fun, getting fit and being part of a supportive community.
Since being founded in 2014, the Otters have grown to more than 150 members with about 1,500 would-be rowers currently on their waiting list. Their women’s squad is quickly expanding too, with the club entering its first ever women’s crew in the Women’s Eights Head of the River in 2022.
Find out more about them here in their #DownMyClub video.