Bath University Boat Club started working in partnership with the GB Rowing Start Programme in October 2003. The programme is funded by UKSport with Lottery Money and is run by the GB Rowing Team & British Rowing.
The scheme is not a participation scheme - the individuals involved are all aiming for one thing - an Olympic Gold Medal in 2016 and beyond. Athletes are tested at the University every academic year and are selected on a number of criteria including height, arm span, power and fitness. They are then coached as a small group of selected athletes who will take part in monthly camps held at the National Water Sports Centre and who will end up skilled and strong enough to trial for Great Britain Rowing Teams at Under 23, Senior and Olympic Level if they do the required training.
More information can be found on the British Rowing and Team Bath websites.
The scheme has been extremely successful in Bath. Most notably Helen Glover and Heather Stanning who won gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games, started rowing in Bath after joining the Start Programme. The centre has produced multiple U23 and Senior World medallists since it started in 2003, along with athletes winning multiple medals at BUCS events and national competitions.
More recently the Start Programme had Amelda Gare in the U23 World Championship Women’s 8 in 2012. The summer of 2014 saw Sam Courty race at the World U23 Championships and won Silver in the Women’s 8. Then went on to represent England in the Commonwealth Rowing Regatta, coming away with a Silver in the women’s pair. After only rowing for 2 years, this is testament to the hard work and determination put in by her and all the athletes on the programme who strive to push their limits.
If you would like to be tested to see if you have the potential to be an Olympic Champion please email Dan.Harris@gbrowingteam.org.uk