Novice Men

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Welcome to UCLBC and the Novice Men’s Squad!

Our goal is to blend together sports and social sides to create our fine balance of work and reward.

If you have no experience, this is the ideal time and place to start. We make sure that even if you haven’t even sat in a boat before, you will row proficiently and improve your technical ability in only a short matter of time. You’ll be trained and ready for races throughout the year before aiming to win a summer regatta for the Boat Club and lose your novice status!

We host a Welcome Weekend on the 8th and 9th October. You’ll meet a range of different people, both new-comers and seniors. We’ll show around the boathouse, which is also shared with other university rowing clubs. Then we’ll show you the basics of rowing on the machines before you get to try rowing with a short paddle on the water – and our seniors will also be in the boat to lend a hand! It’s always exciting to see the buzz in the bays next to the stunning scenery of the river. And to top it off, we’ll even be running a barbecue that you can enjoy while you’re with us.

Rowing at the start of the year is very flexible and, if you like it, you can come down for more sessions before deciding to join us and continue as a member of the rowing club.

The Novice Squad has a coaching team with a track record in coaching complete beginner. Leading them is Alan ‘Woody’ Sherman –the Paralympic medalling cox and multiple Henley winner.  A typical week for boys aiming to be in a top competitive boat includes water sessions on Wednesday afternoon and on weekends. Land training is done at the gym and include workouts on the ergo (rowing) machine and weekly club circuits. Bloomsbury Fitness is on campus, so it’s really flexible since you can fit the training sessions in-between your lectures or whenever you have free time. It’s great to see how quickly your fitness increases when you start training, and everyone’s encouraged to complete as much training as possible. After Christmas, there’ll also be a casual squad for those of you who enjoy rowing but can’t commit to all the training sessions, and we’ll run regular outings – it’s another way we welcome everyone at UCLBC!

Now comes the best bit: socials. We row hard, we party hard – the epitome of UCLBC’s philosophy. Sports Night happens every Wednesday, where the whole club meets up at the Phineas bar before rolling on to Loop. Throughout the year, we also host a range of different events, including the annual Boat Ball, Christmas and summer dinners. And don’t forget our annual social tour to Newcastle for the Rutherford Head race and a night on the town afterwards! One of the most thrilling weeks is when the club goes together during Easter to Portugal for a training camp. Bonding over rowing, under the sun will be an unforgettable experience.

The Easter Training Camp is meant to give you a fitness boost and help hone your technique prior to some of the biggest races of the year. The club offers a full racing programme throughout the year, for example the Cambridge Winter Head, the first one soon after our taster month in October. Last year was our strongest ever novice squad with multiple wins, highlights including a win at the Cambridge Winter Head, a bronze medal at the BUCS Head and both a bronze and gold medal at the BUCS Regatta – the first gold for any squad in the history of UCLBC. The novice and senior squads merge after the BUCS Regatta for the fun summer regatta season, and 5 novices secured seats at the Henley Royal Regatta in 2016, the highlight of the year.

We have a stall at the Fresher’s Fair, so you can get to know us in person and talk about your interests in trying out, rowing, whether it’s to make new friends and enjoy our socials, get into shape and improve your fitness, help us win another BUCS Gold – or any combination of these!  There will be a Welcome Meeting the week after to give the club an official introduction of the committee, what the agenda looks like for the year and how each squad works.

Feel free to drop me an email if you have any questions beforehand. I really look forward to meeting you in the next term!


Patrick Pflughaupt

Novice Men Captain – 2016/17