Je Thames UCL Boat Club

Kesley Barnes gives us her account of the opening weeks of Boat Club.

Boat Club Cox Freshers london olympics Thames ucl uclbc UCLU

After an amazing summer of sport with the Olympics here in London, I was inspired to try my hand at one of the many societies on offer at UCL for my second year. I wanted to delve into something new and a sport I had always been keen to try, but failed to muster up the courage to attend trials during the ‘Give It A Go’ fortnight.

The society that I personally was intrigued to join was UCL Boat Club but I was immediately confronted with the realisation that I might not have the physical attributes that one needs to row.

Fortunately however, when I was milling about the Welcome Fair, I got chatting to the rowing girls who were lovely, welcoming and keen to recommend coxing – basically the person at the front of the boat who shouts at everyone – great if you’re small like me!

After a few training sessions on the water and numerous launches, the boat club becomes a familiar retreat where you want to go back every week. You learn to love the stillness of the water before launch, a full boat of rowers in tandem and even the lycra suits. Above all, everyone is friendly and we are all looking forward to tackling our first race on the water.

As a large contingent of people in the society were beginners or simply freshers, the committee of older members fully understood how we felt and they have been very welcoming. As most of the newbies last year are now in the seniors, it really gives you the motivation to try and push yourself to that level too! For anyone thinking of giving it a go…as a novice cox this year I say go for it! It will be something you won’t forget… although you might forget some of the socials the next morning!