University of Birmingham Boat Club
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|University of Birmingham Boat Club|
|Location||Edgbaston, Birmingham, England|
|Home water||River Severn|
The club aims to cater for all rowers by splitting the club into two main sections, the Senior Squad and the Development Squad. The Senior Squad comprises athletes with previous rowing (or sculling) experience. This may have come from rowing at school, rowing for a home club, or from progression through the University's boat club. The Development Squad consists of rowers who have had very little, or no, rowing experience. Each section has both men and women members, and their own coaching staff. The Senior Squad have a paid full-time coach.
The club has links with the World Class Start program, a program aimed at earmarking rowers with the potential to become members of the Great Britain squad.
The club competes at a number of races across the country each season including:
- Bristol Head Race
- Worcester Head Race
- BUCS Small Boats Head
- BUCS Head
- Hammersmith Head
- Women's Eights Head of the River Race
- Head of the River Race
- BUCS Regatta
- Metropolitan Regatta
- Peterborough Regatta
- Marlow Regatta
- Reading Regatta
- Henley Women's Regatta
- Henley Royal Regatta
The entire squad relocates to a training camp during each Easter Holiday (usually at the end of April). This allows an intensive daily training program consisting of three water sessions a day, land sessions, video analysis and ergo work in the build up to the regatta season. Recent training camps have been located at purpose built rowing centres such as Centre du Omnisport at Temple sur Lot, France, which also hosted the Oxford crew in the build up to the 2011 Boat Race.
As well as a serious sporting side, the club has a vibrant social side. The club is always in attendance at the "Sports Night" events held on Wednesday evenings at the Guild of Students (Student Union). These evenings provide an opportunity for all the sports clubs of the University of Birmingham to socialise together. Often these nights are themed to provide an extra added twist to the night's fun, and are held fortnightly.
In addition to these events, the boat club has 3 formal events each year.
- The Christmas Ball takes place at the end of the first semester.
- The Spring Ball occurs towards the end of the second semester. For the past few years the event has been staged at Edgbaston Cricket Ground, home to Warwickshire County Cricket Club and a short walk from the University. A number of alumni also attend the event, as well as a guest speaker. The most notable guest speaker of recent times has been Peter Haining MBE, assistant coach at Oxford Brookes University Boat Club. The Vice-Chancellor of the University is also invited to the Spring Ball.
- The Pimm's Party is the boat club's summer event. This event takes place during June, and is the most popular of the three formal events. The day begins with a coach drive to Worcester in the afternoon, followed by Pimm's, strawberries and cream, and lots of socialising. This is followed by an evenings cruising up and down the River Severn on a boat.
The club has two main bases, Edgbaston Reservoir and Worcester. Edgbaston Reservoir is a 900m stretch of water located close to campus and is used mainly for the Development Squad in the first semester. The boat house at Worcester provides the club with access to a 6 km stretch of the River Severn. This is an invaluable resource for crews training for the head season. The Worcester boathouse was refurbished in 2012, providing new changing rooms and a clubhouse, along with additional outside racking.
In addition to this, the club has its own ergo room at Selly Oak campus. This room contains 20 ergs, as well as a dyno machine, spinner bikes, gym balls, and free weights.