Agecroft Rowing Club Juniors squad was established in 2004. The group is now a thriving part of the club, with juniors and their parents playing an active role in the club and competing at local and national events.
Children between 11 and 18 can row as juniors, but we prefer to take on children from age 13/14 as size and strength are important as well as learning the skill of rowing.
Learning to row
Beginners' sessions are held on Sunday mornings and run by a qualified coach. Beginners are shown correct technique on a rowing machine before progressing to rowing in training boats. Unlike in canoeing, rowers balance on top of the shell of the boat so it is more unstable and takes time to learn how to balance. As rowers progress, they will move on to faster boats designed for racing. Crew rowing in boats for two or four people is also an option.
Juniors learn to scull (i.e., in a boat where you use 2 oars one in each hand) rather than row (one oar each) because this is safer for developing bodies.
Once the coaches feel that the juniors are ready, they are moved into the club session, currently 9.45 am on a Sunday.
Swim test/capsize drill
All members have to pass a swim test (clothed) and a capsize drill before they can row without wearing a buoyancy aid. We hold the tests either at the club or a swimming pool, depending on the time of year. Unless you can swim at least 100m clothed, you should not take up rowing even with a buoyancy aid.
Parents will be asked to confirm their child's swimming ability before beginning a beginners group. All beginners will be expected to wear a buoyancy aid.
Code of conduct
All junior members and their parents are asked to sign our Code of Conduct statement (copies also available at the club house).
All rowing boats and equipment are provided. Coaching is included in the membership fee with the exception of optional vacation courses for which there may be an additional charge.
Juniors are permitted to use the rowing machines in the club gym when they want to and outside of the above training times.
There is a timetable for priority use for differing sections of the club which should be observed at times of high demand for use of the equipment.
Training programme for juniors
Junior sessions are all supervised by either qualified coaches or adult, experienced volunteers. Juniors are not permitted to row on the water without a coach being present.
Racing for Agecroft Rowing is a tough, competitive sport and we encourage juniors to train hard and race. Junior rowers who want to race will need to commit to most of the club training sessions each week.
There are events for junior rowers to compete in the North West and Nationally. When a rower is ready to race, the coaches will ask if they wish to do so and provide further information and advice. However, some of our juniors do not want to race and just row for fun on a Sunday at the Agecroft club session, and this is fine too.
How does racing work?
Racing is categorised by age and type of boat. You race against people in the same year at school, you are permitted to race against older children than you, but not younger ones. British rowing call these groups:
Winter Racing is generally timed, processional races called "Head Races." Everyone rows up to the top of a river and then is timed as they race back down. These races vary between 2,200- 5,500metres in length.
Summer Racing is side by side, heats and then finals. Racing can be in singles (1x), doubles (2x) or quads (4x). For juniors under 16, the quads have a cox. Once you are 15 or older GB rowing permit rowing/racing in sweep oar boats (one oar each, not two). Then you can race in coxed fours (4+) or eights (8+).
Coxes are very important crew members and juniors interested in learning this important skill are very welcome too. Coxes can win (or lose) races for a crew and share the glory as much as the rowers themselves.
Coxes also require training and here at Agecroft we can give you the best opportunity to learn.
Previous juniors have coxed our senior crews (men and women) to wins at Henley Womens' Regatta, Henley Royal Regatta, The National Championships, races on the Tideway (Thames) and have gone on to cox (and row) in regional and international crews.
Coxes tend to be small, intelligent and assertive and all but at least one of these attributes can be learnt!
Where do we compete?
Agecroft juniors have competed at events at Northwich, Warrington, Runcorn, Chester, Hollingworth Lake, the Junior Interregional Regatta and time trial, National Championships, National Watersports Centre (Nottingham), Junior 16 North West sculling camp, National J16 sculling camp (Nottingham), National Schools Sculling Head (Dorney Lake) and at the Henley Women's Regatta and Henley Royal Regatta (qualifiers).