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Coaches and students help make local rowing event a big splash

(4 February 2019)

Coaches and students from our rowing club helped make an annual training event for local teams the biggest and best it’s been for several years.

Six coaches and 11 students from Durham University Boat Club (DUBC) gave up their free time to lead the Northern Rowing Development Conference 2019.

What’s it all about?

The Conference was held at Durham Amateur Rowing Club on Sunday 27 January.

It attracted 119 people – treble the average for recent years.

Rowers came from every club in the North East and Cumbria, with ages ranging from 13 to 87!

On offer were workshops on: strength and conditioning; technical rigging – the art of adapting boats to suit particular crews; and women’s coaching.

The DUBC staff involved were: Freshers Coach Ellie Hizzett, Strength and Conditioning Coach Jon Boyle, Sports Masseuse Kathryn Henderson, Head Coach Wade Hall-Craggs, Women’s Coach Ian Shore and Men’s Coach Laura Richardson.

How did it go?

Emily Reilly-O’Donnell, from St Leonard’s Catholic School, Durham, said: “The specialists from Durham University allowed us to look at our sport from a different perspective and understand what we can do to maximise our training. The injury prevention and strength and conditioning clinics have already have a positive effect on our training.”

Eric Shiel, from Cambois Rowing Club, Northumberland, said: “The Conference was a day well spent for my athletes. We all took something slightly different from it, which we’re building into our training. The sports psychology element was a great talking point.”

Ellie Hizzett, who organised the day in her role as Vice-Chair of Northern Rowing, said: “It was a great event, it was nice to see how much people got stuck in. We’ve worked hard on building links between the University and local clubs. We want to help other people improve their rowing and Sunday was one of those days when you think: ‘Yeah, we’re getting it right’.”

What now?

Our coaches are keeping in touch with local clubs to provide continuing support and advice.

We’ve just begun this year’s Junior High Performance Academy (JHPA), through which we help North East teenagers develop their rowing skills and manage the other pressures of their teenage years. This year, 37 aspiring rowers aged 13 to 18 are involved. They’ll get a six-week training programme with sessions on strength and conditioning, psychology and health.