Today we go west of Dorney to the River Severn in Worcester where students at the Royal Grammar School have not let the flooding this season and now the cancellation of NSR dampen their spirits. The two squads at RGS, Performance and Development, ensure the accessibility of rowing to all students who wish to try as well as pushing those who have set their sights on GB selection. We asked the two captains at RGS Boat Club to share their #NSRMemories and how they’re coping with training in lockdown.
Emma Little, Captain of Girls’ Boats:
My first experience at Nat Schools as a J15 was really eye-opening to just how big the rowing community is and how so many others share the same strong passion for rowing as me. The race was undoubtedly not the best, having a crew member’s blade snap halfway through! However, this was actually a great experience to both get the feel of a national event and also realising that things can go wrong wherever you are and that you just have to deal with it! I think that it is great to be able to race in that kind of environment, seeing how I rank within the country and also in more recent years it has given me something to really aim towards and improve on.
We have a great team spirit at events - with support and encouragement for other team mates as well as my own crew. Everyone comes together for events including many family members and other supporters.
Lockdown training is something which I never could have imagined I would experience but nonetheless it is a challenge which I am accepting. I sometimes find a lack of motivation when training at home but by giving myself a target of improving my ergo scores for starting at university, I have found it much easier to train - especially as it helps to add structure to my day. I find it is good to keep in touch with the coaches who are brilliant at coming up with challenges to keep us entertained. Despite this, I am definitely looking forward to getting back on the river when we can!
Rowing at Worcester has become as huge part of my life since starting at J14. It has been a great help to me both physically and mentally, and it has offered a community which I will always feel a part of. I will be sad to leave RGSWBC - the coaches always provide the structure and support you need whilst the athletes bring a great sense of camaraderie which I’m sure will remain when I meet crew mates on the riverbank in years to come.
RGS 4- NSR 2018. Emma L, Captain of Girls’ Boats, 2 seat.
Adam Smith, Captain of Boys’ Boats:
My first experience at National Schools Regatta was in 2016, when I was part of a J14 4x+. The race was exciting, as it was our first experience of competing on a multi-lane course. I remember walking the length of the lake with my crew mates, simply to take a photo of the Olympic Rings. The legacy of rowing at Dorney Lake and the vast number of crews made it unforgettable for me. It was a truly inspiring day.
Lockdown has given me a lot of spare time, due to the cancellation of A Levels. Therefore, I suppose I have had no excuse to avoid exercise! I have been aiming to return to training in better shape than when lockdown began, so I have been running a lot and doing circuits in my garden.
It is a real shame that the season has ended, and that during lockdown, the River Severn is in its best condition this academic year. Yet these are extraordinary times, and I can look back on some great memories rowing here in Worcester. I fondly remember wobbling around in a training single, and I have developed to be at the point where I could help coach younger rowers who are just like I was. I must give thanks to the RGS Worcester Boat Club, because the coaches and the overall community have collectively introduced and grown what has become a huge passion of mine.