Team Sport Liverpool Blog: My experience with rowing at University

Author, Ellis Tubb, is a third year English Literature student and the current Women’s Captain of Liverpool University Boat Club (LUBC). 

I have been rowing for a year now, and I first heard about rowing at Liverpool University through the annual freshers fair.

My first year at university was jumbled and dis-organised. It was in and out of lockdown which didn’t help, but I wasn’t sure where to go to find friends or how to keep myself motivated.

By second year, I knew I wanted to join some sort of sport, but wasn’t sure what I was looking for. I had tried rowing when I was younger and had hated it, but I was approached by one of the seniors, who said I should give it another go.

I was told about the Learn to Row Programme, which required zero experience and gave me the opportunity to learn as an adult, which is very different to learning when you are young.

I was invited to an introductory meeting, followed by a pub crawl into town, which showed me the massive social advantages rowing at uni has to offer. Despite having been at university for a year already, I had never met so many different people in one night.

My first session was on the water, which may sound scary, but I was not alone. The boat club has a massive intake of new rowers each year, all with little to no experience, so we all had a laugh together.

Ultimately, the joining process was incredibly straightforward and easy. We attended a few more taster sessions, before being introduced to a steady programme created by a team of experienced coaches, consisting of multiple land and water training sessions each week. This also included meeting as a group to erg (use the rowing machine) and complete weights or circuits together at the gym. Even training was an incredibly sociable event.

I quickly became addicted to seeing myself progress, and was surprised at how fast we all did so. We were racing before the Christmas holidays began, but even still we were never out of our depth. My first race was short and in Runcorn, the great stretch of the Weaver where we train, so it was comfortable and familiar.

Now, one year on from learning to row, I have been lucky enough to race at Henley Royal Regatta qualifiers, various BUCS events, and I have attended a GB student development camp. My experiences with LUBC have been invaluable, and I am excited to do it all again this year.

Rowing has completely re-shaped my university experience for the better. It has given me a way of keeping fit and healthy, it has encouraged me to eat and sleep better, it has given me an incredible new network of friends, and it has given me more order in what was previously a very messy schedule.

It is a sport I would whole-heartedly recommend. I have never felt healthier, mentally or physically, which I believe very few university students can honestly say. The benefits stretch much farther than fitness however, as every aspect of life tends to slot into place around it (social, academic etc).

I hope this has encouraged you to give rowing a go!

If so, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via our website:

Or via our socials:

Instagram @livunibc

Facebook @liverpooluniversityboatclub

Twitter @livunibc

The Team Sport Liverpool Welcome Fair will take place on the 22 and 23 September in the Sports and Fitness Centre on campus for anyone interested in sport at University. This opportunity gives students two weeks free access to all club training sessions to try before joining.