As I write this it’s a Sunday morning, the sun is shining, it’s a late winters day. A day you would think to be perfect for rowing, but though the rain may have temporarily abated the river flow is such that the whole stretch of the Thames is still on red boards, the flow at 147 m³/s (that’s fast for anyone not in the know) and it’s been weeks since anyone at GGBC has been able to venture out on the water. We are a sad and sorry lot. Flurries of WhatsApp messaging and stalking of our Captain of Rowing to plead that we may this weekend we be allowed out. All to no avail.
But I am hopeful. Surely this late winter sunshine will soon turn to spring sunshine, the river flow will lessen, and a hoard of happy rowers will be back out!
With that in mind and with our first Learn to Row course starting on April 25th my thoughts turned to our newer members, some coming from our last Learn to Row in October of last year, others just finding us through local media or on referral and now eager converts to rowing this beautiful stretch of the Thames.
Julia Whapham, one of GGBCs newest recruits, learnt to row with us during last summer. Julia, an A&E nurse originally from South East London, now lives with her Grandmother in Goring. Having watched the building of the GGBC new boathouse with interest Julia’s Grandmother decided it would be good idea that her granddaughter learn to row and quite literally signed her up!
And it did indeed turn out to be a good idea. An ex rugby player who when I asked her what she enjoys about rowing at GGBC, Julia said “I’m too old and terrified to play rugby regularly anymore! Rowing is still a team sport, I got to learn something new and with the benefit of meeting new people too. There are some rowers in my family – both my parents rowed at University as well as my brother and sister, and my Uncle still rows at Ariel Bristol so arguably it’s in the blood, but I just never fancied it. Now I absolutely love it!”
For anyone in two minds as to whether to give GGBC a try, our Go Row days start again in April (first Sunday of the month 10am join our Sunday session at 10am for a free taster session) OR sign up to a Learn to Row course – we will run three across the course of this year. More info can be found here. As Julia says, “What’s not to love about a sport that allows you to sit down. Luxury.”