I spent the first year of trialling finding my feet within the squad and securing my place in the Blue Boat. The training and bond I felt with the other athletes provided me with a new-found sense of purpose and a unique opportunity to seek excellence in something which, twelve months before, I had never tried. This year, my second as part of the club, I’ve embarked on competition for GB U23 selection, with exactly the same support and enjoyment that defines the CUWBC trialling experience for me. It’s provided such a rewarding chance to mark my own efforts and the standard of our squad against other high-performance athletes within the GB trialling system, and the experience has left me with great faith in our process and programme. It’s really very special to be part of a squad of women who all commit such a great deal to one shared goal, aided by our team of coaches and other professionals who are all waking up each morning just as inspired as we are to be part of this exceptional project.
Melissa Wilson, Blue Boat 2013, 2014
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I really enjoyed learning to row at college in a friendly environment where there was still a drive to succeed, but rowing for CUWBC gives you the chance to push yourself that bit more, alongside people who you know are working as hard as you are. I’ve always loved competitive sport and want to be the best I can be at whatever it is that I’m doing. Having someone just a step ahead really drives me to work harder and realise my own potential. I can honestly say that the Boat Race is the most exciting (if nerve wracking!) experience I’ve had throughout my sporting career. It’s an incredible feeling lining up with eight other girls, knowing you are at the top of your game, and you’ve pushed each other to reach that level. The commitment and enthusiasm throughout the year makes it a great squad to be part of, and CUWBC combines the amazing crew spirit you get from a college boat with the dedication and intensity of high level sport.
Emily Day, Lightweight 2012, Blue Boat 2013, 2014
As a clinical vet student, I have a pretty full timetable with 9-5 lectures and practicals most weekdays. Sometimes it’s a bit of a challenge fitting in both training and work, but the programme allows me to train before 9 and after 5, meaning there’s no need to train separately from the squad or miss contact time. I find training gives me a break from focusing on just work all the time as well as forcing me to be organised and efficient with my time.
Our squad are an amazingly fun and supportive group of people to be around, and we’re always there for each other whether it’s for a chat over coffee, a crew dinner or a night out with the whole squad. It’s brilliant to have friends spanning so many different colleges, subjects and ages.
Holly Game, Blue Boat 2012, 2013, 2014
Ready to take up the challenge? Check out our Development Squad.
Want to join the team? Check out our Development Squad.