Building a sustainable future:

CUWBC’s regular giving campaign

Your gift to CUWBC will enable  young women to reach their sporting potential as part of a high performance team.   You will be investing in the future, changing the experiences of young women on and off the water.  Ensuring cost is no barrier for a student athlete competing for a place in a Boat Race crew.

Whilst we celebrate the achievements of the team each year, we also to look  to the future.

CUWBC has made huge strides forwards over the last decade – moving the Women’s Boat Race to Tideway, developing our squads and coaching team, and in building the new joint boathouse in Ely.

However, we can see significant financial challenges on the horizon; and to address these and be able to maintain and move on from our recent successes, we have a campaign to increase regular giving.

Academic Excellence and the Experience of a Lifetime

Read on to find out why we are fundraising now, where the money will go and why we hope you will choose to support us.

So why are CUWBC fundraising now?


It is well known that CUWBC’s funding base is significantly greater than a decade ago, and we are hugely grateful for the support we have received from BNY Mellon and Newton Investment Management. However, corporate sponsorship is decreasing across the sporting landscape, and for a sustainable long-term future, we need to reduce our reliance on it.


We are determined that no oarswoman or coxswain worthy of a place racing in light blue against Oxford should be prevented from doing so by lack of funding or unaffordability. We are equally committed that CUWBC continues to grow and develop and remains a centre for high-performance women’s rowing within Cambridge University – one which consistently and regularly wins against Oxford each spring, and which develops new talent to its full potential, including helping those with the capability to compete on the international stage.


We now have a fabulous set of facilities in Ely, thanks in no small part to the generosity of many of our Alumni, for which we are hugely grateful. This provides the training environment we so urgently needed.  Now, in order to continue to move forward we need to fund coaching and development, athlete support, equipment, maintenance of our facilities and the wider support structure. This is to not only give our current athletes the best possible chance of success, but also to ensure that up-and-coming future boat race rowers also have the support they need.

Where does the money go?


To fully prepare each CUWBC athlete to race against Oxford takes a significant investment. Equally important are the investments we make each year both to keep the Club, its boathouses and fleet in good shape, but also investments for future growth and long-term development.


As one might expect, coaching forms a significant proportion of costs – this includes not only our coaching team but also conditioning, strength and flexibility coaches, as well as guest coaches to bring new insights and develop skills. We also support our athletes at a basic level with a nutritionist, a psychologist, and a physio to support them through injury. Where the squad travels for racing or pre-boat race fixtures, we incur costs for travel, accommodation and launches. Each summer we also invest in our Development Squad, to develop the athletes of the future. We have running costs for our beautiful boathouses in Ely and in Cambridge at Goldie, and we must continue to invest in our fleet of boats, blades and launches. Underpinning all of this is the administration to keep a complex operation running smoothly.

We have a hugely varied set of costs, not all of which are funded through sponsorship, and all of which come under pressure as our funding base decreases.


Why should you support CUWBC?


Our reasons for choosing the organisations we support are often intensely personal. And indeed, given the change in financial footing over the last decade some of you may be wondering why you should support CUWBC?

To reply we would like to provide a personal response from one of our Alumni

When I look back on my time in Cambridge, the experience which had the biggest impact on me, which did the most to shape me into the woman I am today, was rowing with CUWBC. I learned powerful lessons about myself – what I was capable of, inner reserves I didn’t know existed, what it means to really commit to a goal and never quit, the experience of true teamwork – when things are going well and when they aren’t – and so much more.  The friendships I made within CUWBC have endured, and the things I learned about myself have stayed with me and continue to impact me today. I wouldn’t change a moment of it – and if you’re wondering: I lost, twice.


The experience of the athletes racing for CUWBC today is in some ways entirely different, and in so many others exactly the same. My personal motivation to support CUWBC is to enable any oarswoman or coxswain who wants to and is capable, to have their own unique experience with CUWBC. To learn, to grow, to flourish, to test themselves with a group of teammates and come out stronger, and to do so within a genuine high-performance environment. I am determined that affordability is not part of any athlete’s choice to race, that representing Cambridge in the Boat Race is open to all with the talent to do so. I want to ensure that remains true not only today, but for a long time to come.

What are we asking for?


We wish to significantly increase regular giving to CUWBC. Our reason for choosing this, rather than any other form of giving, is because it has greatest positive impact on the long-term sustainability of the Club’s finances. As part of this commitment, we intend that a minimum of 10% of our regular giving will be invested into the CUWBC endowment for generating long-term income.


Our request to you is to donate just £20 per month – the equivalent of just a few coffees, or lunch out, or perhaps a night at the cinema. Nonetheless, whatever you are able to give will be very welcome and will make an important contribution to our ambitious target to increase our regular giving by £25,000 per annum, over the next 12-18 months.


Your support really can and will make an impact on our athletes, and we will be reporting back to all our supporters on how the funding is being used, and the difference it is making.