The weekday daytime Recreational Rowers are a social group of people of all ages and abilities, adaptive rowers and absolute beginners.
We include shift workers, those who have just dropped their children off at school, schoolchildren and college students outside term time, people who lunch and retired folks.
John, Brian, Phillip, Steve, Victoria, Julian, Eric, Janet and Karami with
START coach James Harris (right)
WHEN DO WE ROW?
Our reduced membership fee entitles us to row between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday. In practice we row together Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between 9 am and noon.
We meet at 8.30 am to decide which boats to take out and how to best meet individual needs. The boats we use range from beginners' extra stable "Learn to Row" boats through to racing boats for the more experienced. On Tuesdays, we focus on coaching beginners and skill development, while Wednesdays and Thursdays are for rowers who have acquired at least the basic skills
We can accommodate those who arrive after they have dropped their children off at school. Newcomers join us on Tuesdays for free taster sessions; at the end of these they can decide if they want to join the club.
WHAT DO I DO IF I'VE NOT ROWED BEFORE AND WANT TO JOIN WITH THE DAYTIME ROWERS?
There is no need to book for a weekday daytime taster session. Turn up at 8.30am Tuesday and we'll take it from there!
You need to be able to swim - just in case the unusual occurs! You do not need to be young, fit, or athletic, but remember to tell us if you have any problems that might affect your rowing.
Dress in layers for the weather: for your first day wear socks and old trainers, clothes that are not baggy and no heavy woollen tops that soak up the wet. Slim fitting tops/tee shirts and shorts or trousers are fine.
Although there are a number of experienced coaches in the group we all help each other with the aim of becoming self sufficient, learning to cox as well as row and, as experience grows, coach other newcomers.
Team working is encouraged so we help each other to launch and clean boats, tidy the boathouse and adopt a buddy system on the river. Reviewing our rowing progress is often done over hot drinks and cakes and we share cleanup duties. All this, without being asked!
OUR GOALS: ROWING, ENTERTAINMENT AND SOCIAL
As part of a friendly group, the rowing experience can be entertaining and sociable. The WRecK Rowers’ favourite day is Tuesday when a morning trip up the Tees is followed by coffee, or tea if you prefer, and cake at 11am.
The 14km of non tidal water of the River Tees offers scenic, peaceful surroundings with lots of wildlife.
We regularly review our goals at Tuesday team meetings. Members have a wide range of personal goals from simply wanting to mess about on the river to the more experienced who may wish to take part in racing locally and against other clubs.
Sue, Liz and Janet take Debbie (third right) for her first outing in a fine quad
For example we talk about how we can improve our skills so that we can progress from the Learn to Row Boats to using the faster and more responsive racing boats, how we can learn about boat maintenance, do longer round trips such as from Stockton to Yarm (followed by a BBQ or get together) and improve our performance in the monthly Northern League Explore Rowing races which are specifically for recreational rowers like us and includes visiting other north east clubs.
Rowing is more balanced in terms of gender and age than any other sport. We can participate in the monthly 3.8km Minihead club race on an equal footing with other club members because of the handicap system.
Safety is equal in importance to achieving individual rowing goals and enjoyment –note the high visibility tee shirts with a specially designed logo.
We like to spell Recreational=Rec as WRecK for reasons which can only be guessed at (also spot the subtle capital R and K)
Bob, Karami, Steve, David and John prepare to make the return trip from Yarm –BBQ time!
GOOD WAY TO KEEP FIT. Despite the cake, most find that rowing regularly is a fun way to lose weight and the basics are not too difficult to master. It’s said that half an hour’s rowing is more effective than half an hour of cycling, running or swimming, yet is quite easy on the knees as you are sitting down. We mainly use a sculling boat (two oars rather than one for each person) as this is kinder on joints and muscles
HELPING THE CLUB DEVELOP YOUNG PEOPLE. Some of the group assist with Project Oarsome, a scheme which was initiated by British Rowing to bring the sport into state schools. The children are coached weekly through the spring and summer months and can progress to the Junior section of the Club.
In mid 2012 we joined the children to create a backdrop to the Queen’s visit. We rowed in formation up and down the River Tees between the Barrage and the clubhouse while she opened the nearby White Water facility. On the Safety Launch, the Club President was practicing his curtseys---“I think I’ll salute fractionally after I curtsey”, he mused.
“That’s exactly right” we said, “think rowing: push with the feet and then hands away”
“All this practice is not wasted”, he said a few weeks later. “I’m going to have to do this every time I see Kat Copeland”
Eric, Steve, John A., John P., Bob, Len and John G. celebrate Kat Copeland’s
homecoming after her success at the 2012 Olympic Games.
Please consider joining the WRecK Rowers—we have a fun time!!