Why Row?

The Boat Club is great fun and the people are amazing, but if you need more convincing, here are some more reasons why you should give rowing a go.

1. Enjoyment

Rowing combines technical expertise with fitness and crew spirit to produce the ultimate outdoor team sport. It is fun – you will find yourself smiling and laughing a lot, and will be satisfied and proud with your achievements and improvement.

2. New Friends

Rowing is a terrific way to meet other people from all years and all colleges, and in particular your fellow freshers, many of whom you would never even get to meet otherwise. The people who you row with, learn to row with, race with, win with, and lose with (not much of this though) will become some of your best friends for your university years.

3. Social Scene

From the infamous formal swaps with other Colleges to BBQs and fabulous end of term dinners, you’ll never be short of opportunities to eat, drink and be merry! Click here for a list of social activities at SCBC.

4. Try Something New

Rowing is an excellent sport to take up if you would like to try something new, and this is the best – perhaps the only – opportunity you will have in your life to have a go. In fact, most of the rowers representing Team GB started rowing at university – perhaps you could be next?

5. Academic Benefits

Time out on the river gives some well-deserved and often much-needed time away from your studies. If you’re worried about it getting in the way of your work, then just know that many of our rowers find it’s a great way of clearing your head away from your books, which in turn can help you think more clearly when you need to. Taking breaks like this is crucial in a place like Cambridge where work can sometimes become overbearing.

6. Health Benefits

Rowing will improve both your fitness and strength greatly. It is unique in comparison to most sports in that it exercises all of your major muscle groups. In addition, competitive rowing is a low-impact sport, providing little room for the more serious injuries found in contact and high-impact sports. Exercising as a team is also good for your mental health, providing a break from work alongside an endorphin boost. In all, rowing is good for you.

7. CV Points

Rowing develops important skills and qualities – rowing is a team sport so you will develop team spirit and team working skills, and also drive, determination, just the right amount of competitiveness, the desire to win and the ability to deal with, and learn from, losing. SCBC is run by a committee. Get involved to further develop responsibility and decision-making skills.

8. Excitement

Competing in the annual inter-College events as well as travelling to regional and national head races or regattas is great fun. Within weeks of starting to row you will compete at the Queens Ergs Competition, the Clare Novice Regatta, and the highlight of the Michaelmas term, the prestigious Fairbairns Cup.

9. Tradition

Follow generations of Selwynites (such as Hugh Laurie) in their glorious struggle against other Colleges. Chances are you might even end up competing in major international events like the Head of the River Race in London and the Henley Royal Regatta.

10. Bumps

Forget every kind of racing you may have seen before, the bumps are the real reason for rowing while in Cambridge, a uniquely Oxbridge experience that should not be missed.


Still have some questions? See our FAQs or email our lower boats captains. We’d love to hear from you!