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Scottish Rowing Centre has a bright future

Posted: 19 October, 2018

Scottish Rowing is determined to make the Scottish Rowing Centre a key asset for Scotland’s rowing community after returning it to its original use primarily as a rowing training centre.

The Strathclyde Park based facility, home to Scotland’s only rowing tank, had operated as a dual use facility, open to both the public for general fitness training as well as Scottish Rowing clubs and members.

But earlier this summer North Lanarkshire Council ceased funding of their staff member who oversaw its daily public usage.

Scottish Rowing continued to keep the gym facilities open to the public but knew that opening it daily for relatively low numbers of non-rowing users would never be viable.

“Although in the last few years we have been successful in increasing the use of the centre by groups undertaking activities such as rowing training camps the centre has struggled to break even financially,” said Scottish Rowing President, Martin Claxton.

“The benefits of public use of the gym had been in question for some time and so this was the final tip over we needed to say enough is enough and change.

“The combination of this aspect with NLC’s decision on staffing led to our decision to withdraw the public opening of the gym but also regrettably meant that we have had to let one of our own staff go.”

“But the positive thing that has come out of this is the centre has now reverted to what it was originally designed to be, which is a rowing training centre.

“The facility will be available seven days a week for athletes and coaches who are sanctioned to have access by Scottish Rowing.”

Clearing the gym for this summer’s European Championships rowing and triathlon competitions gave Scottish Rowing breathing space to assess the centre’s equipment and make it fit for purpose. 

Some of the ageing, general gym equipment has been moved out, to be replaced soon by rowing-specific gear.

The rowing tank is in the process of being  repaired, refurbished and brought back to full spec.

Additional security systems have been put in place to control access to the facility with the emphasis now being on coach led activity sessions. Provision is also being made for its continued use by clubs based at Strathclyde Park.

“The capability the rowing tank offers to coach everybody from novices all the way through to master rowers is fantastic,” said Martin

“Having a dedicated rowing centre, designed specifically around rowing athletic training, means that rowing clubs and their members aren’t fighting for space or time with public users.

“The combination of tank, land training area and access to a world class multi-lane race course is something that we can be proud of and is the only such capability north of Eton Dorney.  We are determined to make this a growing and accessible asset for the Scottish rowing community and the intention is that once all the necessary changes have been put in place clubs and groups will have the opportunity to hire the space for whatever they need it for, such as training camps or specific coaching sessions.”