Posted: 01 Decemeber 2023

Add a heading 1691 x 300 pxDecember Quarterly Newsletter


Hello and welcome to the second quarterly newsletter!

We have been especially busy this quarter and because of that this newsletter is rather lengthy. So, grab a cuppa and get comfortable as you read all about everything that has been happening within our Scottish Rowing community between September and December.


Events So Far

We started this season with the Aberdeen Sprint Regatta on the 2nd of September. A total of 90 races, saw some exciting competition as crews went head-to-head across the 500m course. One week later, we had some busy days at the beach with both the Saints Coastal Regatta and the Home International Rowing Beach Sprints taking place simultaneously on the same weekend in September. The newly selected group of athletes representing Scotland in Saundersfoot had a great time challenging the home nations and developing their skills. Similarly, the sun was shining in St Andrews as many tried their hand at Beach Sprints for the first time. A great time had by all. 

October 21st and 22nd saw a new event for Scottish Rowing – assisting in a CrossFit competition with an indoor rowing segment at the SEC Centre in Glasgow. The organisers of Proving Grounds approached us at the start of the year with visions of a spectacle at their UK Final. Teams of two competed over various distances on linked ergometers over the course of the weekend as part of 4 challenging workouts, leading to a final. The result was two successful days of racing, race control and marshalling thanks to the Scottish Rowing staff and volunteers – and a great buzz about the versatility of indoor rowing. Huge thank you to all who were involved – particularly to The University of Edinburgh, Glasgow University and St Andrew Boat Club for lending us their sliders in order to make this event possible.

After some dramatic rainfall throughout October, Aberdeen Head of the River was unfortunately cancelled due to the river speed. A huge thanks to all at Aberdeen for their efforts in planning the event. Clyde 3 Heads took place on the 4th of November, with 8 events being raced across the three divisions with representation from all the clubs based on the Clyde as well as clubs from across Scotland. One week later, on the 11th and 12th of November saw an entry of just under 600 crews on the the Caledonian Canal for the Caley Marina Fours and Small Boats Head in Inverness. Unfortunately, due to fog Sunday’s racing was cancelled, however, the racing on Saturday was full of exciting overtakes and close finishes, surrounded by some stunning scenery.

 We had the Scottish Schools Indoor Championship on the 24th of November, hosted at Fettes College in Edinburgh. There were 182 pupils from 10 schools represented across the categories and for the first time the teachers got involved to show their pupils how it is done. Finally, bringing a close to the 2023 competition calendar the Clydesdale Scullers Head took place on the 25th of November - this was the first time the event has run since 2019. There were 17 events for single sculls in the first division followed by 9 doubles events, the racing was hard fought and fun.

A huge thank you goes out to all the clubs and individuals who have dedicated their time and effort into hosting these events, we know that it takes a lot of organisation for these races to run. Well done to all those who have competed so far this year, it has been a fantastic start to the season, and we cannot wait to see more exciting racing in 2024!


Upcoming Events

After an exciting start to the season, let’s have a look at the upcoming events this quarter.

Starting with the J16 Land Camp at the sportscotland Inverclyde Centre in Largs. We have 31 athletes coming along, from the 8th to the 10th of December, to benefit from a packed programme of training and education. Featuring practitioners from the sportscotland institute of sport and GB Rowing’s Dan Cooper.

Moving into 2024, we have a quiet January to recover from the holidays before diving headfirst into February with three weekends of racing in row. Our first event of the new year is the Strathclyde University Boat Club Head on the 3rd of February on the Clyde. We then have a trip to Aberdeen, for the Aberdeen 8s and Small Boats Head on the 10th and 11th of February. Before heading back to Glasgow, for the Glasgow Rowing Club Fours Head, on the 17th of February. All three events will be a good chance to test the steering skills of coxes and bow persons! Following this we have one weekend of rest before going to the Caley Cruisers Winter Head in Inverness, which includes the Scottish Student Sport (SSS) Head on the 2nd and 3rd of March. 

What an exciting start to 2024!

Click Here to see the full events calendar.


Scottish Rowing Programmes

We have had several Scottish Rowing programmes get up and running again this last quarter, with three brand new programmes beginning too.

The first of our new ventures is the Student Beginner Programme, the programme is aimed to help students who have never rowed before to discover their potential and assist the student-run clubs with coaching support throughout the year. The first camp took place at the end of October with representatives from St Andrews University, University of Glasgow, Heriot Watt University, University of Strathclyde, Stirling University and University of Aberdeen. After some early capsizes, all the athletes showed great progression over the two days, with many aiming to be ready to compete at BUCS Regatta next year.

The Scottish Rowing Champions for Change Network is a new initiative, as part of the Scottish Rowing Rowers for Change Programme. We aspire to assist clubs and individuals in gaining the skills, knowledge, and experience to embed Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion principles to allow our sport to continue to offer opportunities to all. Launched in September 2023, the project has been working in partnerships with AKD Solutions, Scottish Sports Futures and Steve O’Connor (Fulham Reach) to deliver this message. Four clubs have been engaged in the project; Clydesdale RC, Nithsdale RC, Strathclyde Park RC and Tay RC. So far we have delivered three workshops and one webinar to the Champions for Change Group: AKD Solutions – Equality Yours, Scottish Sports Futures – Human Connection, Webinar with Steve O’Connor (Fulham Reach) and, AKD Solution – Our Vision of Inclusivity. The project will continuously evolve in 2024 with regular sessions, 1-2-1 and specific individuial project support. Scottish Rowing believes that clubs who embrace inclusion and change are more likely to attract members, form positive partnerships with Local Authorities and communities, generate other opportunities for further growth and development and, can secure themselves in the years ahead.

In October, Scottish Rowing launched its Coach Academy. The Coach Academy is a coach development initiative focussed on providing coach education opportunities for young people aged between eighteen and twenty-five, with the aim of developing the next generation of coaches. There are 9 participants representing multiple clubs from across Scotland. Candidates are supported via a series of virtual calls and webinars featuring ex-Team GB coach and current British Rowing Lead Coach Developer, Robin Williams. The participants are also supported via a range of in-person experiences from shadowing senior coaches within the Scottish Rowing community to attending NGB supported development and performance events. Across the 6-month programme, participants will be supported to continue developing their own unique coaching philosophy and build their confidence as coaches. If you would like to find out more about this programme contact Ronan Welch, Pathways Manager at

Scotland has already produced several outstanding Beach Sprinters - the Beach Sprint Academy (BSA) is being launched to support our top athletes ongoing improvement, while developing the next crop of talent. The BSA is a camp-based programme, created to provide a training environment for established flat-water rowers to experience coastal conditions, practice specific drills and learn the seamanship skills required to transition into Beach Sprints. The camps will build over the season to provide key knowledge to support athletes in racing competitively at Beach Sprint events next summer. A good Beach team requires great support staff - with this in mind we are also looking for individuals who want to gain experience in boat handling, coaching, or in a team management role to be a part the BSA. The same competition and camp opportunities are open to support staff alongside the athletes. If you have been inspired by the recent World Rowing Beach Sprints Finals and the inclusion of Beach Sprints into the LA2028! Olympic Games - Scottish Rowing wants to hear from you! Do you have what it takes to win on the Ocean? Contact our Beach Sprints Pathway Coach, Iain Docwra,

The Junior Academy has 14 athletes in this year's class. The first camp took place at Strathclyde Park at the beginning of October, working on developing both their rowing and S&C knowledge. The second camp at the start of November saw the athletes take part in a time trial at Auchinstarry Marina alongside some of the performance and beach sprints athletes. This was a great opportunity for them to experience what a GB trial would be like, especially those who are looking to take part in U19 selection. The athletes have another two camps in the new year followed by the potential opportunities to race at HORR/WeHORR as part of the Scottish Argonauts Project and as part of the Scotland Team for HIR. We are looking forward to a promising year ahead in 2024 with the young talent we have seen so far.

A newly rebranded and Scottish funded, evolution of the successful World Class Start Programme, known as the Performance Development Academy, is underway. It aims to identify and recruit individuals with the raw physical characteristics of future Olympic rowers, and to develop these athletes towards their full potential. The athletes can range from complete beginner to international level. The Scottish Rowing Performance Development Academy has already recruited a wealth of new athletes this season from across the country. Recruitment is always ongoing for individuals aged 14-22 who meet the height criteria and physical characteristics required. These athletes have the opportunity to go to 6 national development camps in Nottingham each season, and work alongside the coaches and athletes from PDAs across the UK.

The Scottish Rowing Performance Programme (SRPP) is the highest tier of support for athletes in/from Scotland. In partnership with the sport Scotland institute of sport, athletes on the programme benefit from expertise and support provided by practitioners in areas such as physical preparation, physiology, physiotherapy, nutrition, performance lifestyle, as well as direct support and guidance from our Scottish Rowing Performance Pathway coaching team. Athletes on this programme come from a range of categories such as, junior, and senior homebased flat-water athletes, beach sprints athletes, para-athletes, US based athletes and UK based exiles. As part of this programme, athletes get to participate in SRPP activities such as, training camps, internal performance testing, as well as many educational workshops and activities.

We are so excited to be able to run so many different programmes across our community and we want to thank those in the community who are currently taking part in the programmes and to those who volunteer their time to help support them. Thank you!


Scottish Disability Sport Week 2023

 We are coming to the end of the Scottish Disability Sport Week 2023.

Scottish Disability Sport week aimed to encourage people with disabilities to improve their well-being through being physically active, while promoting and celebrating intersectionality of participants within disability sport.

Scottish Rowing have been involved in the themes throughout the week and have showcased how our clubs support members with disabilities - both physical and mental - and highlight how much people with disabilities in the rowing community get out of their sport.

If any of the topics we have covered so far are of interest to you or your club and you would like to learn more then please get in touch.


Kit For All Initiative

One of the barriers faced by many rowers is the price of Kit. The initiative will be simple following the sportscotland Kit for All Campaign, which aims to provide sports kit to those who need it most, including people who live in deprived or low-income areas.

When your club signs-up to be a part of the Kit for All Initiative you will receive a donation box and toolkit to use. People will donate kit that they no longer use into the designated box at the club and then when a new person is joining, or someone needs some kit that cannot afford it, they can take from the donation box. There is also a WhatsApp group for the Kit for All Ambassadors to ask the other clubs for kit if they have a person who needs a specific size of kit that they do not have available at their club.


Scottish Rowing Annual General Meeting 2023

 The Scottish Rowing Annual General Meeting took place on the 1st of October this year with club representatives gathering online. We officially welcomed two new Board Members, our new Director of Coaching, Laura Graham, and our new Director of Development, Sophie McCall.

Read about our new Directors here

Unfortunately, Matt Taylor recently stepped down as Scottish Rowing President.  Matt joined the Board in 2020 and in addition to an obvious passion for rowing, Matt brought dynamism and enthusiasm to the Board.  We thank him for his service and contribution to Scottish Rowing and wish him all success in the future. Alistair Neill has stepped in as acting President.

We also had the opportunity to launch our 2023 Annual Review which set out the highlights for the 2022-23 season.  


Scottish Rowing Dinner 2023

On Saturday the 18th of November, some of our members gathered at the Hamilton Ice Rink for the Scottish Rowing Dinner. This was the first dinner to take place since before Covid-19 and it was lovely to see everyone come together for a delicious meal and wonderful conversation.

Two fellowship awards were given to Dame Katherine Grainger and John McKinney for their contributions to rowing. We also had some of our Scottish Rowing Award winners collected their trophies at this event.

A lovely evening had by all with a huge thank you going to Alistair Neill, Scottish Rowing’s Acting President, for organising the evening, Martin Claxton and Gary Bain for presenting the fellowship awards and to all those who came along from all over Scotland.


Scottish Rowing Awards 2022 – 23

 The Scottish Rowing Awards aims to celebrate our rowing community at all levels from volunteers to performance athletes. This year’s awards highlighted the accomplishments achieved during the 2022-23 rowing season. Nominations were received across a total of eight categories, covering all sections of our community.

A huge well done to our winners, listed below:

Club of the Year
Tay Rowing Club

Volunteer of the Year
Ailie Ord (Strathclyde Park Rowing Club)

Young Volunteer of the Year
Lizzie Buchan (University Rowing Aberdeen)

Club Coach of the Year
Lindsay Flockhart (St Andrew Boat Club)

Initiative of the Year
Strathclyde Park Community Outreach Programme

Junior of the Year
Briony Wood (The Glasgow Academy)

Senior of the Year
Gregor Hall (Stirling Rowing Club)

Crew of the Year
University of Edinburgh Beginner Womens 4+


University of St Andrews Coastal Sculling Academy 

We are delighted to see the University of St Andrews confirmed as a GB Coastal Sculling Academy, one of the first accredited venues across the UK.⁠ Scottish Rowing has been working closely with the university to develop coastal sculling opportunities with joint ambition for a world class training and events venue.⁠

East Sands has already played host to a number of events, including the inaugural Home International Rowing (HIR) Beach Sprints last year, and exciting discussions are underway with the university, Fife Council and Fife Sports and Leisure Trust to further develop opportunities in the area.⁠

With the recent addition of the Beach Sprints discipline to the Commonwealth and Olympic programme Scottish Rowing is keen to hear from rowers, coxes, coaches, volunteers and local partners who would like to get involved in the journey.⁠


British Rowing Club Coach Assistant Training

The Club Coaching Assistant training workshops provides an entry level for anyone wanting to get involved in supporting rowing activities at their club.The workshops are 3-hours via an online classroom. The training cost £15 per person.

Thursday 11th January, 18:30-21:45

Thursday 1st February, 18:30-21:45

Monday 19th February, 18:30-21:45

Tuesday 26th March, 18:30-21:45

The training will help you to:

  • Identify your roles and responsibilities as a Club Coaching Assistant.
  • Identify the key components in delivering a safe and inclusive session to a group of rowers.
  • Identify some of the skills required to deliver these sessions effectively.
  • Look at the key skills and technical development in rowing activities.
  • Experience rowing activities through video observation.
  • Discuss the key skills of a Club Coaching Assistant when supporting rowing sessions.


Scottish Rowing Schools Indoor League Results

The Scottish Rowing Schools Indoor League was once again a great success this year. A total of 13 schools took part across the four rounds of the league including the in-person final at the Scottish Schools Indoor Championships on the 24th of November. The Championships mark the end of this year's Scottish Rowing Schools Indoor League, which has been running across September, October, and November. 

This year we were in Edinburgh for the finals hosted by Fettes College, who were delighted to be hosting and provided a fantastic space for the event. We even had an appearance by GB Olympian Katherine Douglas - an ex-pupil of Fettes. It was lovely to have her down in some of her GB kit to chat with the competitors. The event culminated in the Teachers Race, where the staff raced over 3 minutes whilst being deafened by the roar of the pupils!

Congratulations to the students at George Watson’s College who topped the League tables with a whopping 343 points and once again took home the Victor Ludorum shield. They were followed by Fettes College in second and George Heriots School in third. Well Done to all those who took part and a huge thanks goes to Fettes College for hosting the final this year.



As we approach the new year, reminiscing of all the exciting rowing that has happened in 2023, why not login to your JustGo account and make sure that everything is up to date. On your JustGo account you will be able to see the points you have gained this year, add in any credentials you have earned and update any personal information that may be needed for us to help support you as we move into 2024. 
If you have any issues with your account or notice that something is not correct, get in touch with our Membership Support team so that we can ensure everything is updated properly.