Saturday 7th March saw the second junior rowing day on the Fowey river for the three clubs involved in the Henley Stewards scheme. Gig clubs from Charlestown, Fowey and Looe have been allocated the assistance of scholarship coach, Rhiannon Halliday, to develop their junior sections. Links to the local secondary schools have been created, and have led to the development of indoor rowing clubs. Pupils attending the indoor clubs were invited to have a taste of rowing on the water, alongside existing rowers from the gig clubs at a junior rowing day led by Rhiannon.
A total of 22 young rowers attended, six of whom had never tried the sport before. Coaches from the clubs ran sessions on the water in fixed seat boats, working on the juniors’ technique. Rhiannon introduced some of the more experienced rowers to the concept of rowing ‘oarmatch’ in Charlestown’s skiff.
Over lunch, local boat builder and long standing member of Fowey Gig Club, Maurice Hunkin, allowed the group to watch him work on the building of Charlestown’s newest racing gig ‘Defender’, answering any questions fired at him. After lunch it was back on the water for another technique session before the crews were mixed up for some fun racing as the rain began to fall. Members of Charlestown Gig Club videoed the session, which will be re visited during the indoor sessions to analyse technique. A big thank you must go to Maurice Hunkin and volunteers from the three clubs for their help throughout the day.
Many of the juniors who attended the rowing day are amongst the 45 pupils set to venture up to London for the National Indoor Rowing Championships on the 17th March. Approximately 15 young rowers from each of clubs Rhiannon runs along with Fowey, Charlestown and Looe gig clubs will be attending the major event.
The trip has been made possible with help from the WRRC, Cornwall Sports Partnership and London Youth Rowing allowing the rowers a chance to represent their schools, and fly the flag for Cornwall at this national event. Watch this space for results!