Women’s Development Squad
The Women’s Development Squad is a friendly and welcoming group, which includes rowers who have come up through the Explore programme and former Juniors, as well as others returning to the sport after a gap. With rowers of all ages in the squad from early 20s to fifty-somethings, we all love our rowing and have an inclusive team ethic, working hard to be as good as we can be.
Over the past year the Squad has competed at various regattas and head races, including Docklands, Milton Keynes, Northampton, St Ives, St Neots and our home stretch in Bedford, enjoying some great days with the club. For some of us these events have been a return to competition and for others an introduction to the excitement of racing and the thrill of winning.
The Squad has a dedicated volunteer coach who leads two water sessions per week, helping us to develop our technique and build stamina in preparation for racing. Squad members mainly scull, rowing in coxed and coxless quads, doubles and singles, but there are opportunities for sweep, numbers permitting.
The Women’s water sessions take place on Wednesday evenings and first thing on Saturday mornings. These outings are followed by a drink on Wednesday evenings and coffee/tea and toast on Saturdays. This provides an opportunity for feedback on what went well and what didn’t work so well during the outing and has helped us get to know each other as a group.
In addition, the Squad follows a structured land training programme, with weekly Ergos and Gym/Weights circuit workouts. It is recognised that the amount of training Squad members can commit to will vary as we juggle work and family commitments with our rowing, however we encourage each other to try and keep on track with our training.
The land training sessions can be done as a group at the designated times on Tuesday and Thursday evenings when the Women’s Squads have exclusive use of the Ergo room and Gym at the boathouse, or remotely if that gives more flexibility for the individual. Outside designated Squad times, the Ergo room and well-equipped Gym with weights and spin bikes are available to use.
In turn, the Squad helps to support the Explore rowing courses after our Saturday morning outing, helping the newer rowers to progress. We also have fun representing the club as helpers at the Bedford Heads and Regattas, as well as joining in at club social events, like charity quiz nights.
Squad members will agree that we can’t imagine life without rowing. It has given us a focus outside our day to day lives, with physical and mental health benefits, as well as new friendships. There is nothing better than a great water session after a stressful day! We are always on the lookout to welcome new members to the squad, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like to have a chat about joining us.