Walton Rowing Club welcomes new members of all ages. If you are interested in joining, please take a little time to browse this website, which answers most of the commonest questions; then just email us at team [at] waltonrowingclub.co.uk giving the rower’s name, age and level of experience and we will direct your enquiry to the right person. You are also welcome to visit the Club (Sunday mornings at around 10am are usually the best) to see what goes on and what facilities we offer.
If you are an experienced adult rower it’s very easy: just visit or get in touch and we will try to find the group or people who are closest to your age and experience, and who can suggest the best time to come down and try out in a crew.
Adult beginners should register for one of our courses: see adult beginners.
Experienced juniors need to speak with the coach of the relevant squad: contact us as above and we will be in touch.
Junior beginners should register for one of our courses: these are always oversubscribed so it’s a good idea to plan several months ahead if possible. Courses for 12-to-14-year-olds normally run on weekday mornings in the Easter and summer holidays; “young adults” courses for 15-to-18-year-olds are usually Wednesday evenings in the summer. Please see the join the club – juniors page for more details.
What does it cost?
The cost of a beginners’ course is currently £150 – 200. After completing the course you join as a Senior or Junior member and pay an annual subscription (pro rata for the first year) – see the Subscriptions page for the current rates. The subscription covers the use of the facilities and all boats and equipment, as well as coaching where relevant. When you start to race there are extra costs for clothing and entry fees.
What age ranges do you take?
Rowing caters for all age-groups from about 12 to 90! At Walton most juniors start at 13 or 14, and continue until they go to University. University students can remain as holiday members, and we then encourage them to come back and row at Walton. We do also have many people joining in their 40s and 50s – rowing is a very social activity and has a much lower risk of injury than any contact sport. Rowing training is also a very good cardiovascular activity and helps maintain co-ordination and flexibility. Masters races operate under a handicap system which caters for all age ranges up to 85-90.
What is the level of commitment?
Like all sports, the more you put into your rowing the more you will get out of it. Most people start with one outing a week, and don’t worry too much if they miss a session. Once you start getting into a regular crew, your crew will set the expectations: this may be once or twice a week, plus a land training session whenever possible. Crews wanting to reach championship level should expect to train four or five times a week, including some longer sessions, and to build fitness in winter by attending land training or other cross-training activities. Parents should not underestimate the time and mileage required to support a highly committed junior athlete!
How safe is rowing?
Rowing has a very good safety record, but we have to stay alert all the time. All activities are risk-assessed and a coach will normally say whether it is safe for a particular crew to go out, in strong stream conditions for example. All rowers should be confident swimmers, able to swim a minimum of 50 metres when fully clothed. Advice is given on a range of injuries and conditions that are specific to rowing (and which can normally be avoided). Juniors are not allowed to use free weights unless supervised.