Posted: 20 September 2023

The Student Beginner Programme is an exciting new initiative developed to provide support and provision to ambitious and talented new athletes and their coaches in university clubs. The programme will be run and led by Scottish Rowing’s Lead Performance Pathway Coach who will work collaboratively with the university programmes. 

The programme will use a camp-based approach that will allow athletes to come together with likeminded individuals to develop their rowing progressively through their first season. Athletes can expect to work with a variety of coaches to develop all the necessary skills to become performance athletes capable of competing to a high standard, training independently, and thriving in a performance programme in their first season.

Alongside the SBP camps, athletes will be invited to attend workshops to aid their development, to take part in regional training sessions, extra racing opportunities throughout the season (particularly in the Summer), and invitations to GB Rowing Olympic Pathway Development Camps and working alongside the Scottish Rowing Performance Development Academy.

Coaches of athletes on the programme will have access to a network of experienced coaches in university rowing, with opportunities for their own development. They will be able to access direct support from the SR Lead Performance Pathway Coach to support their coaching within their home club.


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What are we looking for?

  • NEW athletes to the sport – studying at a university in Scotland
  • Ambitious athletes who want to row for Scotland and/or Great Britain in the future
  • Males – 6'0” (183cm) or taller
  • Females – 5'8” (173cm) or taller

What are we trying to do?

  • Help provide high-quality support to promising beginner rowers across Scotland
  • Provide support to coaches working with beginners in Scotland including resources.
  • Develop sculling proficiency within Scotland (and Great Britain) with string technical foundations and skills.
  • Identify, support and develop athletes with the potential to row for Scotland and/or Great Britain
  • Develop a new generation of athletes capable of training independently in their home clubs and compete at a high level in all disciplines and boat types.

What are our aims?

  • Engagement with all university rowing clubs – with particular emphasis on those without professional coaches, and less experienced coaches.
  • A strong Scottish contingent attending the Olympic Pathway Development Camp/Regatta.
  • A strong Scottish contingent competing at BUCS Regatta in the Beginner 1x event.
  • Identify 12-16 athletes of SBP standard to take through to the Spring/Summer Programme.
  • A strong retention of athletes into senior rowing programmes, and continued development through the performance pathway.


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Dates for the diary:

We want to use the Autumn/Winter parts of the season to identify the athletes with the greatest potential and drive to become high performing rowers. Some activities will be open to anyone who meets the eligibility criteria outlined for the programme (subject to max numbers), some will be invitation only for athletes who show the most potential, development and engagement with the programme.

28th & 29th October (Strathclyde Park) - Open Attendance 
Technical Foundations and Physicality 
What does it take to be an elite rower, what is the technical model, what are the key skills, and how do we get there?

3rd – 7th January (Oriam Sports Complex) - Invitation Only 
Land Training Camp 
Learn what it takes to live and train like a performance athlete, this is a unique opportunity to train alongside the Scottish Rowing Performance Programme in world class facilities at a National Training Centre. 

28th & 29th January (Strathclyde Park) - Open Attendance 
Development Assessment Camp 
How have your skills, your physicality and of course your boat speed developed since Camp #1. 
How have you adapted to your rowing programme and how can you continue to improve? 

Following this camp, a select number of athletes will be named onto the Student Beginner Programme 

2nd – 4th February (Nottingham) - Invitation Only 
Olympic Pathway Development Camp 
An exciting opportunity to join athletes from across the UK at the Performance Development Academy testing camp, work with experienced coaches, test your boat speed and skills amongst other athletes with great potential, and train in crew boats with similar level athletes.

19th – 21st April (Nottingham) - Invitation Only (other requests allowed) 
Olympic Pathway Development Regatta & Camp 
Another opportunity to join in with the Performance Development Academy testing camp. This Camp also runs alongside the GB Rowing Team U19 Trials Regatta, and this will provide an opportunity for a ‘friendly’ regatta to run for Pathway athletes across the UK. Great preparation for BUCS Regatta only two weeks later!

4th – 6th  May (Nottingham) - BUCS Regatta 
Open to all eligible athletes to compete in the largest regatta in Europe!

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Summer Racing Squad 
Rowing development doesn’t stop when Semester 2 finishes, and to fully develop in your first season to the required level where you will be able to train and race competitively and independently you will need to keep rowing during the Summer. We will use the programmes network to keep athletes developing through training and racing – Progress can really accelerate in the Summer months. This will likely culminate with the final Olympic Pathway Development Camp of the season 6-10th August with an optional trip to Peterborough Summer Regatta 10/11th August.

Athlete Applications: 
Athletes can register their names for the programme to receive all information about the upcoming camps, as they are announced, using the link below:

Apply Here

Coach/Programme information: Any coaches/clubs who are interested in bringing their athletes into the programme should get in touch with Tom Young, Scottish Rowing Lead Performance Pathway Coach via the email address below.