Posted: 19 December 2023


The 2023, J16 Land Camp took place from 8th – 10th December at the sportscotland National Sports Training Centre Inverclyde, in Largs. There were 31 young athletes in attendance representing: Aberdeen School’s Rowing Association, Clydesdale Amateur Rowing Club, George Heriot’s School, George Watson’s College, Inverness Rowing Club, St Andrew Boat Club, Stirling Rowing Club and, and Strathclyde Park Rowing Club.

We had some fantastic practitioners and guest coaches who came along to educate our athletes. Dan Cooper, GBRT U19 Programme Manager ran some technical sessions on the Row Ergs, focussing on body positions throughout the stroke using a variety of drills including no-handle rowing. Later in the weekend, Dan spoke about Performance Behaviours - discussing how to be a more driven individual on the whole, and not just focusing on being an athlete. The Juniors were very engaged and had lots of ideas discussing the differences between attributes and behaviours. Thanks to Dan for coming up for the weekend.




On the Sunday, we were visited by sportscotland Institute of Sport’s Physical Preparation Coach, Chris Robinson who ran some detailed strength and conditioning sessions. Chris works across the Scottish Rowing pathway with many of our performance athletes. The athletes took part in a discussion about effective warm-ups and correct technique before heading to the gym to work through a circuit. They returned later to look at technique for some of the standard lifts used for rowing and finished off with some mobility and flexibility work. Thank you, Chris, for coming along to share your knowledge on Sunday.




The athletes split off for some classroom work on Sunday morning. The girls worked with Dr Laura Forrest, a Sports Science Lecturer from the University of the West of Scotland. They spent the hour talking about Female Athlete Health, learning about how menstruation cycles can have an affect on training. The conversations were open and honest with lots of good questions and discussion points. Meanwhile the boys were with Dr Nidia Rodriguez-Sanchez, a lecturer in Physiology and Nutrition at University of Stirling, talking about Nutrition and the importance of a balanced diet. They spoke about what to eat to get the best type of nutrition and how much of each food group they need to eat whilst training. Two fantastic talks by two wonderful academics, thank you Laura and Nidia for taking the time to talk to our athletes.




Alongside the J16 Camp, we welcomed 10 of our Beach Sprints athletes from the Scottish Rowing Performance Programme and Beach Sprints Academy to do some training of their own. Launching from Largs Sailing Club, the athletes were in quads and doubles practicing turns and sprints. They also spent some time heating up inside working on some S&C with Chris. Six of the athletes took some time out of their schedule to speak to our J16 athletes about all things Beach, and how you can be successful at both flat-water and beach sprints rowing. They were accompanied by Scottish Rowing’s Beach Sprints Pathway Coach, Iain Docwra, who shared some more information on the discipline, finishing off by watching some exciting footage from the World Beach Sprints Final where the GB CMix 2x, Laura McKenzie and Sam Scrimgeour, faced off against the Tunisian double in the semi-final, some of the most exciting racing seen this season!




We were thrilled to hear ourathletes had a great time over the camp weekend. In feedback, all of the athletes said that they would highly recommend the camp to others condisering attending in the future. Both the facilities at Inverclyde and the sessions included in the camp all scored very well.




Scottish Rowing’s Sports Programme Coordinator, Cara O’Donnell said:

“This I my second year as part of the organising team for the camp and I really enjoy them. The young athletes were all engaged and put the effort in when needed. It is so important that we offer these camps to our athletes as it helps them learn the best practice for their training going forward. I can’t wait to see all the athletes grow and develop throughout their time in rowing no matter what path they take!”

We are looking forward to watching the young athletes progress through our sport and are excited to support them further as they continue their journey. Additionally, we look forward to next years Scottish Rowing J16 Land Camp with feedback received we are already working on what we can do to improve the camp for the future.