At the beginning of this half approximately 100 ‘F’ Blockers started rowing as a major sport. We were emailed the day before arriving at school and were told about our first session on the following Tuesday. Many of us were excited to explore what this new sport had to offer to us. After all, we had heard older boys talk of ‘Regattas’ and ‘Rafts’, terminology that seemed alien to us back then.

As our buses rolled down the road towards the Boathouse, we had our faces stuck to the glass as we observed this huge expanse of water which most of us had never seen before. Rowers with previous experience were quickly singled out and whisked away. We were put into small groups and allocated a rowing tutor. They ran us through the basics of rowing and over the next few sessions we built up our skills, many of us falling in along the way. By the time they deemed us fit for rowing without constant help, we were sent up the return lake to join the experienced rowers.

After Short Leave we will be moving to the mysterious ‘rafts’ of which we have heard many stories being recounted, but we still have the daunting task of passing a test to see if we are fit for the River Thames.

Sam Mackie (DWG)