CEO's Blog - Why Rowing?
It’s one of the questions I get asked most often, “Why rowing?”. On the face of it, it’s an easy question to answer; Because of the health benefits, because you’re outside, because it’s great to be active etc. The problem is that you could attribute almost all of that to any sport. There needs to be a real tangible reason as to why anyone would support a program that looks to engage young people in rowing over any other sport. After all, the costs involved are almost certainly higher than another sport (the equipment needed, the low coaching ratio etc.) and as anyone who has been involved with rowing will tell you, it has an uncanny knack of soaking up all the hours in the day! So the question remains, why rowing?
At FRBC we’ve managed to distil it down to four reasons:
We believe that rowing is the best teacher of these attributes, over and above any other sport. To focus on one of these I would say that there isn’t a better activity in the world that can teach you how to work as part of an effective team. You have to move as a unit from the moment you pick the boat up, to the moment you put down. You will at some point in your rowing career have to train and race with someone you don’t normally get on with whilst still trying to win. Generally you’re only going to be as fast as your slowest rower so, to win, you have to support your crew in everything you do. When you first begin in the sport you are relying on your crewmates to follow the same instructions as you so the boat doesn’t capsize, you place your safety in their hands! Most importantly of all, when you’re neck-and-neck with another boat and you want nothing more than to win the race, you have to bind even more tightly with the movement of your crew. Anything else results in the rhythm being killed and the race being lost. It’s different to most other sports as there’s no room for heroes. You can’t rely on a star player to save the day, just the faith that the speed of a well-functioning crew is greater than it’s combined parts.
As well as the individual benefits the feeling of being in an effective crew can be truly life changing. Time and again rowers from successful crews will go on to build friendships that last a lifetime.
The world of business, such as the British Chamber of Commerce, is also telling us that school leavers need to be better prepared for the world of work. Anybody that has worked at any level can tell you that being able to function as an effective team member is vital to almost every industry going. It is also not something that you can assess in an exam, it has to be tested through experience.
Teaching people how to be part of an effective team is a key life skill and we fundamentally believe this is best done through rowing, hence our mission to ensure #rowingforeveryone