Masters

The detail on each part of this strategy is work in progress, presented to indicate our direction of travel and not as a finished product.

We want your input and feedback to help improve it, both for the next iteration as detailed on our roadmap, and on-going. It will change, and we will listen to the membership and what they want and need.

Send us your feedback, and be part of this step change in British Rowing.

Tell us what you think

What? Rowing opportunities for all masters rowers

A significant number of British Rowing members fall into the category of Masters rowers. Some rowers move seamlessly from senior to masters competition through the ages, whilst many have huge gaps in their rowing careers as life takes them away from the sport before they return or cross over from others sports they can no longer do. They often provide the backbone of clubs in terms of club management, maintenance and coaching. They also can have big differences in what they want and need. New recreational rowers, those returning to the sport, and competitive masters rowers all need to be supported differently. Some just want to organise long rows to the pub at the weekend or limit their rowing to 2 - 3 times a week. Others want to race at a high level more often or challenge themselves on the ergo against old team mates or past Olympians. We need to reset the way we think about masters rowing, to create opportunities for all for a lifetime.

How? By building a variety of rowing experiences whilst promoting rowing as the number one vehicle for health and fitness.

In line with our recreational strategy and our club strategy, we want to work with clubs to promote options for people to take part in more recreational activity that's right for them and that will attract more people back to the sport or into it for the first time. We will support this with coaching and training guides that are appropriate and realistic for “older” athletes. 

Our aim is to create communities of like-minded and like-standard rowers across the country and to provide a valuable and growing category of members within clubs. We have seen (in clubs that have adopted this approach) how squad sizes can grow at all the levels of masters rowing. Many become volunteers or get involved with coaching to support their clubs. At a competitive level, the numbers racing actively in local, national, European and world events increases and standards can go up too.

We also know that experienced Masters always want a "decent row" but don't necessarily have similar standard rowers in their club to row with. By creating and connecting local Masters to rowers of a similar level in their area, guided by ranking points or past competition successes, we can create groups of competitive rowers at the level that’s right for them. We can facilitate clubs working together to host different groups of rowers who put their names down to row together at whatever club can host, creating large networks of competitive rowers in the process. New and appropriate competitions will also be developed to help them race at the right level more often - locally, regionally and even nationally. 

We will also look to create online forums for rowers to connect with others and organise their own activities too - for men's groups, more women's crews, adaptive rowers, and other communities of rowers too.

By bringing in a broad range of backgrounds and experiences, we will create welcoming environments where everyone feels like they belong. But that will require an acceptance that different people might need different things: some may be keen to get coaching to develop; others may just be happy to be out on the water with friends. Both should be available without reproach. This will require having a network of places to row that genuinely shift their behaviours and mindset to ensure that the balance of racing and recreational rowing is delivered.

Why? To keep people involved in the sport at all levels for a lifetime

Masters rowing should be about creating different paths where people can participate in the sport as often as they want. Whether that is with regular training, competitions and aiming for success at national and international events, or going for a relaxed paddle when the conditions are nice, or anywhere between these 2 extremes. That should allow people to continue to enjoy rowing, keep active and develop - and shouldn’t preclude rowers moving in and out of the racing squads at times (even just for a race) when they have time and inclination. We must modernise the tradition of the sport to evolve and thrive by working with clubs that want to grow their reach and invite people back and into our sport so they and everyone can see the benefits it brings.

View all the areas of the strategy...

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What do you think?

If you have any thoughts on any part of what we are trying to do, think we are missing a trick, or see an area where you can help us, please get in touch and let us know.  

This is your sport: we're here as its Trustees to facilitate it on your behalf, and to help it to thrive and grow.

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