Dear Members, Prospective Members, Parents, Alumni and Visitors,
As a short introduction, I am a third-year student of International Relations. I learnt to row as a junior in Glasgow and have spent many years enjoying this incredible sport. I am delighted to hold the position of President for the 2020-21 season and I am looking forward to seeing how the club can reach new heights in the coming year.
Over the club’s 58-year history, it has developed from the foundations of a small recreational club into a larger high-performing and competitive one that still values the close squad relationships that rowing inspires. This close-knit supportive community was founded by John Browne. John was a dedicated and humble man who set out to start a rowing club despite having “no water, no body to row with, no boats and no oars”. His commitment and dedication to the club through his life has instilled these values in the hearts of all our members and the news of his passing in September was met with great sadness by many of our members. To honour his life, the club held a memorial service for John in December that was attended by many members of the club, past and present, as well as his wife Christine. As the club strives forward, we will take with us John’s legacy and continue to meet all challenges with his same determination and commitment.
As John Browne did in his time, we too have been met with many challenges in this last year. From water toxins that unfortunately cancelled Saints Regatta, to high water levels and winds wreaking havoc with our winter season, and finally the coronavirus putting a pause on our training. With each of these hurdles, the club has worked tirelessly to rebuild and develop, learning at every stage and looking to take the club further even in the hardest of times. The commitment of our athletes is something that cannot be understated: it was incredible to see that everyone continued to train hard and strive for goals that kept being moved back.
Despite the swathe of cancelled events and poor weather, we have still seen some great achievements this season. At our Freshers’ Week Ergathon we raised £1092 for Maggie’s Cancer Care who do incredible work providing cancer support in Fife. In our October Reading Week, all four squads were represented at our Autumn training camp at Loch Ken in Dumfries and Galloway. For this training camp our coach Oscar Nick was joined by Steven Kerr who, together, provided excellent coaching and helped to develop our technical skills early in the season. As we moved into the winter season our first (and final) event for senior crews was Fours Head where we saw four crews take to the Tideway. In the very competitive fields, our crews did well with the Men’s 4+ finishing 49thand our top Women’s 4+ finishing third in their category. While our senior squads were in London, our novice squads were pushing their limits at the Scottish Rowing Indoor Championships where they saw 3 teams come away with medals and many individuals set new pbs. As the winter season continued, we were repeated disappointed by weather difficulties and cancellations. However, we still managed to boat three women’s eights for a training session on the Tideway, the club’s largest WEHORR entry in recent years. Throughout the season, our squads have committed incredible amounts of time and effort into all aspects of training and have seen results in erg scores and friendly matches. It is disappointing that we did not get the opportunity to showcase our work in the summer season, but this shows great promise as we move into the new season and set our sights on 2021.
Throughout the year we have had the complete support of our members, our alumni and supports club, Eden Boat Club and all the staff at the Athletic Union. Our club could not run without the continued advice and financial support provided by Eden, who voluntarily set aside time to help us develop the club and make decision making and fundraising far easier for the club committee. With the continued support of the Eden Fund, the club will be able to invest in essential equipment and maintain our fleet to the competitive standard that will help us win medals. The close links between Eden and current members establishes a wider community and spreads the close-knit club beyond university and into life after the bubble. The gratitude the club has for all those who support us cannot be put into words, but I hope that everyone who has supported us from the bank, offered their advice or coaching, made a financial contribution, or attended any social events has an understanding of how much of a difference your support makes.
This club is a fantastic community that continues beyond the water, the gym and even university and the culmination of this supportive atmosphere, our success and dedication to strive forward was recognised in the award of Saints Sport Club of the Year 2020. This recognition, along with many other nominations and wins for some of our teams and athletes, is a testament to the hard work and dedication that has brought us to many successes in the past and will continue to strive us forward in the future.
If you would like to be a part of this inspiring, close-knit, dedicated and supportive community and play your part in our future, please don’t hesitate to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will happily answer any questions/queries/comments.
Yours in Rowing, Ailsa Martin Club President 2020-21