University of Surrey Boat Club focussing on performance in 2018
University of Surrey Boat Club is based at Molesey Boat Club, completing its land training at Surrey Sports Park. Under the direction of Young Coach of the Year, Samuel Tuck, USBC is aiming high for 2018. Now 3 years into a 5-year plan, Tuck is switching emphasis from participation to performance. We asked Charlotte Gill, USBC Secretary, to outline their plans for the coming year.
The start of 2018 will see the club travel to Seville for a high-performance camp before heading to Newcastle to show the rest of the UK universities what we can do at BUCS Head. The women’s squad specifically are looking to medal at BUCS Regatta, win a pennant at Women’s Head and ultimately win at Henley Women’s Regatta.
The USBC promo video
For the men’s squad, the goals are very similar, medals at BUCS Regatta and a successful summer racing season with Henley Royal qualification as the main goal. Following our success last year, Freshers’ Fair saw a promising set of novices sign up to trial for the squad. During trials, each novice tried out the tank, showed what they could do on the ergo and took part in some anthropometric tests. We had to cut down from over 60 to 26 novices and we now have a solid group of athletes and are really excited to see what they can do this year.
We are aiming for 2018 to be the most successful season USBC has ever had. This season we have already hosted BUCS Indoors at Surrey Sports Park which saw over 100 athletes join us from King’s College London, Royal Holloway and Molesey Boat Club to name a few. We were proud to have at least one Surrey athlete on almost every podium. HPASS athlete Megan Pearson is currently ranked 3rd in the BUCS Indoor Championships table. During this weekend we also had three athletes (Alex Law, George Stewart and Charlotte Gill) attend GB Early ID trials. Fours Head saw the top women’s 4 finishing just 2 seconds off winning the category and the second women’s 4 also put in a solid performance. Meanwhile, we have had a fresh influx of men to the squad who are enjoying a mix of sculling and sweep and have put in some good performances at Fours Head, Teddington and Kingston Head.
Fundraising for the women’s squad
University of Surrey Boat Club launched a campaign to raise money for a new women’s eight in November 2017 after a hugely successful 2016/17 season which saw wins at Met Regatta, more athletes than ever (18) racing at Henley Women’s Regatta and an increase in squad numbers which left us struggling to accommodate all athletes on the water. Last season the women spent most of their time training and racing in the men’s boats which were far too heavy for them. This had a huge impact on the men’s training as the women were using the boats they also needed and everyone had to train at different times making coaching more of a challenge. So as the new season began the committee, led by president Ellie Stevens, decided something needed to change and launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise the first £5,000 of £22,000 we would need to buy a new eight. Within 6 weeks we have managed to raise a total of £7,000 with £2,000 being donated by the Santander Student Impact Fund which we are extremely grateful for.
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