Sunderland Uni rowing freshers to take to the water

Sunderland University’s Rowing Club’s new intake of freshers are set to take part in their first competition when they compete at the York Small Boats event.

About 25 freshers have joined the club this year which is a big increase on previous years and they will hope to be successful when they head to York on November 18.

The club splits its training between City Space at the University’s City Campus and the Sunderland Rowing Club in South Hylton.

Sarah Hodge, President of Sunderland University Rowing Club, said: “There has definitely been more interest in the club this year, as we have managed to keep the people that we got down in the first two weeks.”

And Hodge admits the bad weather has prevented them getting out on the water as much as they would have liked.

“I think that they will do really well for a crew that has only been rowing for about six weeks and have had issues getting on the water due to the weather,” she said.

“The main thing to get them to concentrate on is the experience of racing and not the time and how the boat goes.”

Some of the members from last year have already tasted action this year, the first at the Tyne Long Distance Sculls event at the end of October where Daryl Whalen-Griffiths took part in the men’s quads with three other members of the Sunderland City club.

And Hodge and Claire McGuire took part in the women’s doubles, in the same category which saw Olympic gold medallist Kat Copeland competing in the singles.

Meanwhile, on November 3, four members of the club took part in the Tees Small Boats competition.

Hodge said: “I participated in my single and had a final time of 24:32, I was pleased with this time as I was recovering from a knee injury.

“Then there was another quad where Stephen Beadling, Daryl Whalen-Griffiths and Claire McGuire took part with a time of 19:22, which was a really good time when they had one female in the boat.”

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