The University of London Boat Club is UL’s most successful sporting society. Each year we have members racing at the World Championships or winning the local regattas. The idea behind ULBC, which has worked for the last 40 years, is to take anyone who has the potential to be the best to become the best.
Recently, this has been done with Cameron Nichol who is now a member of the GB Squad whilst studying medicine. Along with complete beginners, we take seasoned sportsmen and advance them farther towards their aims. Nathaniel Reilly O’Donnell graduated with a law degree from UCL at the same time as competing at the U23 World Champions, the Rowing World Cups, and the Senior World Championships. Olivia Oakes is another ULBC rower that has moved forward since school, winning Gold at the Youth Olympic Festival in Australia in January last year. All three are from UCL.
ULBC is the second-most successful rowing club in the UK, proven by our number of Henley wins; this is thanks to our brilliant team of full-time coaches and support team. The club squads for both women and men are open to anyone who fits certain criteria — i.e. being very tall.
Each year we travel the world. Over the past four years the men’s squad have travelled to China for an all-expenses-paid trip to race Cambridge, Harvard, and some Chinese universities. Also, we have been to the past three European Student Rowing Championships in Spain, Poland, and Amsterdam.
Our strong connection with our alumni helps our athletes to move into any career they want after leaving ULBC: e.g. Google, Deloitte, Goldman Sachs, British Olympic Association, British Medical Association.
If any of this is appealing, please have a look at www.ulbc.co.uk and contact us.
Rowing with the University College London Boat Club (UCLBC) is a fantastic way of improving your sport and meeting great people. For novice rowers new to the sport, the club offers training with the objective of putting crews together through the winter and summer seasons to race at very prestigious events. New rowers can train as much as they like to suit their involvement and should also realise that if they maintain their training, and demonstrate the levels required, they will have the opportunity to row at much higher levels.
For senior rowers the club puts together top crews for winter and summer racing, the most significant being the Head of the River Race, in which we were the second-fastest UL college club this year, and the Henley Royal Regatta. For the most committed, the training can be very intense with sessions everyday; however, we understand unlike some other clubs that degree work is a priority, and so rowing with UCLBC is designed not to interrupt your studies, whilst providing some of the best coaching available.
When you row with UCLBC you will be guided by the phenomenal coaching team made up of Tom Wilkinson, currently an oarsman in the GB Rowing Team; Richard Ayling, ex-Olympic oarsman and Olympic coach; and Allan ‘Woody’ Sherman, Paralympic coach and cox.
UCLBC is one of the College’s largest clubs, and through rowing many great friendships can be made. The club goes away on important training camps in the Christmas and Easter holidays, and has countless other social events throughout the year including a social tour which is one of the most memorable events of the year. There is a great atmosphere at UCLBC, and we welcome anyone to the spot at any level; I look forward to seeing new faces at the Boat House soon.
At the Royal Free, University College and Middlesex Medical Students Society Boat Club (RUMSBC), our focus is very much different from both ULBC’s and UCLBC’s. Although we compete in many of the same races as they do, such as the Cambridge Winter Head-to-Head and the Head of the River Race, as a medics’ rowing club we also compete in several United Hospitals Boat Club (UHBC) events. UHBC events are competitions between the medical schools in London such as Imperial College School of Medicine, St George’s Hospital, St Bartholomew’s & Royal London, and the ever unpopular King’s, with the UHBC events including winter sprints, the Head, and the Bumps Races, followed by the infamous Bumps party on the last day of racing.
I would encourage everyone to give rowing a try, as it provides the best route to both physical fitness and enjoying your time at university. Getting to know the senior rowers of RUMSBC doesn’t only have social perks; many of the rowers in the years above have proved invaluable, providing revision materials and even tutorials to the pre-clinical rowers in the build up to exam time.
Rowing for RUMSBC gives the perfect balance between work and play; needless to say we take our social calendar very seriously. Early on in first term we hold a club meal, which is a great opportunity for freshers to meet the seniors of the Boat Club. The two VP and alumni dinners held in both winter and summer allow old Boat-Club members to come back for a great night out — with doctors buying drinks all evening it’s ideal for those with end-of-term overdraft blues. The biggest events of the year are the social tour and the Bumps party, the latter involving a bungee run, hog roast, bucking-bronco machine, and KY Jelly wrestling; there is no better way to celebrate the end of our racing calendar — and preclinical exams!