Charity no 1161250
Charity no  1161250 Water Row, Newburn, Newcastle upon Tyne NE158NL
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Novice Squad

Not operating winter 23-24, as learn to row graduates from summer 2023 have joined the Development Squad straightaway. It may be revived for winter 24/25. The text below is thus not operational at the moment, but left as a guide for future years.

Who we are

The Novice Squad generally takes those passing out from the Learn to Row (L2R) courses one summer, builds them up over the winter months and then passes them on to the Development Squad (or a Masters Squad or Senior Squad if really strong) by the following summer. It usually gets reformed evey year during September. 

Those who have rowed a bit before elsewhere but have been not been on one of our L2R courses can also join this squad if it suits their ability level. The exact make-up will vary from year to year, but it is usually about 10-12 people, of varying ages but with a shared enthusiasm.

Although most of the Novice Squad members are the least experienced rowers at the club, there is still a great deal of dedication and commitment, with two 'compulsory' sessions Wednesday evening and Sunday morning early, doing a mixture of water, ergo, flexibility, fitness and core strength work.

The water sessions involve trying out both rowing (eights and fours) and sculling (quads, doubles and singles) to gain wider experience and find out what people are most suited to. There are also opportunities to join in with more experienced crews to benefit from their knowledge and to further develop technique, stamina and confidence.

Novices out 30-03-22
A Novice Squad crew out on 30-03-22 at sunset


The majority of the Novice Squad members generally start entering competitions within 6-9 months of finishing the L2R course. There are a series of head races (time trials over 1 to 5 km) during the autumn and winter. The first event for new rowers if progressing well might be Durham Small Boats Head or our own Tyne Head, both in February. 

Local regattas (with side-by-side races) at Chester-le-Street, Cambois, Tees, Durham and Hexham (to name but a few) follow. We also have the Sunday League Series around the region for newer rowers - first Sunday of the month March to October. Not to mention the Great Tyne Row, all 25km of it in (Newburn to Tynemouth), usually in late August or early September.

Contact details

For information, message Colin Percy via the contact page

This page last updated on 06-11-23.

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