You will have prepared for weeks, and it all comes down to this moment. It is pure electricity.
We asked Callum Fergusson, a recent ‘graduate’ of the RowLeeds programme at Elliott Hudson College what rowing has meant to him.
“I can't think of any better way to spend my time than to be out on the water with other people who all have the same goal in mind: get the boat moving! I started off rowing at college as a way to get fit, healthy and gain some confidence, and it has evolved into a huge method of stress relief, where I can switch off from the outside world and just focus on one thing. I absolutely love the sport and all the people that I have met through it; I certainly wouldn't be the well-rounded individual I am today without it. As a matter of fact, I don't think I would be doing what I am doing today if I hadn't taken it up. I am currently doing a legal admin apprenticeship, and for around 90% of my interview, I spoke all about rowing and all the things I have learnt from it. For example, I learnt how to be focused and driven, and it also showed me that my limits are much further than I first anticipated.
Before I found out about rowing through college, I had
little to no exposure to it whatsoever. As someone with
little interest in sport prior to starting, I thought to myself 'this seems like something I could do', so I
pushed the boat out (pun intended) and put my name down for it. Before I knew it, I was training six or seven times a week, and I found that I was really enjoying myself. If I had to give some advice to someone just starting out, it would be to persevere through the learning curve. For quite a while, I was absolutely terrified of falling in the water, until I bit the bullet and decided to go in a single. This showed me that there was nothing to be afraid of, so long as you know what you are doing. Once you feel comfortable with the sport, it is an absolute joy to be out on the water, totally at one with the boat.
My love for rowing is at its absolute peak on a race day. The atmosphere of everyone around you preparing and how friendly and supportive everyone is towards their competition is really quite a sight to behold. Once you are at the start, and the adrenaline kicks in, there is no feeling like it. You will have prepared for weeks, and it all comes down to this moment. It is pure electricity.
Rowing has really helped me to deal with some tough situations, by providing me with a much-needed outlet to relieve tension built up in a way I had never experienced. If anyone is even thinking about rowing, I would say go down to your club and just give it a go, you will not regret it.”
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