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Adult Learn-to-Row

16th Feb 2024:  Our ALTR programme starts in the Spring, with six taster sessions spaced through the summer season and three waves of courses from April through to September. We invite you to register early for a taster session, and a course that fits your diary below. We will confirm your place on the course at the taster day.

Learn To Row, three short words that for many are life-enriching, in terms of both physical and mental well-being. Rowing utilises 85% of your muscle mass, gives you a great cardio workout, has a low injury risk and helps improve your flexibility, balance, and concentration.

We are a competitive club and as such are particularly keen to hear from people who’ve competed at a high level in other sports.  If you’re a high-achieving swimmer who fancies a more varied view than the bottom of the pool, or a former runner, footballer, rugby player, gymnast or cyclist and you fancy trying a sport that’s largely injury-free, that you could do into your 90’s, then drop us an email below – we’d love to hear from you. 

Our ALTR coaching takes place at Marlow Rowing Club, on a beautiful non-tidal stretch of the River Thames. We have a fleet of modern boats ranging from safe and stable beginner’s boats to lightweight racing shells. We coach in a group environment, but within that we aim to tailor it to your personal rate of development.

Our ALTR coaching team of 10 bring 200 years of rowing and 100 years of coaching experience. The team includes multiple former national champions who share a deep understanding of and passion for the sport.    

Our ALTR 2024 programme will run in 3 Waves, starting in April, June, and July (see below for specific dates). The course includes two 75-minute sessions per week for six weeks and is split into two Phases. Phase 1 is a 2-week, 4-session short course to allow you to assess whether this is the sport for you. Subject to you achieving a safe minimum threshold, and enjoying yourself, Phase 2 continues straight on and consists of four more weeks of two sessions per week. Fees are £120 for Phase 1 and £240 for Phase 2.  

Taster sessions
To give people a better sense of what the sport involves we’ll be running Taster Sessions in April, June and July  prior to commencement of  each Wave so that people who are interested in signing up for ALTR can come and look around the club, chat to some LTR mentors who will provide support to you over the course,  receive a couple of hours coaching and get a real feel for the course, the coaches, our club and the sport.

You must have attended the taster session prior to joining the course. 

Our taster sessions are on 6th and 7th April (3-6pm) 1st and 2nd June 3-5pm) and 20th and 21st July (3-5pm).  

There is a charge of £8.   If you’re interested, you can book a place using the links below.

Course Dates For 2024

If what you’ve read appeals to you, register your interest here and we’ll send you more information. We look forward to welcoming you to our fantastic club and our amazing sport. See you soon.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe?

Yes. You will be given a stable boat, and buoyancy aids are available on request.  Single scullers will be accompanied by a safety launch at all times. We encourage all of our participants to read the supporting documents provided.

What should I bring?

We ask that all participants come prepared with comfortable sports kit including trainers, a complete change of clothes and a towel in the event of a capsize, a waterproof top, a water bottle, sun cream and a sun hat, and an open mind and plenty of enthusiasm!

What next?

Our aim, which about 80% of students achieve, is that by the end of six weeks you will have the boat handling skills, safety awareness and discipline that will allow you to join the club and a squad (subject to there being capacity for new members).

Immediately following ALTR there are 3 distinct destination squads:

1 – Development Squad – a fast track route to competition for those with competitive ambitions and the physiology and time to cope with a demanding program. Your first race is likely to be in the summer in 8’s at Maidenhead, or Wallingford in November for wave 3 students. If you’ve competed at a high level in other sports this could be the squad for you. 

2 – Improvers Squad – a slightly gentler paced but still challenging training squad following a program that will see them race through the winter season including racing on the Tideway – known to most people as the Boat Race course.

3 – Go Row. If options 1 and 2 sound a bit serious (they are) then the GR squad is for those who are happy to learn at a gentler pace and who may have recreational rather than competitive ambitions.