College teams up with Rowing Clubs

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Cornwall College has teamed up with county gig-rowing clubs to encourage students to try new sporting activities.

As part of the College’s Summer Sports Academy, students on all campuses at Camborne, Newquay, Saltash and St Austell, as well as Duchy College and Falmouth Marine School, are being offered the chance to spend an afternoon a week over an eight-week period getting to grips with the sport.

British Rowing’s ‘Explore Rowing’ Learn to Row scheme aims to introduce participants between 16 and 18 to gig-rowing with the opportunity to row recreationally or race at an appropriate level.  The body encourages local clubs within the Cornish Pilot Gig Association to form links with the Further Education sector.

Tom Pattichis, Coaching and Development Team Leader for British Rowing, said: This scheme is something British Rowing are very excited about, and it is hoped that the project will help establish long term partnerships between the clubs and Further Education colleges, providing pupils from the colleges with ongoing opportunities to take part in rowing.”

Across the county, four clubs are working with the College’s various campuses: Charlestown Gig Club with St Austell and Newquay, Caradon Gig Club with Saltash, Calstock Gig Club with Duchy College Stoke Climsland, and Falmouth Gig Club with Camborne, Duchy College Rosewarne and Falmouth Marine School.

Vicky Bird, Coach at Charlestown Rowing Club who also lectures in Hairdressing at Cornwall College St Austell, said: “This is one of many schemes Charlestown has been involved in, working to increase community involvement in gig-rowing.  Our first session with Cornwall College students was very successful and we are looking forward to building strong connections between community sport and education in future sessions.”

The partnership is part of a £36 million national initiative aimed at young people who enjoy sport but are not currently part of a club.  The Sport Unlimited programme, run by Sport England, provides funding for taster sessions designed to inspire teenagers to sign up for longer-term participation in local clubs and in the community.

Tim Marrion, Services Manager for Cornwall Sports Partnership, which oversees the scheme in Cornwall, said:  “Sport Unlimited is a fantastic opportunity for young people in Cornwall to try out something new and have some fun! It’s specifically for those who may ordinarily shy away from a number of sports because of the level of competition; the clubs we’ve facilitated through Sport Unlimited offer a completely level playing ground and should hopefully see talents emerge as everyone learns and enjoys together.”

Russell Lawrance, Director of Sport at Cornwall College, said: “We are very proud of the sporting opportunities that we are able to offer our students.  The Summer Academy programme allows learners to take part in various seasonal sports.  For me the gig-rowing partnership is yet another great opportunity that we can offer at the College.”

Dave Linnell OBE, Principal of Cornwall College, said: “We encourage our students from all course areas to get involved in extra-curricular activities and sport is a major part of this, particularly in its promotion of fitness and teamwork.”