Rowing may conjure up images of white, middle-class men in brightly coloured blazers and women in long, floral dresses, or of the infamous Oxford Cambridge boat race, Henley Regatta or of exclusive gentlemen’s clubs with elaborate boathouses. But, for increasing numbers of people, rowing is finally becoming more accessible.
The popularity of the sport has grown tremendously in the past few years – mainly thanks to the rise of rowing-machine-only studios and gym classes with rooms full of indoor rowers, plus a number of UK schools are now offer rowing as part of their curriculum.
To help grow the sport further, WinTech Racing (who supply a range of boats to suit a range of athletes and budgets, from those just starting out right the way up to World and Olympic Champions), has partnered with fashion brand and design lab Rowing Blazers to create a limited-edition racing shell.
It’s a full-body workout
When you row, you’re engaging 86% of your body’s muscles, which is more than double the engagement you get from cycling or running. Your arms, legs, core and back each play an equally vital role in the rowing stroke.
It’s an incredibly efficient exercise
Even if you only have 20 minutes, you’re still getting an amazing workout – perfect for people short on time. That consistent, stable movement allows you to achieve the most in the least amount of time.
It’s high-intensity but low impact
This means rowing is gentle on your joints and actively builds bone density.
For every boat sold, WinTech Racing will donate one of their ‘Explorer Learn-To-Row Singles’ to rowing clubs and organisations around the world whose membership programs prioritise inclusion and diversity to help make rowing a more inclusive sport.
From better mental and physical health, to greater career opportunities and social cohesion, the benefits of exercise have been well documented. To help young people have positive experiences of getting active – and to help build the foundations for an active life – British Rowing launched the charitable foundation Love Rowing to create accessible and inclusive rowing programmes for communities that are underrepresented in the sport. Including young people in education, people with disabilities, underrepresented communities and disadvantaged communities.
“British rowing is excited to be collaborating with WinTech Racing and Rowing Blazers on this exciting initiative to support accessible and inclusive rowing for communities that are currently underrepresented in the sport,” says Helen Rowbotham, director of Love Rowing.
“The WinTech Explorer 21 is perfect for adaptive and recreational rowing as well as newcomers to the sport, so it’s a great fit for our accessible and inclusive school, adaptive and community programme.”
According to WinTech, the ‘Explorer Learn-To-Row Singles’ are an ideal novice teaching vessel, as young rowers in financially limited programs rarely have the opportunity to develop their rowing skills in single sculls and are often placed in much larger crew boats where they must coordinate their development with up to seven others in the boat. This can slow development and put many with natural talent and personal drive off from continuing within the sport.
It’s fair to say that this campaign is offering an innovative new way of helping more people see rowing as something for them – for people who look like them, for people from their communities. After all, everyone deserves the right to reap the mental and physical health benefits of an active lifestyle.
Visit WinTech Racing to find out how to create a more diverse and inclusive rowing community
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