Get involved: Make a splash with the GUBC

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THE GLASGOW UNIVERSITY Boat Club (GUBC) is one of the oldest clubs in the university, having been established back in 1867.

Today the GUBC are one of, if not the, most successful sports clubs on campus. They compete and regularly win at both the Scottish Championships and at the British Universities (BUSA) competitions, whilst forwarding members for international selection. In 2008 two members of the club had trials for  Great Britain, along with five other Scottish and Irish representatives.

The GUBC are based at their own large boathouse on Glasgow Green, located a short walk from the city centre, where they have a modern, well maintained fleet of boats including five eights, eight coxed fours, three coxless fours, five pairs and a few sculls. This includes the addition of a brand new coxless four and two new sculling boats with five new sets of sculling blades.

This has been made possible by an equipment replacement plan, an agreement between the club and the Glasgow University Sports Association (GUSA). The plan allows the club to constantly update and upgrade their equipment, which means they can continue to compete at the highest level.

The boathouse also has its own land training facilities – there are 10 ergs (rowing machines), serving both as a good method for teaching basic technique to novices and as an excellent stamina workout for seniors. There is also a gym where most of the weights sessions take place. Rowers can also make good use of the Stevenson Building, situated on the main campus just a short walk from any classes and lectures.

The GUBC row on a 6km stretch of the River Clyde that runs upstream from Glasgow Green to Belvediere (near Parkhead). There are several other clubs around the Green, which makes for a good atmosphere and training environment. The club also benefits from using the facilities at The National Rowing Academy based at Strathclyde Park, located 20mins down the motorway at Motherwell. The Park hosts a 2km multi-lane rowing lake, one of only 3 in the UK, whilst also maintaining an indoor rowing facility for up-close coaching.

For those that have never rowed before, the sport has a racing category just for beginners so that burgeoning Scottish Champions can reach their potential in their first year. The novice crews have dedicated coaches and equipment but are still integrated with the more experienced rowers during land training.

Last year’s Novices were Scottish University Champions and have made the final at Fresher 8’s at BUSA two years running, winning bronze in 2007. As the GUBC state “the framework is there for you to succeed”.