A large amount of equipment, including rowing machines and weights, has been handed out to squad members, allowing them to access more efficient training methods, leading to several athletes even surpassing their personal performances in previous seasons. There is a great sense of frustration at the cancellation of early season opportunities to get out and prove ourselves against our rival clubs, and this has spurred us on to put in some tough training during this period. In addition to this, loaning out equipment has been an absolutely vital part of maintaining our mental health and the fantastic sense of community found within the Boat Club.
It’s been fantastic to see athletes who have left even as many as ten years ago still turning up to connect with us
However, sitting in a room (or the chilly club boat bays, in the case of our Boathouse residents) and drilling yourself through a hard interval session or free rate 5km test alone is no easy feat, even when blasting your favourite training mix at maximum volume through your Bluetooth speaker. To those ends, student-led groups have banded together to train simultaneously via Microsoft Teams, and while this will never hold a candle to the atmosphere of a packed-out club room filled with 16 ergs, it does at least help to raise morale and improve the sense of community throughout the club. Recently we’ve held group 5km erg sessions and circuit training, which have been well attended, including significant alumni presence. It’s been fantastic to see athletes who have left even as many as ten years ago still turning up to connect with us and get their fix of the ICBC experience again, and it speaks to the sense of belonging found within the club culture.
A lot of the credit for the management of this season must go to our coaching staff, who have worked tirelessly to set programmes for all athletes and support their goals of pushing their fitness levels. But without the enduring grind put in by our student athletes, this club would be nothing. At the end of the day, that is what ICBC owes over a century of racing success to, and it ensures we will be able to hit the ground running when we’re soon back out on the Thames. All of us eagerly await a good run-out during the upcoming Regatta season!