Youth Squad

The importance of Youth rowers

Bristol Gig Club is unique in that it is the only non-coastal gig club in England.  In coastal towns, gig rowing is a central part of many seaside communities, and children learn to row from an early age. As a club we are very keen to ensure young people growing up in Bristol have the opportunity to try gig rowing, and we are looking to develop a youth wing in our club. Gig rowing demands strength, stamina and being a team player, and is therefore a great form of exercise as well as a bonding social activity.  It would also be of great benefit to those studying Sports Science and is a way of involving young people in harbour life, which is so central to Bristol and it’s maritime history.

Working with local schools

A group of club members have come together to try to engage local young people in the club.  We all believe that for city dwelling young people this will be a great experience which could open many avenues for them, as well as improving their fitness and well-being.  We also know that as a club we need to engage the next generation of Bristol rowers, and the younger people start, the better they will become.

Therefore we would like to offer your school the following (at no cost – all club members involved will be giving their time for free):

i. A visit to the school by two/three gig club members and one of our wooden boats, so we can explain what the sport entails and encourage young people to participate.

ii. A ‘have a go’ programme for pupil’s aged 16 plus, comprising of 6 rowing sessions. Each session will:

  • Last 1 hour
  • Be led by an experienced, CRB checked cox.
  • Include one experienced CRB checked club rower.
  • An initial out-of-boat safety talk.
  • Take place at a time negotiated with the school to fit in with school or out-of-  school activities.

For the school, we ask you provide 5 young people and an escort for each session (the escort can sit at the back of the boat and enjoy a trip around the harbour or swap in and have a row too).  We would like to give as many young people as possible the opportunity to experience gig rowing, but we also know from our time as new rowers that you need to come a few times to get the hang of it, so we would advise letting each young person attend a minimum of two or three of these sessions.

We want to take our lead and fit in with you, providing something that does not create huge amounts of work for teaching staff and that engages your pupils.  As this is a new endeavour, we felt starting with year 11 and 12 groups would be best, but are happy to negotiate this too.

Youth Coordinator –


The Future

Our hope is that through these taster sessions we can engage enough young people to form a youth crew that can train together and race.  We also hope that through these sessions we can build up a good relationship with your school and if everything runs well, look at how we can continue this.

Please note:We at Bristol Gig Club take working with our Youth rowers very seriously, and as such we adhere closely to the CPGA guidelines set out especially for training youngsters.

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