Below are all the updates from our Junior Coordinator - Jon Beagley
As a coach, it’s very special to hear commentators saying over a PA system at a prestigious event, as the Ball Cup in a place such as Dorney Lake, that “Weybridge are in front and the race is on for second and third places”. No, for once it wasn’t one of those ‘I don’t believe it’ moments, it actually happened and was long overdue. To have the club’s name on both the Ball Cup and the Victor Ludorum for 2011 is a very special moment indeed.
It’s true that since a very special day at Lea Autumn regatta a number of years ago the junior section at WRC has not enjoyed such a day in the limelight. At Dorney Lake in May 2011, you athletes earned your day. You have all started your journey to banish any doubts in your ability to deliver some results that you can be very proud of.
Unfortunately to deliver the results that we, the coaching team, believe you are capable of will take hard work, a training programme tailored to enable you to succeed and a coaching team that will be with you all the way. It will involve you being very organised to get your studying completed to time, undertaking the required amount of training, and also enjoying your time with your family and even friends outside rowing.
Its hard to believe that in the last 6 months we have competed creditably in the Schools head for the first time in almost 30 years, the Scullery with crews (that the majority starting rowing within the last 9 months) and most recently at Marlow Spring Regatta where we enjoyed 2 very good wins courtesy Zach Cole in the J17 1x and the Novice four of Zach, Josh, George Appleby and James Houlihan, ably coxed by Becky Morris who competed very well with Katy Denham in the WJ16 2x and 1x herself. There were also some very encouraging performances by the WJ14 4x+ of Elena Foulks, Katie Corbett, Megan Pickering and Beth Jenkins coxed by Alice Roberts, the J16 2x of Josh Foulks and James Ballard, the J14 2x of Ben Brisco and Filippo Carozzo. James Ballard in the J16 1x final pulled off the save of the day - by that I mean not going in for a swim - in conditions that were very testing indeed.
Through out the winter training both on and off water there were some tough challenges set by Katy and delivered by both her and the rest of the coaching team. I am proud to say that despite your ages and experience in the sport of rowing, you certainly put in a great deal of commitment and effort
There were some events (like Kingston Head) where you rowed down and competed. We’ve not done that before and those who did, competed very well indeed despite the length of warm up. We also enjoyed our first competitive outing in a WJ16 4x with Molly and Shannon from Staines BC who, being unable to compete in their WJ16 afternoon category, did so in the morning WJ18 event. They still posted a performance that presented the best time of the day for a WJ16 crew despite being in the older category. The WJ14 girls and boys also stepped up to the plate in their events and were far from disgraced.
Just prior to Christmas we all enjoyed a wonderful club event, mixing with the Weyfarers and other club members for a great morning of scratch quads in the snow, the pictures from which were the British rowing website pictures for Christmas 2010.
Although it may not always have appeared to be the case, as I have been a bit grumpy on occasions, what we have achieved this year is something that I am very proud of. My thanks as always go to you youngsters for providing the reason for the coaching team to be there, you parents for allowing us to work with your offspring, Katy, Clive, Nick Graham, Beagles, Stylish and Charlie , for all your time and effort, and last but not least Kirk who has been there supporting our efforts in many different ways.
Here’s to a very successful regatta season, building on a start of 7 wins to date and we haven’t reached our own event of Walton and Weybridge Regatta, where I feel we are going to surprise a lot of people..
WRC Junior Section May 2011
It’s been a while since I put my thoughts on paper for which I apologise however, there have been a lot of things going on, usually involving training or some form of development activity amongst us coaches putting plans together for the year ahead.
I have to say that since Christmas I come to training sessions and events in a very positive frame of mind in the knowledge that we can compete against other clubs with some expectation of success. You may think we have not won much yet so how can he think that represents a success. Well quite simply I refer to the improvements in the technical delivery of each and every one of you. You have to bear in mind many of you are only just off the beginner courses and you already looking as though you are more experienced than you are.
The other feather in your caps is that the squad bar a couple are all home grown and not as before supplemented by those who join us for the summer. It’s not that they are not welcome, as they certainly are, but rather than just adding to the number of wins we can consider going for more challenging events that raises our profile. I should point out that we are becoming noted for the quality of training we provide with former squad members such as Jack Shepherd who is racing in the Junior Worlds this year. The question is can we achieve that from Weybridge not yet maybe, but in the long term why not.
What‘s been new this year? Two crews in the National scullery at Dorney, 3 crews at Kingston 4s and 8s head, 2 squad members going to the J16 camp at Nottingham and 3 wins at Lea Spring Three of those are first timers, and in the case of Kingston more crews than 2 years ago, however I am sure that Clive or Nick will correct me if I am wrong. For those who won for the first time at the re-scheduled Walton SBH you’ve not been forgotten. It was great to get the texts letting me know the excellent news I can assure you, and yes I did raise a glass in your honour.
These events I have mentioned above have raised our profile no end, and if performances at Lea are anything to go by, even by those who didn’t win, we are going to have a great year. From my perspective at Lea the amount of power that was being delivered through the water, the controlled way those who caught crabs recovered allied to an infectious squad atmosphere was very special.
There is still more to do though to avoid me and the coaches getting a bit grumpy with you. There will still be times when we will but that’s life I am afraid but let’s work to keep these incidents to a minimum. Unfortunately if you don’t there are still too many out there who are prepared to knock your infectious enthusiasm. Sometimes they are right however, there are those who maybe are a little jealous and maybe use criticism to justify themselves rather than just pitch in and help out.
There was a big plus with Kirk the club captain taking out Ant and Natalie out for a bit of a master class to provide some fine tuning. The fact that someone who has raced at elite level is prepared to work with us is a major plus, and yes I can assure you, all your names on the list to go and have a spin with him in a boat at an appropriate time. There are other seniors who are starting to realise that spending time with you guys may be something worth doing. Well let’s make sure that is something that can and must happen.
How can this be achieved? Well quite simply by being mindful of session start times, responsiveness to instructions to get boating, taking care of the equipment, observing navigation rules, and keeping eyes and ears open and being able to really shout out warnings to other crews to avoid an incident. At all times you need to curb any l denaturasire to use swear words as they are not appropriate and give a bad impression of the Club. These are points that Clive raised recently so I am not going to bang on about them any further.
I will though mention that there’s still an excess of chattering in the boats in conjunction with a distinct lapse in concentration. This leads to a drop off in technical delivery of a stroke and a mindset that you can get away with it by upping the rate. Quite simply you can’t as it’s proven that length of stroke with power in the water is what delivers the results you deserve. In other words we are going to eliminate rowing short.
Ok that’s enough from me for now bar thanking all the coaches including the new boys who have joined us, and all of you for your efforts. Lets get out there and put a lot of Weybridge blue down in the winners column at events.
As we are fast approaching Christmas it’s an ideal chance to reflect on the past 12 months of activities that the Juniors have been up to with a forward look to what 2010 will bring.
It has been a very full year which has not seen quite the level of obvious rewards (Wins) however the fact that’s been most encouraging is the development of genuine talent from the beginner’s courses run by Clive and Nick ably assisted by Suzanne Reeve amongst others. This has gone along way to offset the disappointment of losing people to injuries and understandable lack of availability due to the important area of academic studies. The latter is a perpetual issue for all clubs in whatever sport the athlete participates in.
Despite this we undertook a full calendar of regattas from Evesham to Cambridge, achieving a number of wins memorable by some losing their novice status at Evesham notably Ellie Price, Pip Bolding, Matt ‘Beagles ‘ Beagley and Will Bolding. Tom Oades, James and Charlie Capel, Alex Keenes and James Coxhead all chipped in with wins as well. There were some very encouraging performances from the likes of Ant Meyer and Ben Jeffries, Jameses Needham and Styles, Harriet Fisher, the WJ14 quad and Toby Jeffries. Other notable contributions came from Claudia Dailey and Ian Wallis.
It would be true to say that being in a period of transition there will be some people who have chosen to move and some events that we will not attend in 2010. I refer to Seb Kirk to University, James Coxhead and Tom Oades who have progressed to Molesey, Elliot Tarrant to Walton and Ally Miller closer to home at Staines. On behalf of the team I would like to thank them for their contributions to WRC and wish them well for the future. There have been some notable arrivals including Sammy Tutty and Mark Whitfield from Molesey and Walton as well as Katy Knowles our new HSCT coach.
I would, though, say that these moves have created an opportunity for others to shine and it’s very inspiring to be working with those that have seized the chance to stamp their presence.
The main change to the regatta programme will be that Evesham is off the agenda. On one hand it comes so close to exam time, but also I have had quite serious concerns as regards safety issues over the last 2 years. One concerns safety of participants when racing and the other the lack of security measures being taken regarding the camping area at night. This was not an easy decision to take after something like 20 years of attendance. However safety and security of athletes is not something the team and I take lightly. We will however be replacing this with an early season visit to Lea in addition to their end of year event. There will be a couple of other challenging events to fill the gap. I say challenging because you athletes keeping pushing the bar higher in terms of your capabilities so it’s up to us to find the right showcase for you. I hear that Clive may be arranging a sponsored row over the early May holiday weekend.
One of these challenging events will be to develop crews for the National Scullers head in March. It will, as far as I know, be a first for WRC and its one that the Coaches are very keen to pull off. So you now all know the main target for the spring.
Well that’s all from me for now save to thank you all for your efforts and commitment in 2009. By all I mean you athletes plus parents. On a personal note I would like to thank Clive, Nick, Suzanne, Katy and Paul for their continued efforts all year round, Beagles, CJ and Jack for all your hard work before going off to University and Ian and Lyn Baldwin and the breakfast club mums and dads. Last but not least my thanks go to our families who allow us the space to do what we do well.
I would also like to wish you a very happy Christmas and a new year of inspiration and perspiration and great results
My how the time flies when you are having fun!
I use the term loosely as with the training that you have all been putting in it may not seem as though it’s been fun, what with an array of tests from 30 mins to 5k and more recently 2k, it has certainly been challenging times.
I can say though from a coaching perspective that it has been satisfying to see the level of commitment you have all been putting in and the results you have been achieving certainly do you credit. It all shows that you are hungry to do your best in the regatta season ahead which starts with a visit over 2 days to Evesham in May which is great to see.
What’s changed recently? Sadly Paul Wilcox and Jack Shepherd have moved onto pastures new at Molesey, however we wish them well with their new endeavours, the High Performance Group has taken on a different focus by the inclusion of those who have raced regularly last year being included on a Tuesday night. Weight training sessions have now been included on Thursday nights for the J16s and above. This restriction has been imposed for safety reasons however there will be a greater focus on this in September when this regatta seasons J15s and WJ15s reach 16. For the others there will be more focus on Pilates based stretching to ensure the transition can be made by the younger members of the squad to the weight sessions with the best possible preparation.
We have seen 2 beginners courses expertly run by Clive and Nick ably assisted by Suzanne Reeve, James Coxhead, Chris Jones and Jack Percival. This has seen the emergence to date of talent that includes the likes of Sian Pritchard, Alice Coxhead, Ant Mayer, Ben Jeffries, Jamie Carr to name but few. We look forward to including the members of the latest group Ds at the right time into the full squad and working with them to realise their potential.
The other great addition to life at the club is the weekend breakfasts superbly organised by Lyn Baldwin and her team. I can assure you the lure of bacon rolls or full English breakfasts mid session and occasionally at the end of a double session are very welcome as is the profit they have contributed to the club funds. To date the breakfasts have realised a staggering £160 contribution to the club’s income, which hopefully will swell even more when more club members and their guests take advantage of them.
In terms of training we are gearing ourselves for the regatta season with the early events being Evesham, Maidenhead (training regatta) Twickenham, Walton and Weybridge and Weybridge Ladies. It’s hoped that these events will be a pointer towards our ability to compete creditably at the Nat Champs in July. If the answer is no for this year, that will not be the case next year as the squad will be comprehensibly stronger.
The fact that we are able to be thinking about the Nat Champs in what is for the squad a period of transition is something we can be proud of. Whether it happens this year will remain to be seen however the coaching team are fully committed to deliver training programmes that will certainly be challenging and focussed to develop the potential of all you athletes.
On a final note this weekend has seen the first of 2 training courses for you juniors, run by Alan Whitwell a former Olympic medallist. He is a well known face to the members of Weybridge more for running adult based courses however it was a first geared towards the juniors. It was a great thrill to receive and be able to pass on a compliment from an Olympic Standard Coach, as to the quality of coaching that’s being provided at WRC, from the likes of Ian Baldwin, Nick, Clive, Paul (MR T) Thomas, Suzanne Reeve, Matt (Beagles), CJ, Jack P, Tom O, Jackson and of late James Capel, Kat Tviet and Ellie Price. The contribution from Graham Cocks on his bike on Saturday mornings should not go without mention either.
I am extremely grateful to both coaches and you athletes for the commitment you continue to put in week in week out. There’s certainly a very good buzz about the place which makes sessions something to be looked forward to.
I would also like to take this opportunity of wishing everyone a very happy Easter, and a great Regatta Season
Any questions for Jon? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
It just struck me the relevance of Caroline’s mantra of putting the WOW in to the club, at her re-election as Club Captain and it certainly applies to this weekend being that it’s the start of the regatta season. True, Lea Spring is a break from our traditional season opening at Evesham, but important none the less for many of the newer members of the squad.
The winter has seen the whole squad putting a lot of hard work on technique and fitness, and it’s certainly ready to produce some good results. The head season didn’t have the levels of return that we have enjoyed on occasions, much of which can be put down to stepping up in standard. This is particularly the case for the J16 quad, which has, through their work with Ian Baldwin, really started to put their marker down for Nat Champs and possibly the GB France match. For the girls it’s been a little quieter however, with a terrific row at Kingston Head produced our only win.
This year has seen our first attempts at a training camp. The J16 boys went to Henley with Ian and Paul and put in some very hard work. Subsequent evidence suggests they certainly appear to be replicating it on the water. Prior to that at Easter there were a couple of off river sessions for the High Performance Group and a number of the members of the B and C groups. Both days went off well and it’s clear by the resultant levels of performances that they were good.
The winter tests have seen many athletes achieving personal bests on the ergos. This list includes the likes of Lloyd and Seb, Pip and Maddy, Alex Keens and Will Bolding who are all relatively new to the sport. It was very special witnessing Katy breaking the 8 minute barrier, Kirsten getting consistently closer to the same milestone, Alice returning to form and Callum really starting to challenge the other members of the squad.
We have also over the last few weeks seen some new starters embarking on a course run by Clive and Nick and team. The participants are known as the D group however, they are developing very quickly and will soon be involved in outings with the more experienced athletes. It should be pointed out that the coaching team has a number of other people involved notably Suzanne and Camilla and the irrepressible Fred on launch driving duty. My thanks to all involved with these sessions which certainly have good feel about them.
My thanks also go to the other coaches of the B and C groups, some of which I have already mentioned, others I haven’t notably Paul Thomas, Chris J, Jack P, Tom O, Jackson, Beagles and Kirsten. You have all enabled the less experienced athletes to develop much quicker than they would have done otherwise.
Last but not least I would like to thank Paul Willcocks for not only the training programmes but also his knack for inspiration, Ian Baldwin, for his work with the junior girls and latterly the J16 quad, Clive and Nick, who have been there from the start and of course you the athletes. You are the reason we put the time in we do.
Here’s to a successful regatta season in 08