Want to learn to row at Weybridge Rowing Club in Surrey?  Here's how...


So you think you'd like to learn to row?

Great.  We look forward to seeing you.

In September 2007 we changed the ad-hoc 'come along anytime' approach to learning to row as this became somewhat chaotic with those who had no idea what to do having to try to catch up with others at various stages of ability.  This also makes it difficult to follow British Rowing guidelines to provide a structured programme.

Our first course outside the normal training times started in March 2008 with a 12-week plan, now refined to 5 half days during half terms and holidays. 

We can accept boys and girls for the course between the ages of 12/13 and 16 years of age with a minimum height of 1.5m.  We apply these rules strictly as all courses are normally over-subscribed.  Sometimes we need to balance the ages on the courses and thus may restrict ages so please check this before applying for very young ones.  Absolutely no experience of rowing is required, and the courses are deliberately kept small so we can give close attention to all participants.

Some comments from previous courses:

"Thank you all for the superb coaching course you organised at Easter" IK

"I learnt a lot during the 5 day course and it was really good fun especially the doubles!" SC

"I really enjoyed the course and thought all the trainers were encouraging, but also gave constructive advice when they needed too without making you feel inadequate.  I found the junior trainers really helpful too and it was really nice of them to give up their time considering the pressures of revision for school and their own rowing training" HB

Your team of coaches patiently and safely instructed the crews throughout the week with a good balance of fun and seriousness, 'A' left each day well informed and with enthusiasm for what the next day of coaching would bring.

Thank you very much to you and all the members for making his time with you so pleasant and successful.  I think Weybridge Rowing Club is one of those rare places where competition and an enabling ethos coincide - I am not surprised you are popular.

I just wanted to say a huge 'thank you!' for the wonderful rowing course that my girls enjoyed so much; one in particular has been inspired to do and learn more and has been working out on the rowing machines at the gym to keep her strength up! Both girls were very proud of what they (and you) managed to achieve in one week.

On behalf of my son we wanted to thank you all for his fantastic introduction to rowing. He has no previous experience and so delighted that he could take part in this course and it has certainly made an impact, he hasn't stopped talking about rowing on the water - it's amazing what you managed to achieve with them in just 5 days.

If you just want to leave your details to enable me to contact you when I have details of future courses, please follow this link to my on-line database entry form and I'll add you to my e-mailing list. 

Please note that the only way you will be notified about future courses is through this link - sorry but I just don't have time to follow up individual email enquiries.

The courses

A course costs £180.00.  It starts at 9am and finishes at 1pm each day (but some courses will run from 08:30 - 13:30 for four days).

Some words of advice

Before you apply I should advise that attendance on a course does not imply acceptance to the Club following the course.  I would also comment that each space on the course will be heavily over subscribed; as such we need to ensure that everyone who takes a place is aware of what becoming a member of the Junior Section entails.
  • Attendance - regular attendance is necessary to progress and required to remain a member of the section.  If selected to continue, we will start you off in a 'gentle' group (known as the 'C' group) to gain skills and confidence.  Once you move into the next group you will need to consider attending twice a week at the minimum - probably on-water sessions on Saturday and Sunday during the winter - and also leave time for Thursday evening training year-round.  Thereafter those who are getting really good will be expected to attend training on Tuesday evening.  
  • Behaviour - we expect and require a high standard of behaviour at the Club.  This is a very busy site with potentially 60 - 70 people all milling around during Saturday and Sunday mornings, a number of uneven areas of ground and we cannot have people running around, falling over things, people, boats etc.  We are dealing with increasing numbers of youngsters (which is very good) but they need to remember that it all takes time and we need their co-operation to keep quiet when we are trying to arrange things.  We do not tolerate bullying, bad language, unhelpful, negative or insolent behaviour.
  • Commitment - when at the club all the youngsters must commit to give of their very best to the sport and to themselves.  The training will be quite arduous at times and require self discipline and dedication.
Out of all this we hope to be able to produce a squad of excellent athletes who can represent the Club and themselves at local and national events.  

Oh, and we'll have some fun, too.

For those primarily interested in 'touring' rowing, courses for adult beginners are run by Weyfarers Rowing Club - see www.weyfarers.org.uk/courses.htm.

For adults who would like to row competitively please express interest on the Weybridge Rowing Club website Learn to Row page www.weybridgerowing.org/weytorow.htm or email info@weybridgerowing.org.uk

Important notice for all courses

The Club reserves the right to cancel due to weather or other reasons.  In the event that any of the courses are cancelled by the club due to weather or some other reason before the start of the course, monies will be refunded.  No monies will be refunded if participants don't turn up or decide not to continue during any of the courses.  

Please note (most important) that participation on a course doesn't guarantee acceptance into the club.  There is very limited space in the Junior Section and we have to ensure that all rowers are competent and fit enough to cope with the on-going training regime.  Unless a rower comes from another club, or already knows how to row to a competent standard, entry to the Junior Section is only through a 'full' beginner course. 

Successful application is not necessarily on a 'first come first served' basis as we prioritise local non-rowing schools.

Information about the course:


Age : Minimum age of 12 at start of course and 1.5m in height.

Must be able to swim 100m in light clothing and enjoy water and outdoor sports.  A very important part of the courses is the capsize drill where participants will be required to capsize and learn to recover safely from the situation.

Must be fit and healthy.  We do try and match participants' ability with appropriate rowing exercises, duration and conditions, however some of our new rowers do find some of the exercises tiring and discover muscles they did not know they had.  The course is basically 4/5 mornings of physical activity. 

(Please note that some courses may be age restricted)

Future dates

The next course is likely to be at Easter 2020, but has not yet been arranged.  Please leave details using the link above, and we will contact you.

Please note we operate according to Surrey School term dates.  If you attend an international school you may find their dates are out of kilter with Surrey Schools.  Also, as the junior section is full please be advised we give priority for membership to those who live very locally to the club and who attend a non-rowing school.

We don't run courses at the weekend as this is our primary training time.

We are looking for future Henley/World Class rowers (and yes, we have taught some to row at Weybridge and they started at 12/13 y/o).  Tall youngsters, who might find their height in other sports a disadvantage, are particularly welcome.


APPLY HERE for course:

Click here for the course application page (no open courses)

Getting to us

The Club is accessed from Jessamy Road (off Thames Street) in Weybridge.  Some mapping programs and satellite navigation systems have the somewhat unhelpful knack of dumping the user in Hamm Court if you input the Club's post code, so I recommend researching the location before rushing to get there on day one.  

Go to the end of Jessamy Road, over the small road bridge, take the left hand fork and park in one of the 8 spaces opposite the park.  Take the path down the far side of the park to the metal bridge over the Wey Navigation (it can be slippery, so take care) and the club is right ahead of you.  The Clubroom is upstairs.

I am asked to advise that the land immediately after the road bridge from Jessamy Road is private, and the owners do not tolerate vehicles being abandoned on the road, pavements or grass.  Parents may wait in cars for their children.

In order to preserve our relationship with the owners, please do not park or turn on the pavements or the grass.  Be aware there are big rocks along the road which are likely to cause damage to your vehicle if you transgress!  

The land is patrolled by one of those private parking enforcement outfits who can, and do, issue nasty £100 parking tickets over which we have no control and no right of appeal.

Weybridge RC Directions

 Weybridge RC Parking and local directions
Click on the blue markers for more information
or press 'SAT' for a satelite image
(scroll out for a wider view using the + and - buttons)


Clothing has to be appropriate for the weather conditions for the course.  If the course is a winter one, participants will need to dress in layers (so a layer can be removed one at a time, or replaced, as required).  I suggest to bring gloves and a hat too.  

If a summer course, hats and sun cream will be required.  

In all cases, you have to bear in mind that rowing is a sport that requires ease of movement so close fitting shorts and tops are best.  Tops should not have pockets in the front (most hoodies do) as it's most likely that thumbs will get caught in the pockets.  Jeans are not permitted and shorts are preferred.

Please bring spare clothes, a towel and a plastic bag for wet clothes (just in case anything happens!).

If you wear glasses, make sure you have a head band to hold them on, especially if using the fine / thin  boats.  [All our boats are stable, it is the rowers who are not]

Finger nails should be cut short, and long hair tied back


We normally supply juice and snacks, but if a participant has particular requirements for food or drink, we would ask that they bring them to the course.  We cannot offer a nut-free environment.  It is essential that all on the course have a decent meal before they come out - not just a snack bar in the car on the way to the club, please!  They will be burning a lot of calories.

Please bring a water bottle for re-hydration in the boat, particularly if it is hot.

Course plan

Courses evolve as they go depending on the abilities of the participants, but generally we start off showing how to use the ergos (rowing machines) and the importance of posture, how to generate power without rushing and so on.  We also explain about the boats and blades and do a 'health and safety' briefing about the club house and the sport.  We go on to explain how to get into and out of a boat.  This takes up most of the first session.  Subsequent sessions will be on the water in the touring quads and teach the art of timing, feathering, and rowing (sculling) itself.  Subject to suitable weather/water conditions we may put participants into the 'fine' boats such as quads, doubles or even singles.  We would not use singles during winter courses; we tend to use bigger boats for courses at this time of the year.  Normally we will include a capsize drill (so spare clothes are essential).

For more information about rowing at Weybridge please email clive[at]wrcjnr.com or click here to send him an email.