STRATFORD Boat Club members, parents and helpers swapped the riverbank for the classroom on Saturday to increase their knowledge and understanding of safety on the river and correct rowing, sculling and boat loading techniques.
The Explore Assistant course highlights the safety and training issues that are most important when introducing young and novice beginners to rowing – posture, safety, emergency procedures and awareness of other river-users as well as rowing and sculling techniques.
Trevor Tiller, the club’s welfare officer, said: “Having been on the course myself, I can say that it is an eye-opener and reminder to us all of the excitement of rowing and the responsibility that we all have for those that we put out and supervise on the river. The course emphasises our commitment to safety and the club’s continual push for safety and improvement.
As well as assisting the junior squad during their rowing, Explore Assistants will also be helping on the club’s April ‘Learn to Row’ courses which opened for booking this month.
Whilst the parents and helpers were hard at work on their course, Stratford juniors were at Worcester competing in the Junior Inter Regional Trials. Stratford’s WJ15 4+ missed out by two seconds to Ross Rowing Club, however the bright spots were Isaac Herring winning gold and a West Midlands place in J15 1x and Stratford’s WJ14 2x also gaining a place to represent the West Midlands.
Coach Dr Graham Collier said: “Everyone enjoyed themselves, both athletes and parents. What a great learning experience for all the junior squad. They acquitted themselves well. They were all brilliant – not bad for a first go!”