Rowing clubs across Scotland have experienced an unprecedented level of interest from people wanting to take up the sport since the success of Scotland’s rowers at the Olympics, according to Scottish Rowing.
In the two months since Heather Stanning and Katherine Grainger won their gold medals, well over 1000 people have signed up for learn-to-row courses – a figure Amanda Cobb, Rowing Development Manager at Scottish Rowing, says is all down to their success:
“We’ve never seen anything like this level of interest in rowing before – not after any other Olympics, and not even after Steve Redgrave won his fifth Olympic gold.
“At St Andrew Boat Club, Katherine Grainger’s club in Edinburgh, for example, there have been so many people wanting to learn to row since she won her gold medal that the Learn to Row courses are filling up just as soon as they’re announced.
“At the moment, they’re running back to back to try and keep up with demand, but there are still so many people expressing interest in the sport that it’s likely they’ll still be getting fully booked well into the new year.
“It’s a similar story across Scotland, with clubs getting new enquiries everyday from adults and juniors alike who want to learn to row because they’ve been so inspired by Heather’s and Katherine’s success.”
Speaking ahead of the Scottish Rowing Awards, which take place on Saturday (November 3) Katherine Grainger, who won gold in the Women’s Double Sculls at London 2012, reacted to the news:
“It’s unbelievable. I’d never have dreamed that winning a gold medal would have had such an impact, but it’s a brilliant feeling knowing that it has.
“This news is just the icing on the cake to what’s been a fantastic year – to think that a whole new generation of rowers have started as a result of the Olympics is incredible, and I can only hope that we can keep the momentum going over the next four years in the build up to Rio so that we can repeat, if not better, the success we had at London 2012.”
Heather Stanning, who won gold in the Women’s Coxless Pairs at London 2012, echoed her sentiments:
“I couldn’t believe it when I heard about all the people who’ve wanted to take up rowing since the Olympics – it’s not something that ever occurred to me, the effect that winning would have in inspiring so many people of all generations.
“Rowing is such a fantastic sport – no matter whether you do it at an elite level or just recreationally – that I really hope we can keep the momentum going and use it to get people in Scotland being more active and leading healthier lives.
“My rowing partner Helen Glover only took up rowing four years before the Olympics, so you never know what’ll happen by the time Rio comes round – Scotland could well be harbouring a future Olympic champion at this very minute, so I hope we’re able to build on this level of interest and support and develop the youngsters as they come through.”
Notes to Editors:
Rowing topped the Scottish medal table at the Olympics alongside cycling, contributing significantly to Scotland’s greatest ever medal haul at the Olympic Games.
Katherine Grainger will be attending the Scottish Rowing Awards on Saturday (November 3), where she will be appearing as the guest of honour and giving the reply to the “Toast to Scottish Rowing”.
She is nominated, alongside Heather Stanning and David Smith – who won gold in the LTA Mixed Coxed Four at the Paralympics – in the International Rower of the Year category.