We went to speak to the team at Southsea Rowing Club this afternoon about a new coaching launch they’ve put into service, thanks to funding from Portsmouth City Council.
Club Captain Pete Clarke told us: “The council have given us some funds to help with the development of the club — we want to improve our offering with better-quality coaching.
“So we opted to buy a coaching launch so we can be alongside the crews and provide verbal and video feedback — with a megaphone, maybe, shouting at them!”
Treasurer John McNamara added: “Having a coaching launch lets you corral the troops, and keep all the boats together, while maintaining a better eye on them. It tightens up what we’ve already got in terms of safety and unified team efforts.
“It’s particularly useful with the younger profile of the club that we’re developing as part of our outreach. To be able to manage younger, less practiced rowers allows us to better extend our offering to younger team members.
Pete Clarke continued: “We’ve already used it over the past few weekends, on the Solent and in Portsmouth Harbour, when we went to find some flat water to train on.”
Jeff Watling, Membership Secretary at SRC, explained: “At the moment, we tend to coach from the coxswain’s seat, and you can’t see absolutely everything that’s going on. If you can go side-by-side in a launch, you get a better view of what’s going on.
Linda Symes, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure, and Sport at Portsmouth City Council, said: “The club are doing a fantastic job. Their numbers are growing, the popularity of the sport is improving — everything we want and love to see from this iconic club on our seafront.”
Southsea Rowing Club, headquartered in a modest building between Mozzarella Joes and the Hovertravel terminal, have been sited on Southsea Beach since 1860, providing a competitive, fun, and healthy environment for rowers of varying ages and abilities.
Whether you’re returning to rowing after university, are an accomplished rower, or are just getting started, Southsea Rowing Club have a place for you. All the members are friendly, with senior crews bringing years of experience to the team and junior crews infusing the clubhouse with fresh excitement, enthusiasm, and energy.