By Alasdair Iredale
Despite the challenging circumstances posed by the coronavirus pandemic the boat club has welcomed one of its healthiest intakes of new members. Thanks to the tireless work of committee and club members, the constantly changing and at times uncertain restrictions surrounding sport proved manageable. Throughout the semester, like all clubs in our sports union and across the country, we had to deal with last minute changes and further restrictions at the detriment of providing club activity. Much to our disappointment, we were unable to welcome our members back to the River Tay for regular water sessions.
In turn, this meant we were forced to take a novel approach to our fresher recruitment in a year which proved to be like no other! However, I’m proud to have worked alongside the committee for this term, who approached this challenge with enthusiasm and ingenuity. Whilst meetings shifted from taking place in person to online, this didn’t stop our momentum in working together on how we could best provide club activity to our members. Against the depressing backdrop of the pandemic, it has been more important than ever to embrace the community that sport offers, despite our reality of losing the rowing itself!
As the shortened semester progressed, the extent of training sessions that we could offer was increasingly reduced however the move to the ISE facilities at Riverside provided a welcomed change to our normal circuit sessions and proved to be a reliable constant through the weeks. Alongside squad captains’ Robert and Fiona, we tried to keep each session fresh and exciting, which was aided by a wide participation from our new fresher members! Mimicking the success of our first online series in September, we then delivered a learn to row specific series of talks to help introduce first year members to the sport.
Arguably the highlight of our committee’s efforts was realised through our weekly ‘coffee & chat’ socials in which we paired up senior and fresher members to meet up and take the opportunity to get some needed socialisation away from the pressures of university studies, whilst complying with the consistent tier 3 guidelines Dundee city found itself in. As the final weeks of the semester came into sight, the club was further boosted through the tremendous efforts of the men’s squad’s Movember campaign in which they fundraised a total of £1,030! Moreover, we (virtually) cheered on the women’s squad through Fiona and Caitlyn who took on the annual Scottish Rowing Indoor Championships, in which our women’s captain went on to claim silver in the Women’s Open/Student 2000m event.
So despite the unprecedented circumstances, it’s safe to say that the boat club has successfully weathered the challenges of 2020. We hope 2021 brings new hope for the end to the pandemic and look forward to pressing on through the remainder of the winter weeks training, to hopefully return to our home stretch of water when it’s safe to do so.
From all of us at DUBC, we wish you a very happy New Year!