My name is Thomas, and I am a fourth year Psychology student. I’ve attended the University of Dundee for the duration of my degree and chose the university because it seemed to have a really nice, friendly atmosphere on the Open Day and ranked highly when it came to my course. I grew up in a small town in East Lancashire, called Bacup, so moving to Dundee was a change, but an easy one, as it’s not too big a city to feel overwhelmed and easily lost, but big enough to feel like a new and intriguing environment for me back in 2018.
I’ve been part of DUBC since I began my degree in September 2018 and began rowing as a complete beginner with the club. I started rowing partly because I wanted to experience a new sport, and partly because my Mum thought I’d enjoy it; at the sports fair in my first year as I wandered round checking out the various sports, I could hear her in my head telling me to try out rowing, and ignoring my Mum isn’t a wise thing to do! After my give it a go session I couldn’t get enough of rowing and kept attending for a number of reasons.
The club had such a great community atmosphere and as a new person I felt immediately welcome and part of the club, and it was and still is a great way to stay fit and push myself. The socials were also excellent in getting to know the members of the club in my first year, and they’re still just as enjoyable three years on. I’m also currently carrying out the role of Club Master for my third year, and I am the Chair of the Welfare Subcommittee after holding the role of Welfare Officer last year.
I’m very proud of the personal growth I’ve experienced at the club and my work last year and this year in my welfare roles, implementing the option of a Wellness Action Plan and encouraging members to take part in our ‘What’s Rowing On In Your Head’ campaign last year. I’d say my proudest moment from my time in DUBC would be the recognition I received for this welfare work when I was awarded the Aaron McEwen Sakura Quaich in 2021. It was a great feeling to know that the work I’d put in to making the club a safer and more understanding space for members’ mental health was appreciated and that it was worthy of recognition from our Sports Union.
Outside of rowing I’m kept quite busy with my course and my job. I have assigned readings every week, two classes a week, two coursework assignments that have thankfully already been submitted, my dissertation, and revision and preparation for exams after the Easter break. If I’m not doing this university work or rowing, chances are I’m at work. I work part-time as a shop assistant at Grewars Farm Shop, where we stock and sell fresh fruit and veg, meat and pies from local butchers, and a number of local products from biscuits to jams, from ice cream to soaps. Of course, our most popular products tend to be our amazing freshly baked bread from Barnett’s Bakery in Anstruther – it’s very rare we don’t sell out!
I do manage to find time for myself though, I enjoy reading, playing video games, watching the occasional film with my flatmates, and just generally relaxing before the next day of university work or paid work. I’ve just finished my dissertation so am looking forward to a well-earned rest, but it’s kept me very busy over the past few weeks, and I’ve put a lot of time and effort into it, so am very proud of the finished product.
DUBC is more than just a rowing or sports club because of the ethos we have at the club. Every member of committee is determined to make the club a welcoming, friendly, and healthy environment for every member and the dedication to that I see firsthand every day makes DUBC an amazing thing to be part of. We have such a brilliant community within the club, as a club as a whole and as men’s and women’s squads – everyone has everyone’s backs, and there’s a place for anyone in the club.