We do not have any learn to row courses planned at the moment.
Yes, from a safety perspective it is important that you can swim if you want to join one of our learn to row courses. You don’t need to be a fantastic swimmer, but you should be able to swim at least 100m in light clothing. Rest assured that it is VERY rare for larger boats to capsize, and you will be accompanied by a coach and other experienced rowers at all times, but just in case, we cannot accept novice rowers who cannot swim.
Your current level of fitness is not that important – rowing will get you fit! If you have a decent level of fitness already then you may find learning to row a bit easier, but the main limiting factor for most novice rowers is technique, rather than fitness. If you are thinking about learning to row having done another sport to a decent level in the past (e.g. athletics, cycling), and are keen to progress and compete, then once you have learnt the basics on a Learn to Row course there are plenty of opportunities to join the racing squads and hopefully get your first win under your belt!
For the sessions on the water, you should wear clothing that is comfortable for exercising in (e.g. shorts, leggings, T-shirt – not jeans) and that you don’t mind getting splashed. It’s best not to wear anything too baggy either. For land-based sessions in the gym, normal gym wear is fine.
We are based just next to Chiswick Bridge (the end of the Boat Race course for those who have watched it on TV or from the towpath!). Please see our location page for full details and a handy map, as well as details of how to get to the club by public transport (which is very easy!).
In an ideal world, everyone on the course would make it to every session, but we appreciate that sometimes this may not be possible. It’s not a problem to miss one or two sessions out of the 12, but missing sessions will slow down your progress, so do try to make it to all the sessions if you can!
No, you do not have to become a full member upfront. The LTR course fee covers all the LTR sessions, and there is no obligation to join the club afterwards. However, we would obviously love you to join if you decide that rowing is something you would like to do more of at the end of the course – there are reduced fee options for joining part way through the year, and your coaches will be very happy to discuss how the club can help you to develop your new skills after you have finished the initial LTR sessions.