No-one fell in but everyone jumped into the water at Milton Sport Lakes to celebrate a very close contest between pupils from Parkside Community College and Chesterton Community College at their Try Rowing Boat Race Day this week, watched by a large crowd of parents and friends.

The two schools had been invited to take part in ‘Try Rowing’, a project introducing rowing to pupils who would otherwise be unlikely or unable to try the sport, funded by the Oxford and Cambridge Rowing Foundation and organised by Rob Roy Boat Club. Two Chesterton pupils who took part last year have gone on to win several medals already this year.

Presenting medals to the winning crew, Rob Baker, Head Coach for the Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club, commented, “I saw some really good rowing today and I’m very impressed by the encouragement all the pupils gave each other – it is that teamwork which wins the Boat Race.”.

The event organiser, Jo Burch of Rob Roy BC, said, “We’ve all had great fun! I think most of the pupils who have taken part want to keep rowing, which is fabulous! Everyone has learned new skills, gone out of their comfort zones, and worked together to tackle the challenge of preparing for a rowing relay race in just a few sessions.” She added, “I am particularly proud of the pupils who overcame real fear of water in order to take part and not let their team down.”.

Earlier in the week the project’s parallel Try Rowing Boat Race Day took place between North Cambridge Academy and Trumpington Community College. Everyone stayed dry that time, though NCA Headmaster Martin Campbell looked dangerously wobbly when he took to a boat, inspired by his pupils, and discovered that rowing is trickier than it looks.

The results:

Both NCA crews beat their opponents from Trumpington

Parkside 2 beat Chesterton 2

Chesterton 1 beat Parkside 1

NCA beat all three other schools in the cumulative rowing machine challenge.

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