“Great oaks from little acorns grow.”
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  • Which are our top British boarding schools for rowing? | Dickinson School Consulting
  • Which are our top British boarding schools for rowing? | Dickinson School Consulting
  • Which are our top British boarding schools for rowing? | Dickinson School Consulting
  • Which are our top British boarding schools for rowing? | Dickinson School Consulting
  • Which are our top British boarding schools for rowing? | Dickinson School Consulting
  • Which are our top British boarding schools for rowing? | Dickinson School Consulting

Which are our top British boarding schools for rowing?

While early starts on cold rivers may not be everyone’s cup of tea, perhaps your child harbours ambitions to take part in the iconic Oxford versus Cambridge boat race or even the Olympics. So which are our top British boarding schools for rowing? Read on to find out more about just a few of them.

Wycliffe College

Wycliffe’s rowing has developed greatly over the last ten years to become one of the best sculling programmes in the country. With the boathouse based at Saul Junction, on the 32km Gloucester-Sharpness Canal, Wycliffe has a practically uninterrupted training ground all year round. The base at Saul houses a remarkable fleet of incredibly well-maintained equipment, with multiple boats making extensive use of Peach telemetry systems. In addition to the facilities there, rowers have access to complementary training in the fully equipped gym on the college campus. Wycliffe has achieved a number of impressive results in the last few years, including wins at Schools’ Head, National Schools’ Regatta, and Henley Women’s Regatta, as well as being runners-up at Henley Royal Regatta in 2023. The athletes at Wycliffe have also earned numerous medals while representing the U19 GB Rowing team at events such as the Munich International Regatta, European Championships, Coupe de la Jeunesse, and the Junior World Championships.

Durham School

Established in 1847, Durham School Boat Club (DSBC) is a testament to tradition and excellence. Rooted in history yet adapted for the present, DSBC serves as a focal point of school life, fostering a tight-knit community among members, past and present. Rowing at DSBC is a transformative journey of personal growth, with members embracing the rigours of competition while cultivating essential life skills such as discipline, teamwork, and resilience. Through a meticulously structured program, pupils progress from mastering fundamentals to competing. The pinnacle of the DSBC journey lies in the senior squad, in Years 11, 12, and 13, when training intensifies with a focus on regional and national competitions. Morning and after school sessions become the norm as pupils strive for excellence. Despite the demands of rowing, academic success remains paramount. DSBC members excel both on the water and in the classroom, a testament to the school’s commitment to holistic development. As DSBC continues to evolve, it is a beacon of inspiration, embodying the timeless values of tradition, excellence, and camaraderie.

Monkton Combe School

Monkton boasts a proud legacy in rowing, serving as the springboard for numerous athletes, including Olympic Gold medallist Steve Williams OBE, who rowed to victory twice in the Men’s 4 in 2004 and 2008. More recently, Monkton has reinvigorated its focus on rowing, investing in equipment and cultivating a team of experienced coaching staff, who play a pivotal role in nurturing and guiding students towards their full potential. There are two well-equipped sites, catering to both novice and experienced rowers; the historic boathouse on school grounds provides a safe and welcoming environment for juniors to learn and develop a passion for rowing, while seniors enjoy the amenities of a second boathouse at the nearby Saltford Rowing Centre. Beyond comprehensive training, Monkton remains committed to the holistic development of its students, facilitating opportunities for some of them to secure rowing scholarships at prestigious universities such as Yale, Washington and UCLA. The Boys’ and Girls’ crews recently enjoyed the annual week-long training camp in Nantes, France, ahead of the regatta season, and are now excited to compete in events nationwide, aiming for the pinnacle at the Henley Royal Regatta.

Bryanston School

Bryanston offers rowing to pupils in all year groups, catering for all abilities, from beginners to more experienced rowers. The rowing programme challenges individuals’ expectations of what they are able to achieve in the sport during their time at school and beyond. Rowers benefit from access to some excellent facilities, including an outstanding, modern boathouse on the school grounds and a top-class strength and conditioning gym, combined with specialist coaches and physio support. Annual training camps, both in the UK and abroad, provide a perfect opportunity to hone technical skills and develop race tactics for the summer regatta season. A supportive environment allows the rower to flourish and develop, including stretching individuals who have demonstrated potential and attitude and a wish to progress through to international selection. Most recently, this has included a Bryanston representation at the 2023 U19 World Championships. Crews have also raced at the Henley Royal Regatta and Women’s Henley, as well as regular attendances at National Regattas. The school’s continued progression and success is underpinned by a sense of belonging and enjoyment at all levels.

We can’t detail all of them here but some other top British boarding schools for rowing would be Abingdon, Bedford, Shrewsbury and St Edward’s Oxford. If you’d like more information about these or any others, please get in touch.

Photos courtesy of Wycliffe CollegeDurham SchoolMonkton Combe School.