Talent Spotting Programme



This intensive programme is designed to find young people with POTENTIAL to be top athletes in the sport of rowing. It is conducted through schools (not individuals) and if you want your school to be included on the programme, please contact us directly.  We are not looking for people who are already taking part in the sport, nor are we necessarily looking for those who are at a good level in some other sport. We are looking for those people who are perhaps not ‘ball game’ people. Those who perhaps don’t enjoy running up and down the touchline waiting for the ball to be passed to them. If you’re one of those people, then rowing might be the sport for you.

The programme costs just £1.00 to join. This covers your membership of Alton Rowing Club for the remainder of the year. No special equipment is needed. The only clothing you require is what you would wear to the gym and a pair of wellingtons, if you have them, although this is not essential.

Once you have been selected for the programme, you will undertake a Learn to Row Course. This typically consists of six on the water sessions or a week long course. You will be consulted as to the most appropriate path for you. This will get you up to a standard where you are able to race. You will then be entered into a local race and the cost of this will be £ 10 (normally £ 20).

As stated, the joining fee is £ 1.00 which includes membership. This is to ensure that we stay legal and you are covered under the club’s insurance. You will also receive one year’s membership of GBRA, our governing body. This includes your race license which normally costs about £ 25 per annum. The following year, the membership fee of Alton Rowing Club is a minimum of £ 1.00 and we are happy to accept that amount but feel free to pay more if you wish. If for any reason you withdraw from the programme, you will be expected to repay to Alton Rowing Club the cost of your membership to GBRA and the cost of your Learn to Row course plus any other optional fees which may have been incurred.  You will be expected to sign, (or if a Junior (aged under 18) your parent or guardian), a contract which sets out these rules and requirements.  

To be selected for the course, you will need to undertake a series of tests, which you cannot prepare for.  The tests last no more than 1 hour.  If you perform well enough on the tests, you will be invited for a short interview to tell you more about the programme and to find out a bit more about you.  Please note that we are not necessarily after the tallest, fittest people.  Sometimes, those people may have reached their ceiling.  We are looking for potential.  It does not matter what your current height, weight or body shape might be.  It is all about whether you have the potential and the motivation to become an excellent rower.

What happens if you are not selected?  We may dream about being Olympic athletes.  Very, very few people have what it takes.  If you are not selected that does not mean that you are not able to row.  Far from it.  If you are still keen to row, and we hope you will be, we will do everything we can to help you join in with one of our other pathways, be it recreational rowing, touring, club competitive rowing or even social membership.  This would not prevent you from joining one of the top crews in the club or going on to even greater and better things with other clubs.  The fact is that whatever standard you are or become, when you are on the start line, you have achieved your own Gold Medal.  We’ll help you get there.

If you have any questions about the programme, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our club committee by using the contact form on this website or by e-mail to altonrc2012@outlook.com