2017 saw our Junior SSRC section grow to almost 40 strong! Our Juniors start from 10 years, although a few started at 9 years (they were quite tall and able to reach the stretchers!), and our eldest junior was just 15 years. The majority of our Juniors are between 10 to 12 years and were mostly new to the sport in 2017.
Every Monday evening we open the gig shed doors to train our Juniors from the local community. A group of SSRC volunteers cover everything from boat preparation, sea safety, circuit training, erg training, first aid, nautical knots and of course, getting them out rowing in the gigs in Swanage Bay during the months of May to October.
in 2017, the Juniors who were 'sea ready' participated in several local Jurassic league regattas and held their own despite being the youngest (and littlest) crews, and often in some pretty bumpy seas. They also had the opportunity to attend Junior only events at Portsmouth and Lyme Regis ...all of which were quite big steps for our young, developing Juniors.
Winter hasn't seen their enthusiasm waiver and despite the rain, snow and wind, they've turned up on Mondays to train in the drafty, cold gig shed ...and we've even managed to get some Juniors out on Saturdays when the weather has allowed! We find that keeping a well stocked sweet stash often helps to keep them going when it gets cold!
Our 2018 season starts in the next few weeks with Dart Regatta and Junior crews will be racing in U14 and U16 races and then at the end of May, the local league will start with Weymouth Regatta. The Juniors are looking forward to a fun 2018 ...they've been working really hard all winter and definitely want to get back into a gig and on the water. This year we hope to take even more Juniors to local regattas and they'll probably outnumber the SSRC adults!
SSRC Juniors meet every Monday: 10-12 years, 5.45pm to 6.30pm and 12-16/17 years, 6.30pm to 7.15pm. We always welcome new Juniors and if you would like more information on our Junior section, please email us and we will get back to you. Alternatively pop down to say hi!