Joining Us

How to Get Involved

Are you a current student at Emma? Then you can join Emmanuel Boat Club! Any current student of the College is eligible to train and race with us.

Most people who come to Emma have never rowed before. This is not a problem! In Freshers’ Week each year we run taster sessions (‘tubbing’) and BBQs which anyone, fresher or otherwise, is welcome to come along to and find out what Emma rowing is all about.

Throughout Michaelmas Term we run a ‘novice’ programme, which regularly sees about 50% of the Emmanuel fresher intake learning to row. This is the ideal time to try out rowing –  you will have the chance to take part in races against beginner rowers from other Colleges without the worry that it might affect your exams. There is plenty of social stuff too – novice formal swaps, BBQs and pizza nights are all on offer, and you get to attend the massively popular Boat Club Dinner in December!

If you missed out on our Michaelmas novice programme it’s not too late to join! Get in touch with the Captains who will be able to tell you what opportunities there are.

If you’ve rowed or coxed before, we’d love to hear from you! Those with prior experience can usually slot straight into our senior squad, which races both in Cambridge and elsewhere.  Get in touch with our Captains, who will be able to give you more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

“What if I’ve never rowed before?” The vast majority of new arrivals at Emma have never rowed before. The first term is spent as a novice rower, learning to row and racing against novices from other colleges.

“Do I have to be an athlete?” You don’t have to be, our training structure will accommodate all levels of fitness – you just need a determination to improve. If physical exertion isn’t really for you then you may consider coxing – the person who is in charge of steering, motivating and tactics for a crew. Did you know the cox of two Cambridge University Blue boats learnt to cox at Emmanuel having never done it before she arrived?

“What is there to aim for?” Emmanuel crews compete at races and regattas all across the country as well as on the Cam. The first boat has entered races on the Thames, Dorney Lake, Bedford and Henley in the past few years, to name a few. The main aim of each term is the historic bumps races. The bumps is a unique high speed chasing format of races involving trying to catch the crew in front before the crew behind catches you!

“Do you just train all the time?” No! A structure of crews allows for differing levels of commitment. Outside of rowing crews go for formal dinners with other colleges- a great way to meet new people outside of Emma. There is also a much anticipated Boat Club Dinner at the end of each term to celebrate the achievements of every boat in the term gone and toast future success.

“What are the facilities like?” The Club is proud to own the best boathouse on the river. There are weights machines, free weights, 3 Wattbikes  and 9 rowing machines. The club owns an extensive fleet with a wide range of boats for training and racing in which are all available to use for members during their time at university as well as access to excellent coaching from old and current members.

If you have any questions do email one of our captains:

Men’s Captain:
Women’s Captain: