Novice Ladies’ Training Camp

Over Easter break all our squads embarked on their annual training camps, to hone and test the skills carved out of the long, hard hours of winter training. Tess Murray, who joined GUBC as Novice this September, gives a report of the Novice Camp experience.


On Saturday the 30th of March 2013, eighteen ‘little novices’ made the journey to Glasgow University’s main gate, about to embark on their very first training camp. Wide eyed and somewhat naïve as to what lay ahead of us, we carted about 3 tonnes worth of gym kit under the arch ready to begin our journey. We had all struggled with the sheer size of our kit bags, Allie’s weights sessions having proven to have had minimal effect, with the majority of us opting for taxis, whilst one lucky novice had the good fortune to have a burly Senior gentleman escort her and her luggage to the meeting point.
Decked out in the finest trackies the Men’s section of Primark could provide, we loaded up the minibuses with the fierce Caroline Horrocks and ‘Dobby the Free Elf’ at the helm. The journey resulted in giving the squad animal personas many of whom quickly morphed into their animal alter egos; in particular, Alison the Sloth and Helen the Armadillo. Fuelled on McDonalds and brandishing our rigger jiggers, the boats were swiftly assembled and ready for action. We finished off our first night at the Sea Cadet base with a game of sardines to ‘familiarise’ ourselves with our surroundings. Special mention goes to Calum McBurney whose hiding spot was so good, we gave up looking for him and put the kettle on. Lights out was aided by the dulcet tones of Cormac McMurray on Tanoid FM.

Each morning we eagerly jumped out of bed at 7am and set off to the boat house following a hearty breakfast. Sticking to our meticulously devised training plan, consisting of various technical and fitness outings, it was in no time at all that the three daily sessions quickly produced blister infested hands and backsplash soaked kit.

Inverness marked the beginning of Cormac’s true vocation – coxing, with his technical 12 proving a huge hit. However, his 8 was no match for the formidable four made up of Caroline, Tess, Tinney and Heather who instigated a last minute race due to unsportsmanlike behaviour on the canal. The rare sight of Calum in a single scull proved too much for some and perhaps resulted in the tipping of the risky pairing of Vic and Caroline. After months of core sessions and speculation as to why the novice squad didn’t have a full line-up of 6 packs, two members of the squad took it upon themselves to develop the latest in core training; the Murray- Marshall double, triple and pyramid plank.

The week drew to a close with the serious issue of BUCS seat racing followed by the not so serious “mixed regatta” where our coaches’ egos were left battered and bruised, ready for the lord of the glens to swallow up on the canal. It’s safe to say a great week was had by all involved, with special thanks to Jess who fed our “Open Weight Crew” in monstrous amounts and Mrs Horrocks who made a mean Lemon Drizzle cake. Admittedly throughout the week it crossed many a novice mind that cheerleading would have been a safer option, but we powered through and had an incredible week. The gods were clearly favouring GUBC as the sun was out in force, bringing with it some rather fetching sunglasses and coaxing out some freckles.

A few statistics to round up GUBC’s novice girls training camp; Throughout the 5days –

245 slices of bread were consumed

11 jars of jam, peanut butter and chocolate spread

26kg of various carbs (rice, potatoes, pasta)

20kg of various meat

46 pints of milk

8kg of breakfast cereal

an estimated 250 cups of tea,

12 litres of icecream

150 kms of rowing.

Over and out, the BUCS soccer mom,