A Cox’s Perspective; Novice Coxing at GUBC

Emma Young joined GUBC as a rower, but eventually found her niche coxing the Novice Men’s Squad. Below she tells us a little of her experiences this year.


I joined the club in September 2012, in fresher’s week of my first year at Glasgow Uni, as a member of the novice women’s squad. I had wanted to row since watching the Oxford/Cambridge Boat Race earlier in the year and the Olympics only added to that. It quickly became apparent to me though (being injury prone and pulling the squads lowest erg splits) that rowing probably wasn’t for me. I was prepared, for the good of my health, to leave the club until I was offered the opportunity to learn to cox. Being small and pretty loud this seemed like the perfect job for me and I’d get to just sit there!

Quickly I was taught the basics in some theory sessions on land, but getting in a boat and being in control of it still seemed far too daunting for me. When the novice men were in need of a permanent cox though, I had to jump right in. I learnt pretty quickly that it’s not all “just sitting there” and I had to use my brain much more than I expected but I loved it! Some miracle occurred which meant I managed not to crash and they’ve not been able to get rid of me since.

Being with the same crew every weekend has helped immensely with my progress and confidence. In the first race I coxed, we won, making me very proud of the crew and the club as a whole.

emma young

My enthusiasm for the sport of rowing and GUBC has grown an unbelievable amount in the past eight or nine months, especially since I started coxing. I now annoy every non rower by babbling on about the sport and I couldn’t even count the amount of times I’ve used #rowing, #coxing or #GUBC.

Being part of the club has given me many opportunities to meet new people, be involved in some fierce competition and travel with the crew. My best moment of this year has most definitely been coxing on the Thames. Despite horrible conditions and being terribly moody about them, it was a brilliant experience, and a great achievement to someone who didn’t think they’d make it in the sport.

Joining the university boat club has probably been the best decision I’ve made all year. No other club of sport could have given me the experiences, new friends or enjoyment that GUBC has!

Emma Young

Emma with the Novice Men after a successful race at SPR.
Emma with the Novice Men after a successful race at SPR.

Thanks to Stephanie Collier Burchell for the photograph above.