Ambitious boathouse plans on course to boost rowing for St Mary’s girls

Ambitious boathouse plans on course to boost rowing for St Mary’s girls

10 April 2019

St Mary’s School, Cambridge is making rapid progress with its ambitious plans to greatly enhance opportunities for St Mary’s girls to experience that most iconic of Cambridge sports: rowing.

An innovative partnership between St Mary’s School, the City of Cambridge Rowing Club (CCRC) and Homerton College is delivering the redevelopment of CCRC’s original boathouse, which offers prime river frontage on the Cam. This shared vision will deliver exceptional rowing facilities for St Mary’s girls and the wider local community via CCRC, the oldest town rowing club in the city.

As the only all-girls school in Cambridgeshire, St Mary’s is keen to encourage more girls to experience Cambridge’s most definitive sport. The school has already built a solid reputation for excellence in rowing. St Mary’s girls have access to CCRC’s excellent Junior Rowing Programme and from age 12, students can opt to join CCRC, opening up opportunities to compete on behalf of St Mary’s School and CCRC. A number of St Mary’s students have gone on to row at university level, joining teams around the country, including Cambridge’s University Boat Race team.

Establishing a new ‘home’ on the River Cam for St Mary’s School will build on this record of success. With the support of dedicated teaching staff, state-of-the-art facilities and the expertise of CCRC, St Mary’s School is creating an environment in which talented rowers can flourish. It is envisaged that future Sixth Form rowers will compete at a national level, against schools with a formidable reputation for rowing, such as Headington School, Oxford.

Over 60 St Mary’s girls are already enjoying regular opportunities to row, benefiting their fitness levels, as well as their communication and team-building skills. The school currently has a number of rowing squads, including a Learn to Row squad, Junior 3 squad (foundation racing), Junior 2 squad (performance rowing and racing), Junior 1 squad (higher performance rowing and racing). Exceptionally talented rowers will also have an opportunity to prepare to attend GB trials, where successful athletes race as part of the GB squad.

Charlotte Avery, Headmistress of St Mary’s School comments: “I am delighted that we are progressing rapidly with our plans to establish a boathouse for St Mary’s School – which will give our school direct access to the River Cam. Our innovative partnership with CCRC and Homerton College has opened up exciting opportunities for our girls to pursue their rowing talents, with access to exceptional facilities in the heart of Cambridge, a city renowned for the sport.”

Redevelopment work will continue over the forthcoming months, with the aim of opening some of the initial facilities to rowers later this summer. Watch this space for further updates on progress.

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