For six months during the late autumn, winter and early spring it is too dark for the Lea Rowing Club to safely get in the water; therefore the rowers need to train in the gym to keep up their fitness levels for the next season. The club wanted to incorporate boxing into their land training as it is a great sport for improving and maintaining fitness levels when they aren’t on the water. Thanks to a Small Grant from the Jack Petchey Foundation, the club was able to buy boxing equipment and hire a boxing coach to teach at the sessions.
The classes have already had a great impact on the club. Training for rowing is pretty gruelling, so the boxing classes have broken up the monotony of training in the gym, and have taught the members news skills. Flo, aged 17, who is lining up to row for the Great Britain Under 18s Team says that the project “is fantastic and really fun.” The classes have helped with general fitness of the rowers and the training includes elements of plyometrics, cardio and development of rotational skills, which are essential to the rowing movement pattern.
But the classes have done more than improve the rowers fitness levels. They have boosted the self-confidence of the younger and quieter girls in the club as well as significantly increasing attendance at training sessions. With six of the female members having won bronze medals at the British Rowing Championships in the past 18 months, the club believes that this new project will further enhance their strength and fitness, as well as that of countless other girls who now train at the Club, attracted by the success of the others.
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