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Rowing involves the pulling of oars through the water to propel a boat in the desired direction. The only catch: you are facing the opposite direction to the direction of travel.

Originally being used as a mode of transport, which later developed into a sport, this activity has been around for thousands of years in one form or another. It can be done as a pair, four or even with eight in a boat, thus promoting team work and coordination. With larger boats the crew may be guided by a coxswain to ensure that they are heading in the right direction and to keep them in time.

Usually found in safe waters the crew can be allowed to go off (under suitable supervision) and try rowing. They will soon discover why the boat is not going straight. They can also be instructed easily either through the instructor being in the boat or in an accompanying boat.

Rowing is what Oxford and Cambridge do every year in their race from Putney to Barnes on Boat Race Day. It's also what Sir Steve Redgrave did to win his five gold Olympic medals. With hundreds of rowing clubs around the country, there are plenty of places to go and try this activity.

How to run/provide rowing

There are 3 ways of running Rowing in Scouting. These are:

  1. Scout-led activity - running rowing yourself or using someone else in Scouting

  2. Externally-led activity - running rowing using an external provider

  3. Activity for adult groups - running rowing for a group entirely of adults

Useful links

The National Governing Body for rowing is:

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