Celtic Longboat Rowing
In 2018 a local rowing enthusiast suggested setting up a Club from Deganwy using the Conway Sailing Club infrastructure.
The aim was to develop a core of like-minded rowers that would take part in the Welsh Coastal inter club events centred around this iconic rowing boat. Gwynt Y Môr Offshore Fund was delighted to be able to fund and procure a new boat and be able to let the club grow.
In late 2018 there was an initial group of a handful of men and an occasional woman rower who ventured out once or twice a week. In January 2019, using the social neighbourhood groups, a general call went out offering rowing as something different that might support a New Year’s resolution. This brought in a number of new women entrants. Recognising this as an opportunity we put focus on women’s only rowing and the result was significant. Through enthusiastic endorsements and word of mouth, we found the women’s section rapidly growing to over 40 members. Women joining were in a safe environment and all ages, experience and fitness’s were catered to.
The women’s section quickly developed social networks and regular sessions during the week and at weekends. Times were tuned to meet various needs and numbers but capacity quickly became an issue. To increase the availability of coxes we ran workshops and started a mentoring program from which we now benefit through able and confident women coxes.
Rowing is at its best when the crews are in harmony not competition. It provides a positive platform with immediate feedback that suits this new community. In addition, this type of fixed seat rowing allows a mechanism for improved fitness and mental wellbeing in a gentle and undemanding way.
“I set myself a challenge, to find a weekend team activity. Come May 2021 I get my first outing on the Celtic rowing boat. What a joy! I now look forward all week to Saturday morning. I feel brave, excited and part of a rowing team, yes a rowing team!!. I learn and push myself each week. I laugh a lot, I meditate, I get closer to nature. What’s better for confidence building and wellness!”