Adaptive / Para Rowing

Adaptive rowing is the term used to describe rowing that involves the use of equipment that has been adapted to the special needs of rowers that arise from physical, sensory or learning impairments. British Rowing is encouraging people with disabilities to try rowing, and supports Cantabs as one of the two Cambridgeshire clubs with an active Adaptive Rowing programme.

Not all rowers want to race, but for those who do, there is a classification system with three competition categories for rowers with physical disabilities:

  • LTA: Legs, Trunk and Arms – using a sliding seat, for people with the use of at least one leg, plus their trunk and arms, and for those with visual and intellectual impairments
  • TA: Trunk and Arms – sitting on a fixed seat with strapping across the lap, for people who can use their trunk and arms to propel the boat, and
  • AS: Arms and Shoulders – where rowers sit on a fixed seat with fixed back support with strapping across the chest and lap, rowing using just their arms and shoulders.

Rowing was introduced to the Paralympic Games for the first time in 2008 and uses the same classifications.

Claire Connon has been rowing with Cantabs for several years and has competed at national events with great success, including recently winning The Grosvenor Cup for Trunk and Arms Single Sculls at the 2015 Henley Women’s Regatta (see photos below).

New Opportunities: With the help of a grant from Cambridge City Council, Cantabs has recently purchased two stable single sculling boats to open up rowing to people with diverse physical impairments, as well as those with learning disabilities. We can adjust the boat configurations and modify teaching approaches to accommodate rowers with various abilities and welcome participants with diverse aspirations. So, whether you dream of competing at the Paralympics, or just fancy the freedom of getting out onto the water in a rowing boat, express your interest below. We will be happy to arrange a taster session at a time that suits you. Small groups also very welcome.

Participants must be aged 12 or over.