Junior Squads

Cantabs has a thriving Junior Squad, for rowers aged between 12 and 18. We run coached water sessions at the weekends, which are suitable for the majority of Juniors. These outings typically last an hour and a half, with the opportunity to try out many different boat classes. Most Junior sessions involve boating from the CRA boathouse opposite Midsummer Common, though older Juniors on our Performance pathway boat from the Cantabs boat house.

Junior rowers looking to develop fitness, strength and core stability are invited to attend land training sessions which take place on a weekly basis at the Cantabs boat house. During these sessions, all Juniors will spend time on Concept2 ergometers (which act as a good substitute for rowing on the water) and older Juniors will practise resistance training, to build strength.

Photo of a junior sculler

A Cantabs junior sculling

All our Juniors start out in sculling boats (with two oars), which they can race from the age of 12 and up. They can row on their own in a single scull, in doubles or in quads, or even octuples. Later, our Juniors can learn sweep-oar rowing (with one oar), in which they can compete from age 15 and up. They can row in pairs, fours or eights.

In recent years our Juniors have raced at numerous on-Cam races, including timed “head races” such as the fancy dress Cambridge Christmas Head, side-by-side regattas, and Town Bumps. Off-Cam events have included diverse competitions such as Bedford Fours & Small Boats Head, Oxford Royal Regatta, Sculler’s Head, Pairs Head of the River, Schools Head of the River, National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships, National Schools Regatta and the British Rowing Junior Championships. Racing fosters a healthy competitive spirit as well as being the basis for social occasions and there are many opportunities to race for anyone who wishes to do so. Entry fees are generally quite modest for local events.

J13 Girls competing in the Winter Head on the River Cam

Not only is rowing a great sport with many physical benefits but it also allows people, particularly of a junior age to make new friends and learn a new skill. There are opportunities throughout the year to become a Cantabs junior, depending on squad capacity.

Junior Wins at Peterborough Junior Championships and Blenheim Junior Regatta

Aside from rowing, the club is always on the lookout for coxes, and we have many able juniors who currently cox for a variety of crews. If coxing interests you, please don’t hesitate to get in contact, even if you have no experience, as there are many opportunities to learn the ropes.

JW15 Single sculler competing at the Peterborough Junior Championships

Juniors who show particular talent and interest may be invited to participate in additional training to help them develop their skills, strength and fitness. Example weekly training schemes for these rowers are shown below, but the specific level of individual training is tailored according to the capabilities of the rower and balanced with their school-work and other commitments. Some of the older juniors may have the option to train and compete as part of adult crews, which can further assist their development.

Junior Progression Opportunities

Junior Progression Opportunities

Many former Cantabs juniors go on to row at university, and are welcome to row at Cantabs in their holidays as student vacation members. Those that stay in or return to Cambridge are welcomed into a suitable adult squad, be that the Seniors, or a squad which has a mostly social emphasis, or somewhere in between.

If you are interested in joining Cantabs Juniors as a beginner, please express your interest in the Junior Learn to Row courses. If you already have some rowing experience, please contact our Junior Vice-Captains via the Committee page.

ClubMark logoCantabs is proud to have achieved Sport England’s Clubmark accreditation, which recognises sports clubs that create safe, high-quality and welcoming environments for young people.