Autumn School Sculling Program - April & May 2016

What is the Autumn School Sculling Program?
This program is designed as an intensive introduction to sculling for rowers who have prior experience of sweep rowing or limited experience in a sculling boat. The emphasis is on achieving good sculling technique so that you can transition to completing your off season training (and racing if you’re keen) in a sculling boat.

Participant Requirements
Participants should be a minimum of 14 years old, able to swim at least 200 metres and be of good general health.  Sculling requires that you have good strength to be able to lift a sculling boat in and out of the water and need to be able to turn their heads to look behind them. 

When does the autumn sculling program start?

Week 1. Sunday 10th April 10.30am. Orientation to boatshed and equipment. Introduction to sculling, boating by 11 – finish 12pm
Week 2. Sunday 17th April. 10.30am on water from 10.30 – finish 12pm
Sunday 24th April (no session this weekend)
Week 3. Sunday 1st May. 10.30am on water from 10.30 – finish 12pm
Week 4. Sunday 8th May. 10.30am on water from 10.30 – finish 12pm
Week 5. Sunday 15th May. 10.30am on water from 10.30 – finish 12pm
Week 6. Sunday  22nd May 10.30am on water from 10.30 – finish 12pm

What are the costs of the autumn sculling program and how do I pay?
Six week program = $50 First session is a free come and try, if you choose to continue the 6 week program payment to the club is due week 2, Sunday 17th April.

Conversion of autumn sculling membership to a Junior membership annual membership = $130.00.  Payment can be made through the Ballarat City RC Membership page here

I want to sign up – what do I need to do?
Register your interest on the form on this page. 

Why are we so focused on sculling and developing good technique at Ballarat City RC?
We believe that there are very convincing reasons why all school aged sweep rowers should also be spending time in sculling boats. Below is a list of just some of the reasons we believe you should be sculling:

  • The sculling technique requires a more symmetrical activation of muscles than sweep rowing and therefore the rotational forces through the spine and thoracic cage are reduced in comparison to sweep rowing. This lowers the risk of injury whilst you are building strength, power and endurance.
  • Learning to scull increases your training options as you may choose to train by yourself with one other person or organize a crew of four. You do not need a cox for single and double sculls and when you become proficient at sculling you may also progress to a coxless quad scull.
  • It is easier to create mixed male/ female crews in a sculling boat, which is great fun to row with people you may not normally be able to train with.
  • The skill required to achieve good sculling technique is quiet high and therefore it is good to learn when you are younger and the motor patterns seem to come a little easier. As with learning any new skill – the more practice you do the better you become. Good technical sculling takes practice – so we encourage you to start practicing now! (link to video here of one of last years crews training here)
  • Finally scullers make great sweep rowers – check out the Women’s “Great 8” – a crew full of international scullers (including Australia’s Kim Brennan (nee Crowe) – winning the Championship 8 event at the Head of the Charles in Boston, USA in this YouTube clip.

Why learn to scull with Ballarat City?
Last season some of our participants in the sculling program continued after the initial introductory six weeks to achieve their goal of racing in sculling boats. Participants competed in the Bendigo Regatta, Dimboola Regatta and the Victorian State Championships.  (link to photos here)

This year we plan to extend the racing opportunities further by offering participants who are keen the opportunity to compete for Ballarat City RC at the Winter Sculling Series on the Barwon in Geelong. This is a series of Head Races so that you can test yourself against other crews and also check your own progress by tracking the improvement in your own times to complete the course.

Our sculling coaches have over a century of combined sculling experience – including racing and coaching at a National and International level. That’s a lot of experience for you to tap into!

How can I compete with Ballarat City RC and still row for my school?
The scullers who choose to continue sculling beyond the initial 6 week introductory program will convert their Autumn Sculling Membership into a Junior Club Membership by paying an additional $130. You will then be affiliated with Ballarat City Rowing Club but will continue to be registered with your school as your primary rowing club.

We work with the schools to ensure that your sculling commitments with Ballarat City RC do not interfere with your school rowing by targeting regattas that are outside of the school’s racing season. We understand that the goal of many of the scullers who train with us in the autumn and winter is to earn a seat in a senior crew and we will support you to achieve your goal as best we can. 

What should I bring?
Bring layers of rowing clothing that you can remove as you warm up. Remember this is Ballarat and you may need to wear long sleeves and leggings. You do not need to wear your school rowing uniform.  Last year one morning we trained it was -6 °C, warm socks and wooly hats required! You should bring a full change of clothes and a towel – yes we really mean it – you will find balancing in a sculling boat more challenging than a sweep boat and sometimes our scullers tip out of their boats.

Who can I talk to for further information?
If you would like further information contact or

Ballarat City Rowing Club, Lake Wendouree.

Autumn School Sculling Program - April & May 2016

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