Explore Rowing is a British Rowing initiative to encourage people to take part in rowing on a more recreational basis.

Once you have completed the L2R course you can ask your coach if you are ready to obtain an Explore Rowing passport that means you can row in other Explore Rowing clubs throughout the country. You may find that you need a few more sessions to master technique before we are happy to give you this passport. However we find that most recreational rowers prefer to stay closer to home and take part in the local Explore Rowing events such as the Explore League and the Great Tyne Row.

Explore League

All the Northern Region Explore Rowing clubs get together once a month for a bit of fun racing and even more socialising. Each club organises teams of 6 people who race against the other clubs. There are four people in each boat so there is a bit of swapping round so every one gets a row. It's great for those that have just started rowing and for those who have rowed for a bit longer but do not want to take the sport too seriously.

To find out more, visit the Explore League website: www.nerowing.com/sundays.html

A smile worth waiting for - A touching tale from Durham Explore Rowing Sunday League event, 2012

It was a new experience for John Hutchinson - a former Special Olympics World Games gymnast, now a Tees Adaptive Rowing athlete.  As John stepped into a quad for the first time - and for his first race - a broad smile spread across his face. He is a man of few words so the smile said everything. The smile was replaced by look of concentration as he rowed down the course but came back when he rowed over the finish line especially when he won. John’s crew, ‘The Long John Silvers”, won 3 out of 5 races. John brought his own support team of mum, dad, girlfriend and friend and all were made very welcome by Durham ARC and all the other participating clubs. He was supported in his efforts by Alan Puddick, John Winton and Dick Wilkinson - Tees adaptive rowing coaches.

Two other teams from Tees entered:

The Rugby boys (ex rugby players - Graham Moore, Peter Hoar, Brian Pasco and Brain Hoar) who have only just started rowing, found that you needed more than muscle power to win. They won 3 races and lost 2. It was a good performance since they have only just started on the ‘learn to row course’, so with a few more coaching sessions and a bit more race practice in the club competitions they should do even better next time.

The stars of the show were ‘Barking Mad’ (Steve Barker, Grant Pearson, Brian McGarry and Alex Cleasby). So called as they had driven their coach barking mad in the run up to the event. They won all their 5 races in style so Tees are currently top of the league in the open event.

The next event is on May 6th at Tyne United, where hopefully Tees will also have crews from the ladies development squad and the Wreck rowers participating.

Janet Wilkinson, Explore Rowing Co-ordinator