Having played football for Bedford Park Rangers for a number of years and also a competent swimmer Darran (my 16 year old son) decided it was time for a change.
Both myself and Darran’s father had both been avid rowers in are teenage years and met each other while enjoying the sport. Steve (Darran’s Father) still rows at the club with the more senior members and also helps Mark Bavington the junior head coach with the junior girls squad, but I have now retired and pursue other interests which involve my other son.
Darran was introduced to rowing through the schools programme at Mark Rutherford and the Indoor Rowing scheme as we never wanted to force him to follow in his parents footsteps. However Darran had an instant love for the stop sport and was keen to take on the challenge.
His very first outing on the river was on a cold Saturday morning and the rain was pouring down. Enough to put anybody off, but no, returning to the boathouse cold and soaking wet he couldn’t wait for the next outing.
After a few taster sessions Darran joined the junior squad at Star Club meeting up with lots of teenagers, boys and girls, from various different schools from the local area and he has never looked back. Rowing requires a lot of time and commitment training up to six times a week, not just on the water but weight training, running and ergos etc. However he has fun and has made some firm friends often meeting up for meals and camping at rowing events as well as attending rowing camps in Banyoles ,Spain.
Darran has recently moved schools to the new Kimberly Sixth Form College which is part of Wootton Upper School. The rowing has helped Darran to become more confident in making choices as well as becoming more organized in his daily routine. It also helped that Darran had a core group of rowing friends that already went to Wootton and helped him with the transition to a new school and environment.
With all the efforts Darran has put into his rowing with his friends and the hard work from the dedicated coaches means that the squad can compete at a very competitive level around the country. Racing on the Thames and at Dorney Lake , the 2012 Olympic venue, as well as the prestige’s Henley Royal Regatta. All the time meeting new people and coming up against new challenges and most importantly gaining memories to cherish for a lifetime.
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Below: Darran, far left, making his contribution in the Star Juniors 12 hour challenge: