If you needed any further convincing of the benefit of the Junior programme then please read on – this is the sort of result we are seeing time and time again from all levels of participants – it is not just about the athletes themselves – it is the legacy they actually generate for siblings, peers, parents and even grandparents. Even Olympians are adding their weight to what we are achieving…
This is legacy in action – it is a massive deal…….
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 in the 4 seat of the ‘state eight’ at St Neots regatta…..and winning!
- Darran – far right – with his old school, Mark Rutherford, on his sleeve
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.
Different skills – sculling in singles and in crews, plus the sweep boats
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.
Proud Mum and Supporter – see more ‘references’ by clicking here
Below: Darran, far left, making his contribution in the Star Juniors 12 hour challenge:
ATHLETE: May 2013
I started rowing at star three years ago after attending one of their summer courses run in partnership with the Borough Council. However, it was not until Mark began his role as Head Coach that I began to fully engage with the sport. As a younger athlete I feel that the integrated training between age groups really encouraged me to push myself, to heights which I previously saw and unattainable.
Mark has also helped me and other athletes in setting these high standards by questioning the targets we set ourselves, always look for a little extra. This continual furthering of myself culminated this year when I attended Great Britain Trials in my single and achieved second place in the Junior 16 Category; something I would not have been close to achieving without Marks dedication and expert coaching.
Along with fitness and the sense of community I have found at Star I have also gained focus and drive through Mark’s coaching. This has set me in good stead coming into my GCSE’s as my time management is much improved, along with my ability to focus on a particular task. In summary the professional coaching I have received at Star has helped me develop not just as an athlete but as person.
PARENT May 2013
Starting to row at Star has been a life-changing experience for our daughter. She has gone from someone who hated sport at school to someone who now trains regularly and has got really fit. She has had a lot of fun at Star and made friends while training, competing and generally hanging out together with her team mates. Added to that she has learnt to row and developed a real love of being on the water. Thank you Star for offering her so much!
My daughter is enjoying her second year of rowing with Star club and she simply can’t get enough of it! Since she starred rowing, her growth in confidence has been significant. Mark and his team have done an incredible job. I believe her attitude at school has significantly improved and the new experiences she is having are helping her to develop life skills in a way that I do not believe would happen without Mark’s input. Her fitness levels are amazing and she is learning how to mage he time. So this is a big thank you to Mark and the team!
As a recent addition to the coaching at star club, I have found Mark a very good mentor. He has made me feel at ease meeting all the people in the club and is supporting me to find a job as I am a graduate of 2013.
Marks commitment to the juniors is outstanding and provides every support they need. He is a real asset to Star Rowing Club and has driven the participation rates up and also improved the quality of the rowing within the juniors. All he has done is put a program in place, structured training and provided support to those juniors training. It is a very well organised squad with many members of coaching staff that are all pulled together under the supervision of Mark.
I am very thankful for being accepted into the club and I wish to stay for as long as I can. Good Luck to all Star Junior crews racing this summer and to encourage those who are not to keep training hard to bring on the squad.
Since our 16 year old grand daughter, took up rowing 18 months ago she has become a much more positive person. She rarely misses any of her training sessions, often cycles 8 miles to and from the Club for training, and arrives home enthusiastic and motivated for the work she has been doing. It really is astonishing. She always looks forward to the next opportunity to test herself against others and when a “Head” is cancelled she is really disappointed.
She is now very fit, her self esteem is high and she has new friends from the club, with whom she enjoys training and socialising. She speaks highly of the coaches at the Club from whom she clearly gets inspiration and a lot of motivation. In particular, Mark appears to set the very best example and has a way of inspiring rowers of all ages. His enthusiasm is infectious.
Our grand-daughter is a very busy girl since she will be taking GCSE`s this year and in addition she has a part time job in a Hairdressing Salon but, in spite of this, she is driven to find the time for the very heavy training session required at the Star Club and appears to enjoy the whole experience including the pain!
Nowadays she describes rowing as her passion, so much so, she has chosen the “world of rowing” as the theme of her next art project for her GCSE`s where she is an outstanding student.
We would like to congratulate Mark and his team for what they are giving to the Star Club and it`s members of all ages and thank them for what they are doing in particular for our grand-daughter.
My son started rowing at the Star Club in Bedford in 2010, initially attending a beginners’ course which quickly led to his further involvement at the club as a member of the junior squad. He was thrilled to be asked to become a member and quickly adapted to the rigors of high intensity training and throughout his early involvement both my wife and I were very impressed with the level of support from the coaches at Star Club. As our son has progressed, his involvement increased both from a training perspective and competing at various local and national events.
Always supported and encouraged by the coaches at the club, he has benefitted greatly from his involvement with rowing. His focus and discipline have improved remarkably – his enthusiasm has been fuelled by the staff at the club and above all his achievements over these last three years were made possible by the excellent level of coaching he has received.
The Junior Squad is coached by Mark Bavington; he has been an inspiration to our son and the other boys, his professional supportive attitude has helped them achieve impressive results, culminating last year with competitive results in National Schools Regatta and the Henley Royal Regatta.
Mark has contributed greatly to both Star Club and the progression of the junior squads. His unstinting belief in getting things right and attention to detail have paid dividends; always approachable, very supportive and measured in his attitude, Mark has made a real difference to both our son’s progression and the excellent results achieved on the water by the boys.
Mark has worked very hard at coaching the juniors, his involvement has been critical to the recent successes achieved by the junior squads. His commitment and support have been invaluable to the progress made at the club and I am extremely impressed with his ability to get the very best out of the youngsters.
My wife and I are very grateful to Mark for inspiring our son to integrate into a sport which has greatly contributed to his physical and social development, encouraging him to see the benefit of training, which has generated a good work ethic and a positive mental attitude to help him achieve his current life aims.
When I joined Star Club, I was 13 years old and hadn’t excelled in sports before. I wasn’t very good at keeping committed and I lacked a lot of motivation in my school work and sports. In the last three years at Star Club, I’ve become a determined rower and striving to achieve the best in my academic studies.
I’ve had support from Mark over the duration of his time at Star Club; he’s pushed us all to be the best and inspired us to have no limits on what we can achieve in the summer. Thanks to Mark’s coaching I’ve been able to be ambitious with the goals I have set for myself this season.
My son took up rowing mainly with a view to keeping fit, but with Mark as coach he has become very enthusiastic and motivated about rowing. Thanks to Mark, he is keen to take part in training six days a week and is always clear on his personal goals and targets. He enjoys the team spirit and camaraderie, as well as the friendly competitiveness, that Mark fosters in the junior squad. He has been inspired to take a greater interest in the sport of rowing, taking part in a young people’s forum organised by British Rowing.
Tim Foster, Olympic Champion
The Star Club junior squad will deliver so many similar opportunities to young people today that I had at school.
With the support of current Olympians Phelan Hill and Tom James plus various key funders, sponsors and supporters I have no doubt that the legacy of London 2012 will be supported and continued in Bedford.
Joining Star has been amazing for me in not only improving my fitness but in social aspects as well. Mark has helped to increased my confidence in sport. This has made me more motivated and determined to do well for myself which is also showing in my school effort.
His motivation and responsibility is turning all of us into the best possible athletes. I have been inspired by all the people at Star Club, Mark has built a strong junior squad, where healthy competition makes us strive to be the best rowers and people.
Rowing at Star Club with Mark as my coach has opened numerous opportunities to me that when I started the sport didn’t seem possible. We have grown into a strong team who are always pushing each other to reach the next level of our training and I can see this focus and determination to strive for excellence reflected outside of training as well, especially in my studies.
The detailed training programme set every week demands high levels of time-management which results in a more efficient mindset when completely my school tasks. There is an extremely high level of coaching and support available at the club which allowed me the challenge of trying to trial for GB.
Rowing is not only physically demanding and tiring for the brain but also consumes much of my spare time, be it for races, training or social events. This, one might think, would instigate an intricate balancing act between schoolwork and rowing. However, thanks to Marks specially constructed training programme and his awareness of the strenuous demands placed upon the modern student, this is not an issue.
In fact, rowing has allowed me to exercise a discipline of time management and self-motivation that I would not have developed had it not been for his coaching.
Mark has set achievable targets for me while encouraging my continued progression to meet said targets. He has helped me, both as a person and an oarsman, to develop characteristics that are essential for success in later life. These include confidence in my own ability to the point which has led to me feeling able to lead my crew mates and become more vocal on major race days and at training.