Bishops Rowing


It is difficult to describe the sport of rowing. What seems to be simply pulling an oar through water is in reality a far more complex interaction of so many things: technique, strength, stamina, teamwork and, most importantly, mental toughness. It is vitally important to understand that the sport places high demands on the boys in terms of their time and commitment as well as their physical and mental ability. Rowing is TOUGH!

But rowing is also beautiful and feeds the body, mind and spirit.

A short introduction to rowing


Water sessions take place at Zeekoevlei in Grassy Park. The boys will be taken by bus to and from the vlei. They will also have land training sessions which will usually be on the ergo (rowing machine). If there is no regatta on the Saturday, there might be a water session at Zeekoevlei.

As boys move up through the age groups so the training becomes more intense. Open rowers go on weekend training camps when there is no regatta. They also have off-season training in winter.

It is vital that your son attends every scheduled practice, regatta and camp.  When a boy is missing from a session it effectively means the rest of his crew cannot row – you cannot take to a boat with one man short!  Of fundamental importance are the two training camps for the whole club – one in October and one in January.  Also compulsory besides the regattas is the rowing dinner in March.  If your son cannot make a practice he must excuse himself to the MIC or his coach BEFORE  the time so a contingency plan can be made


Rowing Jacket
rowing golf shirt
rowing cap
rowing trisuit
long sleeve rowing top

Boys must bring a full tracksuit to practices and regattas in case they get wet.  Number 1’s are worn at the end of a major regatta at prize giving.

Regattas:  Equipment usually has to be transported to and from regattas and the boys are responsible for loading and offloading the equipment.  The boys are expected to stay for the entire duration of a regatta. Please do not ask permission to remove your son before all tasks have been accomplished.

Selections:  Selection for a rowing crew is complex, compounded by the fact that there are so many factors to consider.  People think the selection process is easy, but in fact it depends on several things:  ergo scores, technique, fitness/strength as well as a feel for “boat movement”.  This is complicated by the number and type of races offered, the side that the boy rows on, his suitability to a particular position in the boat and many others.

Further Details and explanations on selections can be found here:

Selection Policy

While most rowers tend to be rather tall and strong there is a position for smaller individuals. Some boats require a coxwain to steer, guide and instruct the boat and it’s personnel. It is usually the most important position in the boat. Please find below a guide to their responsibilities and how they relate to our club.

Coxing manual


While rowing is generally a safe sport there are many potential dangers that might befall a crew or individual. Being aware of these dangers, how to avoid them and what to do in case they occur will go a long way to ensure the sport remains safe.

Bishops Safety and Boating Plan

Bishops rowing club often attend over night trips away from the school. The club has two camps on the Breede River and attends regattas in Knysna, East London and Pretoria.

Guidelines for overnight away trips

Rowing training can be quite different from other sports. It is far easier to monitor the progress of the athletes and compare their individual speed and the crew speed to that of people and crews in the passed. Thus it enables a far more scientific approach to training and monitoring of the athletes. In South Africa and the Western Cape we have different weather conditions and social conditions than to other parts of the Country and World. To this end we need a slightly different approach to training and racing. Below is an outline of how we run things.

Training Methodologies

After the junior SA regatta season ends in March, there is potential for athletes to make the Western Province and South African Junior crews. The selection document can be found in the notices section of this site or on the site