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Shrewsbury School crest

Rowing (RSSBC)

Shrewsbury School crest

The Royal Shrewsbury School Boat Club (RSSBC) was founded in 1866 and the on-site Boathouse is located on an idyllic stretch of the River Severn.

The School is nationally recognised as one of the leading rowing schools in the country and boasts an impressive 14 Henley Royal Regatta wins to its name.

With the move to co-education, the girls’ crews at the RSSBC have quickly made their mark. In 2023, two Shrewsbury pupils were selected to row for Great Britain at the Under 19 World Rowing Championships and came away with Gold medals. In 2019 we were the only school to have three crews qualify for the Henley Royal Regatta; the Senior Girls' Quad went on to reach the semi-finals of the Diamond Jubilee Challenge Cup. In the 2021 edition of the Regatta, our Junior Women's Eight made history by winning the inaugural race in this event.

Shrewsbury Open Days & Family Visits

The Boat Club has over 200 pupils taking part in the sport through the course of the year with a mix of participation: many pupils make rowing their major sport for all three terms; others enjoy the sport at house level in 'Bumpers', the Oxbridge-style house bumping races which provide the climax to the Summer Term.

The majority of our pupils learn to row at Shrewsbury so no previous experience is necessary, but we are also delighted to have experienced rowers, many through our Scholarship programme, join us and the Club is fully supportive of international trials systems with numerous Salopians having competed for their country at World Championship level.

The Boathouse and Rowing Facilities

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The Boathouse is in a privileged position, located a short walk from the main school building which overlooks the mighty River Severn. The Boat Club crews train on a meandering seven-kilometre stretch of the longest river in the British Isles. The Boat Club is home to a fantastic fleet of racing boats which include hand built wooden boats (that were made by one of the school's former boatmen) along with an impressive fleet of Empacher and Hudson boats. 

In 2001 the school opened its rowing tank that provides an excellent resource for beginners and technical sessions. The Yale boathouse was opened in 2012 and has gym facilities for land training, that include Concept 2 ergometers, RP3's, Watt Bikes and weight training equipment, and is complimented by the adjacent Pugh Boathouse opened in 1921. 

The buildings further house an impressive Clubroom, that showcases Shrewsbury's rich heritage in the sport and a storage area that houses a fleet of over 100 rowing boats and nine coaching launches. The impressive fleet also includes state-of-the-art equipment for our competing crews and those involved in the GB trials process. The club has three sets of telemetry that are used to monitor and support the coaching of the senior rowers to aid performance.

The rowers also make regular use of local lakes to get younger crews out in small boats through the winter months. Regular trips to Lake Vyrnwy are a favourite of the Senior crews to get the miles in the scenic Welsh hills, as well as overseas training camps to hone their skills in different environments.

In preparation for Regattas, including Henley, crews will often go on dedicated training camps to ensure they are in prime form for the event.

Rowing Beyond Shrewsbury

The Club is fully supportive of international trials systems and is proud to have numerous Salopians who have and continue to feature internationally at all levels, including numerous athletes selected for GB representation from J16 to Senior Level, and we are currently supporting pupils through overseas trials. 

Notable International Success
Dominic Sullivan (GB)Won gold in the JM8+ at the Junior World Championships in 2018
Matthew Rowe (GB)

Won bronze in the JM8+ at the Junior World Championships in 2017

Mulitple Henley wins

Won gold in the M8+ at the U23 World Championships in 2019

Won bronze in the M4- at the U23 World Championships in 2021

Charlie Clarke (GB) Won silver in the JM4+ at the U23 World CHampionships in 2017
Claas Mertens (Ger)

Won gold in the LM8+ at the World Championships in 2015

Represented Oxford in the 2018 Boat Race


The Sabrina Club

The OId Salopians' rowing club, 'Sabrina', is a thriving section and hugely supportive, not only in helping to fund the equipment and facilities for our rowers, but also by attending and supporting our crews when they compete across the country. 

Discover more about the Sabrina Club

Salopians continue to dominate on the water

Furthermore, the majority of our rowers continue rowing beyond school with exciting numbers of pupils rowing at top rowing universities around the world. Our most popular UK university destinations include Oxbridge, Oxford Brookes, Imperial College, London, Newcastle, Durham, Edinburgh and Reading who are all designated by British Rowing as High Performance Programmes and many pupils will excel in the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Championships.

In recent years we have also seen an upwards trend of applicants for many of the Ivy League universities in the USA. As a consequence, we have developed resources and an annual conference to support pupils in their discovery of the American system and the application mechanisms. In the last two years, we have introduced a structured SAT Prep course for our students and we have also become an SAT test centre. Our USA Universities Conference covers the key areas of information necessary in order to consider and successfully apply to higher education in the USA. 

Watch our video to hear from one of our latest rowing scholarship recipients, Livy Elliott (EDH 2017-2022), who now attends Temple University.

Summer Rowing Courses

The very popular and successful rowing courses are being held again in August 2024, offering 12-16 year olds a chance to learn to row and develop their skills in inspirational surroundings at one of the most prestigious rowing schools in the UK.

Discover more and book a place at the Summer Rowing Courses here.

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