Adult Learn to Row courses

Are you looking for a new challenge? Rowing is an exciting and fun sport that can help you to get fit quickly, gain new skills in a boat and meet new friends. Our Learn to Row courses for beginners will get you started with the basics of the sport and get you out on the water. Where you take it from there depends on how far you want to push yourself.


Courses run every summer from July through to August and last five weeks.


All sessions are led by a qualified coach, with support from experienced club members.


The course culminates in a fun ‘regatta’ (that’s a type of race – we’ll explain much more about when you start!)

Who is this suitable for?

  • Anyone who hasn’t rowed before or has limited experience who wants to try the sport.
  • You must be able to swim – although we should point out its very rare for people to fall in, we just need to know that you can in case of an emergency.
  • The course is for people aged 18 and up (our oldest rowers are in their 80s – age is no barrier). If you are under 18 you might be interested in our Junior or Schools programme.

What will the course cover?

  • The main purpose of the course is to give you experience rowing on the water – we aim to get people into a boat by the end of their first session.
  • The course will involve both water and land-based training in our air-conditioned gym.
  • Water based sessions are in our special training boats, which are for five people, and are very stable for beginners.
  • We’ll give you an introduction to the Rowing Club, the Boathouse and its layout.
  • Familiarisation with the river – the training environment.
  • Full water and boat safety briefing to make sure you’re comfortable and stay safe.
  • Explain the types of boat, the important parts of the boat, oars and other equipment.
  • Learn and practise British Rowing Technique on indoor rowing machines.
  • By the end of the course you’re not going to be a world beating rower, but you should be confident rowing and steering a boat.

What happens after the course?

  • We hope that everyone who completes the Learn to Row course will go on to become a club member.
  • Depending on where you want to go with your rowing, you can either go forward as a competitive rower, training to take part in regional and national events, or you can row recreationally for fun and good exercise.

How much does it cost, and what do I get for that?

The Learn to Row course costs £180. This covers:

  • 5 coach led training sessions plus a fun regatta.
  • All necessary equipment and insurance.
  • Three months introductory club membership.
Once you’ve completed the course the introductory membership (which commences from the start of the course) gives you full use of the club facilities, and means you can spend some more time practising and enjoying rowing before deciding whether you want to sign up as a club member.

How do I sign up?

If you like the sound of Learn to Row, you can register an interest in a place on the next course we have available.

Please note: we will send out invites to people on the waiting list around the end of April. Places are allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis.

No payment is required until you are offered a position on the course.

About Learn to Row courses

Gill Parker

Learn to Row course leader, and a former Olympian!


Gill Parker is a former British Olympic rower, having taken part in the 1976 Montreal Olympics, the first time women rowed in a British Olympic team. She has been training at Lea Rowing Club since we opened the doors for the first time in 1980, and has coached our senior men and women over the years.

Sign up to our Learn to Row mailing list to register you interest in our next course:

If you’d like to find out more or have any questions about learning to row, please get in touch with our Secretary via our Contact page:


Lea Rowing Club

The Boathouse,
Spring Hill,
Hackney, London E5 9BL


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Lea Rowing Club Limited is a
Registered Charity No. 1157563


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Particular thanks to
Paul Vernall, Nick Mather, Nicky Barneby, Steve Rowe, Philpp Lammers, Kuba Nowak, Leah Band Photography, Yolande De Vries Photography and Stephen Furner (Tottenham Photography Club).

All photographs subject to copyright.

Website design:
Nicky Barneby

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