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John Snow College Boat Club is an all-inclusive and friendly boat club with a dynamic social atmosphere that is always looking for enthusiastic and motivated new members. Rowing is a unique and exciting sport and definitely something that everyone should try out whilst at University.

In October at the start of each academic year, the Club actively recruits new members by hosting a stand at the Queen's Campus Freshers' Fair and holding a taster day shortly afterwards. This is open to all students, not just first years.

Even if you don't sign-up during Freshers week, you are still welcome and encouraged to get involved in the Club at any point during the year. Simply contact us to find out more.

Our Novice Development Programme

We're extremely proud of our novice development programme, which we believe is one of the best on offer out of all the Colleges. As a Club based in Stockton-on-Tees we have superior facilities and river access to the majority of the Durham Colleges. This is a definite advantage. The Novice Development Programme is run by the Men's and Women's Novice Captains and overseen by the Club Captain.

Week 1 - Taster sessions and introduction to rowing

Week 2 - Land training induction, swim test and safety talks

Week 3 - Water training induction

Week 4 - Crew selection and training

Regular training for crews will take place each week and crews will be selected based on a range of criteria, not just physical fitness. A number of crews will be selected to compete in the Novice Cup whilst other crews will be compete in other races such as the Senate Cup.

After the Novice Cup has finished, all crews will be integrated with the Senior Men's and Women's Squad. 


As well as rowing, coxing is an extremely important part of rowing. The cox is an essential part of the team, responsible for steering the boat, motivating and coordinating the crew and working with the coach and crew to develop and carry out a race plan. We are always looking for new coxes, please contact us if you are interested.

What is the Novice Cup?

The Novice Cup is a 750m race organised each year on the River Wear in Durham by Durham College Rowing. The race is held between all of the Durham Colleges and is unique as only DCR Novices (those that only started rowing at the start of the academic year, usually Freshers) are allowed to participate. 

The race is held in coxed wooden fours and all crews must use traditional macon blades. The race usually takes place in Michaelmas Term in November, although over the last 3 years the race has been postponed to Epiphany Term in March due to the bad weather.

John Snow won the Novice Cup in 2011 and 2012, both with very strong leads. Sadly, the race was cancelled in 2013 due to extremely poor conditions on the river. Nonetheless in 2014 John Snow once again triumphed, winning the womens Novice Cup in spectacular fashion. Something we definitely aim to replicate along with more mens victories in the coming years.

"If you want to try out rowing and are choosing between Stephenson and Snow, you only need to look at our results to make the decision" 

Key dates

Freshers' Fair

This is an opportunity to come and talk to us and find out more about the Club. Come and introduce yourself!

Frequently asked questions

Q: I've never rowed before, can I still join?

A: Absolutely, most people that join the Club have never rowed before.

Q: How much does it cost?

A: Subs are calculated on a year-on-year basis and we will always try and keep fees as low as possible. The fees for 2014 have not been confirmed yet.

Q: Do I have to pay straight away?

A: No, you won't have to pay until 3 weeks after you have joined.

Q: Does the Club cater for sculling?

A: Yes, we have Multiple singles available and a 4 that can be rigged as a quad.