Monmouth Comprehensive School Boat Club was set up in 1992. Until 2000 the club focused on rowing. From 2000 onwards the club switched to sculling and this continues to be the focus of activities today, although there is now sweep rowing at 6th form. Currently over 50 students regularly represent the school in competition.
Every year the top crews from the squad target high achievement at the National Championships of Great Britain. These crews will have put a lot of time and effort into training and preparation for these events, typically including a week long training camp held at Easter as well as early morning, after school and weekend training sessions.
In the Summer Term the Junior Club starts up. This gives pupils (typically from year 8) from the school the chance to try rowing. If they enjoy this opportunity, they can be move onto the main squad when they come back in September. Most juniors start in year 8, then continue in the main squad, improving their rowing and competing.
Objectives of rowing at Monmouth Comprehensive School:
Junior Club: to enable as many students as safely possible to be able to have a once a week taster session of rowing, usually for 10 weeks. The focus of the sessions is on fun in a safe environment, whilst developing the basic elements of technique.
Racing Club: In the first year of competitive rowing, efforts are focused upon preparing for competition, then gaining as wide a range of experience as possible from different training methods, boat types and events. After the first year, the coaches focus upon supporting athletes to become the best they can be, seeking to build upon their race performances one by one to improve their abilities meeting their own short term and longer term targets and aspirations.
In 1994, the school had its first overseas appearance at Ghent Regatta, Belgium
In 1996, the school became the first council funded comprehensive school to have a crew compete at Henley Royal Regatta. Since 2007, the school has been entering Henley again, qualifying in 2012.
In 2004, WJ15 4x+ with their bronze medals at the National Championships of Great Britain.
In 2007, the school reached its first ever National Schools'
Regatta final in Championship Girls' Quads
(one of crew was aged 18, two 17 year olds and one 16 year old in a 20 year old boat).
In 2008, MCSBC crews finished 5th, 6th and 7th at the National Championships. Also, one male athlete won a gold medal in a Junior Wales crew at the National Championships and won again at the Home International, whilst two female athletes won bronze medals rowing in a Wales crew at the National Championships.
In 2009, two athletes represented Wales.
(left photo: 4th from left, right photo: 3rd from left)
In 2010, the club had three finalist crews for the first time at the National Championships (WJ14 quad, J15 double and J15 single), finishing 5th, 5th and 3rd. One cox represented Wales. Two former students won senior gold medals in the Monmouth RC quadruple scull. The club at large won 36 events through the season, a record.
In 2011, one cox and one athlete represented Wales (one winning a silver medal at the National Championships in a Wales crew). Two crews made the final of the National Championships, one of which won a bronze medal in J16 quads.
In 2012, the club had a record 39 wins in a single season. This followed steady increases over the past 3 years. The club qualifed a quad for Henley Royal Regatta for the first time, whilst over 50 athletes raced for the club in a single season for the first time.
In 2013, Emily Richards won a gold medal at the National Championships, setting a new course record in the WJ16 single sculls which was faster than the WJ18 record set on the same day. Also in 2013, Tilly Greenstreet won a silver medal coxing a composite crew.
In 2014, Emily Richards represented Great Britain at the Coupe de la Jeunesse in Libourne, France and won a gold medal stroking the quadruple scull.