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Club of the Year 2020: Patience Pays Off

After years of being finalists, the University of St Andrews Boat Club was crowned St Andrews’ Club of the Year 2019-2020! This is testament to years of alumni and current members’ contributions and hard work.

This is awarded to the university sports club which has shown the most outstanding commitment to achieving excellence, experience and engagement throughout the year and is testament to the hard work of UStABC members across a number of club activities. The awards commitee had this to say about the clubs extraordinary achievements:


"The Boat Club had a very successful season. UStABC athletes got 3 gold medals in W8+, W4- and W4+ at Home International Regatta 2019 for Team Scotland. They also became Scottish Champions in M2- and W4+ at Scottish Championships 2019. First gold medals and 2 bronze medals were also gained at BUCS Regatta 2019 and UStABC were runners-up of the Scottish Student Rowing Victor Ludorum 2019. The Women’s Team reached the quarter finals of Henley Women’s Regatta for the third year running and the Men’s Team made club history by reaching the semi-finals of Henley Royal Regatta for the first time.

They were also Medium Academic Pennant winners and broke a club record at Head of the River 2019. In the GB Trials, 2 athletes progressed through the first round and 1 continued through the second round. The club has shown great depth this year because gold and silver medals were also won in the beginner relays at Scottish Rowing Indoor Championships 2019.


UStABC is entirely run by students. This provides many leadership and management opportunities for students, particularly on Saints Regatta Committee. Saints Regatta is the largest student-run regatta in the UK. There are opportunities to develop life-long connections with the club through the alumni and supporters club, Eden Boat Club. The Boat Club also conducted their most successful fundraising campaign to-date on the SaintsFunder platform, raising £35,000 for new equipment.


The club saw a 200% increase in beginners from 2018-19, showing a huge rise in student engagement.The club has engaged with pupils at Lochgelly High School, running weekly indoor sessions for them and there are plans to begin learn-to-row courses for the local community next year. The Boat Club also raised £1092 for Maggie’s Fife through a 24-hour ‘Ergathon’, took part in the Row Britannia campaign, and were the first sports club at the University to sign Scotland’s Mental Health Charter for Physical Activity and Sport. The establishment of the club’s Welfare Team helped raise awareness surrounding mental health through campaigns such as ‘Movember’.”


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