Learn to Row

Learning to Row on Caldecotte Lake

Learn to Row course information

Throughout the year we run 'Taster' sessions and 'Learn-To-Row' courses. These are aimed at newcomers to the sport or for those who have rowed before (perhaps at University) and want a refresher.

The 'Taster' sessions provide a 2-hour basic introduction to rowing and sculling. Each session covers some basic indoor coaching on the rowing machines before transferring that basic coaching out on the lake, in stable boats. The cost of a taster session is £10 and they are open to adults (16+) who can swim 100m and are in reasonable health.

The 'Learn to Row' course follows on from the 'Taster' session and takes you through the initial steps, including familiarisation with boats and rowing terminology (for those who have not rowed before) and then into land and water based training. The course consists of eight sessions and covers both sculling and rowing, with plenty of water based sessions in stable training boats. The course should lead to you being confident and capable to row in a coxed four by the end of the course.

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2019 Taster Sessions

The first Taster Sessions for 2019 took place on 6th April and was fully subscribed. The next (and last for this year) Taster session will be on Saturday 4th August. It is likely that this will be heavily subscribed, so please contact us early if you are interested.

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During the taster session, we will give you an introduction to the club, show you how to use a rowing machine (properly!), and put you out on the water in stable boats to have a go.

Taster sessions are aimed at complete (or almost complete) beginners, and give you the opportunity to have a go before deciding whether or not you would like to book onto the full Learn-to-Row course (details below).

If you've done some rowing before, please reply and let us know about it as we might be able to invite you down to a regular club session and get you started sooner.

We will allocate the places on these sessions on a 'first come, first served' basis, based on when we receive payment. The Taster Sessions will be based at the Watersports Centre on Caldecotte South Lake. Directions and a map can be found at the foot of this page


We advise that you wear close fitting sports clothing - lycra leggings/shorts/joggers or similar are good - and then t-shirts and several warm layers. It can get hot on the rowing machines and cold out on the lake. A light waterproof jacket in case it rains or a sun hat may be useful depending on the weather. No jeans, trousers, heavy jackets or hoodies please. A water bottle is also essential. A change of clothes is also recommended in case you get splashed or in the unlikely event you fall in.

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2019 Learn to Row courses

If you enjoy the Taster Session and wish to continue you will then be able to sign up for a Learn to Row Course.

Our first set of courses is now underway. We hope to run another course later in the year, so please check back here for details or fill in the form below to register your interest. As with the first course, a second course is likely to be over subscribed, and places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Courses are open to adults (16+) who can swim 100m and who are in reasonable health.

The course will build on what you learn on the Taster sessions (although you don't have to have attended a Taster session) and will again use rowing machines and stable boats.

As with the Taster Sessions, the Learn to Row Courses are based at the Watersports Centre on Caldecotte South Lake and there's a map of how to find us at the bottom of the page.

If you have any further queries please contact us.

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After the Course

Once you have completed the course we'd love you to carry on rowing with us! To help with this, we have very keen men's and women's Development Squads, many of whom have done the Learn to Row course and you would be able to start rowing with them.

The Development Squad members pay reduced fees and row on Saturdays at 9.30am and Mondays at 6.30pm (during the summer). Development Squad membership also covers you for all land training sessions during the winter months. Several members of this Squad, graduates of last year's Learn to Row courses, have raced at various events during this year, including taking part in last year's Milton Keynes Regatta, winning many races.

More information about our training schedule can be found here and details of membership fees here.

Rowed before?

If you have rowed before and are looking to get back into the sport, or want to change clubs for any reason, we also offer taster memberships or pro-rata annual fees. If you'd like to know more, drop us a line at membership@mkrowing.org.

If you row currently at University or College and want to carry on during the vacations, we also offer a Student Away membership at reduced rates. Again, just drop us a line to find out more or see our membership page for details.

Sign up for the next Learn to Row course

Please fill in the form below and then click on [Send]. If you could let us know a little bit about yourself (for example, other sports and hobbies) and also what has attracted you to find out about rowing, that would be really helpful. Lastly, if you could tell us how you heard about Milton Keynes Rowing Club, that would be great!
Access to personal data:

MKRC makes every attempt to comply with General Data Protection Regulations and to minimise the number of Officers who have access to personal data. Details provided on this form will be provided to the Learn to Row Co-ordinator and Captains only. On becoming a member, any data from the form will be shared with the Committee, the Membership Secretary and the Safety Officer.

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