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The Leys started rowing in 1961 and now shares a large, modern boathouse with three of the University colleges, King’s, Selwyn and Churchill. The boathouse is located in Chesterton on the River Cam. The School’s fleet of rowing boats, oars and trailer are stored there. Showers, toilets changing and kitchen facilities are available to pupils at the boathouse. Some pupils travel to the boathouse by minibus, others cycle or run.


The School has:

  • 3 Eights
  • 9 Fours or Quads
  • 9 Doubles or Pairs
  • 20 Single Sculls

We also borrow some other boats from our boathouse partners.

The pupils are coached by members of the Common Room and external specialist rowing coaches. Rowing takes places in all three terms during Games time. We compete in many Cam-based races but also travel away to events such as Peterborough head, Schools’ Head of the River Race, National Sculling Head, Marlow Regatta, Henley Royal Regatta qualifying races and Peterborough junior championship.

Most pupils join the Boat Club as complete beginners. We endeavour to teach each of them the basics of single sculling before they progress to coxed quads, double sculls and eventually fine single sculls. They are usually competent scullers before they try sweep oar rowing in coxed fours and the tub pair. Once they have learnt the basics of rowing they will train in an eight. Those that reach a high level will fine tune their technique in a coxless pair. Many pupils have a go at coxing even if they choose not to specialise in this.

Since the arrival of the new boathouse in 2016 we have invited parents to enjoy Match Teas by the river for most of the races we compete in on the River Cam. This has proved most popular and has allowed parents, particularly those unfamiliar with rowing, to get an insight into the pupils’ rowing activities.

Head of Rowing
Mr Simon Hames

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