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World Class Start FAQs

Do you have any questions about World Class Start? Have a look at our FAQs for help and guidance.

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Do I need rowing experience?


I don’t meet your criteria. Does this mean I cannot row for Great Britain?

NO!  World Class Start is just one way to begin a rowing career.  Many of our Olympians learnt to row at school, university or a local club.  Find out about the other ways to get into rowing here.

Why do you have an age criteria?

To become an Olympian takes time so we want to recruit people that have the years ahead of them to learn and develop the skills that can take them to the podium.

Why do you have a minimum height criteria?

Many of the most successful rowers are tall.  This is because their long levers (arms and legs) help to gain maximum propulsion and make the boat go faster.  World Class Start is therefore looking for people with this attribute.

I am tall enough, but I am not yet 14 years old. Why can’t I be tested?

You will still have a lot of growing and developing to do, so if you are under 14 years of age we would advise you to take part in a broad range of sporting activities to develop your general fitness and co-ordination.  We’d love to hear from you once you are old enough so please get in touch with us then!

I don’t live close to a World Class Start centre, but I meet the minimum testing criteria. Can I still be tested?

Yes, of course.  We would like to work with anyone that shows Olympic potential.  We will try to work with anyone who has good test results including being a “satellite athlete” with a local rowing club.

If I am selected onto World Class Start, how often will I need to train?

Your Start coach will set your training programme depending on your age and where you are in your rowing development.  You will need to fit your training around other commitments such as school/college so expect some early mornings!  For example, a 14 year old might train four times per week, whereas a school leaver would be aiming for 12 sessions per week.

I was not selected onto the programme, but I still really want to row. What should I do?

You can still learn to row and perform to a high standard.  Use the Club Finder to find your nearest club.

More in this section

World Class Start Centres

Our World Class Start centres are located throughout the UK. Click on the map below to find out more about each centre and their host club.

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World Class Start Graduates

Meet the rowers who have graduated from World Class Start. Click on a rowers name to find out more about them. * Molesey and Tees are former World Class Start host club ** Satellite club

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