Thanks to British success at the Olympic Games, rowing now has a massive profile, and the Scottish Schools’ Indoor Championships at Bellahouston reflected the interest in the sport with entrants from all over Scotland.
Balfron High School claimed three of the girls’ team titles, while George Heriot’s are champions in both the Open categories.
Albyn School – newcomers to rowing – won two of the boys’ team titles, while Zoe Beeson swept to victory in the Senior 1 individual.
In the Senior 5 individual, Robyn Paton (Peebles High School) struck a blow for the Borders by clinching the title.
Euan Gregory was in Albyn’s triumphant Senior 5 team and was thrilled by the outcome. “It means a huge amount to win this trophy,” he said. “We are quite a new club and it is huge for us to win something like this. This is our last year so it’s a fantastic way to finish off our time at Albyn. The club started five years ago but it was last year that we became our own independent club. Before that we were affiliated to one of the universities in Aberdeen.
“Over the past few months we have been really focusing on getting younger people involved in rowing. “Morag Kelman is a PE teacher who runs our rowing section, and Kim Thomas, who teaches at the school, has rowed at the Olympics, so she has a big input.
“Jack Montgomerie is a rowing coach who comes in and spends a lot of hours as well. Between the three of them we have some really good guidance.”
Another new school at the Championships was Kinlochleven High School. Rowing was added to the curriculum this term, but Stephen Dent excelled with a bronze medal in the Senior 6 individual.
“The pupils are already talking about coming back next year, and putting in some more training so they can do better,” said PE teacher and Active Schools Coordinator, Kim Boa. “The club was started in August and I am helped by Maria MacDonald, who is a volunteer in the community.
“We are really happy with how it’s grown. We had about 50 young people take part in the league, and we took 15 pupils to Bellahouston.
“We are from a very small rural school, with 140 pupils, and we only have one rowing machine in our fitness room, but we started a lunchtime club and it’s become very competitive.”