#19 University of Bristol



The University 

As the second most targeted university by leading recruiters, the University of Bristol offers athletes a prestigious degree and a rigorous academic programme. Since its founding in 1876, the University of Bristol has always and continues to be at the cutting edge of global research, with 40 Fellows of the Royal Society and 13 of the British Academy originating from the university. The new Education Strategy, running from 2017 to 2023, aims to provide an education that is research-rich, innovative and inclusive. A globally minded university, Bristol works on numerous worldwide research collaborations and has a thriving international community. Bristol is small enough for new students to feel welcome and to find their feet quickly, whilst still providing a vibrant and fun community to be a part of. In fact, city life in Bristol has been voted the best in Britain in a major survey of 20,000 university students across the country.

Student wellbeing is another priority of the university, with the main administrative office working in partnership with the Students’ Union to support mental health initiatives. The university aims to develop the consistency of support available across residences and professional services over the next few years, making this a priority going forwards. With a wide variety of state of the art learning environments, including libraries, laboratories, IT systems and clinical spaces, Bristol continues to offer the very best in student facilities. The combination of student-centred learning, strong extra-curricular options and a dynamic city makes for a world-class university experience.   

The Boat Club

The University of Bristol Boat Club (UBBC) has gone from strength to strength in recent years, with strong performances across the rowing calendar, such as at BUCS Head and Regatta, HoRR and WeHORR, and Henley Women’s Regatta and Henley Royal. Rowers who join UBBC can expect to experience rowing at one of the premier universities in the South-West, in one of the UK’s most vibrant cities. The club is entirely run by students, for the students. An elected committee of eighteen senior members of the club are responsible for the daily running of the cub, representing the interests of individuals pursuing high-performance sport and a world-class education simultaneously.

The club is composed of four squads, Seniors and Novices for Men and Women, that train together throughout the year. As part of the club’s #OneClub initiative, the emphasis on integrating novice rowers into the squad through socials and combined training plans is always a priority for the captains, continuing to drive novice performance onwards. Water training takes place about thirty minutes outside of central Bristol, on a beautiful stretch of the Avon in Saltford. Land training takes place at the Coombe Dingle Sports Complex in the city centre, making it easily accessible during term-time. The club has a range of top-tier facilities, including a university funded boat house, a recently refurbished erg suite and an expanded strength and conditioning facility. 


The coaching team is led by Head Coach Edward Bloomfield, who joined UBBC in 2015, after having rowed at St Edwards School Oxford. Ed’s project over the last few years has been developing the women’s squad, culminating in a record 4th place in the Championship 8+ at BUCS Regatta in May 2018, a gold medal at the EUSA games in September 2018 and strong performances at Henley Women’s Regatta in a variety of boat classes, including the Women’s 1×, the Women’s Aspirational Academic 8+ and the Women’s Aspirational Academic 4×. In his role as Head Coach, Ed is looking to build on the club’s progress, ensuring sustainable performance across the squads for the years ahead. The strength and conditioning programme at Bristol continues to push athletes on to achieve new goals in their training, with individual development plans created by coach Will Ruscombe-King. Francis Stanford leads the novice coaching squad, with a team of enthusiastic volunteers, to develop a competitive novice squad, reaching new heights in 2019 with the qualification of the Women’s Development 4+ at Henley Women’s Regatta. Overall, coaches at UBBC have worked collaboratively with each other to bring performance up to new heights in recent years.

To find out more about rowing at Bristol, please email the Head Coach at ejlbloomfield@outlook.com 

  • EUSA W8+ Gold Medal win in Portugal September 2018

  • Alice Davies, an ex-novice who learned to row at Bristol, was selected for the GB Women’s Development 8+ at the World Cup III in 2019 and the U23 World Championships in 2018, after three years of rowing at Bristol

  • BUCS Regatta 2018: 4th in the Women’s Championship 8+, the best result in the history of our club’s performance

  • Henley Women's Regatta performance: HWR 2015 – 1 boat qualified, HWR 2017 – 3, HWR 2019 – 4,

  • Henley Royal Regatta performance: HRR 2018 – first time qualifying 2 crews at Henley & one crew reaching the Friday of Henley, HRR 2019 – through to the Thursday of Henley in Temple, losing to Harvard ‘A’ 

  • A clean sweep for Bristol crews across the board at the University of Bristol Boat Club Head Race in December 2018 and at the Varsity Race against the University of the West of England in June 2019

  • New erg suite, with 40 ergs

  • Newly expanded Strength & Conditioning suite, accommodating up to 45 athletes at once

  • Newly refurbished University Gym and Sports Centre

  • £1 million Boat House facility at Saltford

  • A growing number of top-end boats, including 5 new Hudson boats of varying classes across the 2018 to 2019 academic year  

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