#20 Reading University



19th June


The University 

Among the top 30 UK universities in world rankings, the University of Reading is one of the UK’s most popular university choices. Reading seeks to push academic boundaries and lead social change with a wide range of programmes- from sciences, humanities, business, arts, social sciences and languages, each led by academic staff at the forefront of their field. UoR is also rated 75th in the world for international outlook, and is home to 19,000 students from over 150 different countries.

The main campus, Whiteknights, boasts 130 hectares of beautiful parkland, and ranks as one of the UK’s top green spaces. It is also home to a thriving student community, a brand new state-of-the-art library, the student union and one of the UK’s best student clubs. Additionally, UoR’s sustainability project strives to reduce impact on the environment as a university- with an abundance of exciting sustainable alternatives in university dining, travel, and shopping. This includes plastic-free grocery shopping, vegan dining options, and many more.

Reading is a bustling town with vibrant and varied nightlife, shopping and cuisine, as well as being home to Reading Festival- one of the best known UK festivals. Reading is well placed, with cities such as London, Oxford, Bristol, and Cardiff just a short train journey away.

The Boat Club

Reading University Boat Club consistently place in the top six UK university rowing clubs. Specialising in sculling since 2015, RUBC dominate sculling events, placing 2nd overall in BUCS Head 2020 for the Victor Ludorum. Whilst their approach to racing is serious and committed, the club maintains a close-knit family-like culture.

Around a ten minute cycle from the main University campus, the boat club is well placed on an undisrupted 6km stretch of the River Thames in Caversham, Reading. This is also in close proximity to the Redgrave Pinsent Rowing Lake in Caversham, home to the training facilities of the GB rowing team.

Founded in 1892, Reading University Boat Club has an extensive history, and is one of the University’s highest achieving clubs. The boat club enjoy the facilities and support that the University has to offer, including financial support for individuals in the form of scholarships, these are available on application and are subject to specific terms.

The club also partake in an annual team retreat, as well as a summer camp in Banyoles. They also celebrate the end of winter head season with an annual formal dinner held in one of the university halls.

Home to both the GB Triallist and the complete novice, RUBC offers great opportunities to fulfil your potential in your rowing career.


The quality and experience of our coaches is one of Reading University Boat Club’s strongest assets. RUBC are fortunate to have four excellent and committed coaches, with a combined experience of over 40 years coaching rowing. As a smaller club, the athletes benefit from greater attention and communication with their coaches.

Will Rand- Director of Rowing

Will Rand has been the backbone of the club since 2004, shortly after winning Henley Royal Regatta 2001 in the Wyfolds. He also rowed for RUBC during his time at Reading University, captaining the squad until his graduation in 1998. Will oversees the running of the club on a daily basis, with a calm, relaxed (and witty) approach to coaching.

Charlotte Taylor- Assistant Coach

Charlie has coached at the club since 2016 and joined straight from the GB rowing team where she had many successes in the lightweight double. She competed at the 2016 Rio Olympics, and is a European gold medallist. Her invaluable experience is channelled into her coaching, where she has a keen eye for detail and offering technical improvements. Her commitment to the club is evident in her support for the athletes at Reading- both physically and mentally.

Chris Bartley- Performance Coach

Two-time Olympian Chris Bartley joined as a performance coach in 2016, after success in the men’s lightweight coxless four in the 2012 London Olympics, where he picked up a silver medal. He uses his extensive experience to carefully devise the weekly programmes for the club, ensuring that every detail of training is designed to improve racing. Chris’ programme is effective in terms of both time and energy- getting the most out of each session and each athlete. As a keen cyclist, Chris also adjusts the programme excellently with detailed wattbike plans to cater to injuries.

Roddy Slater- Strength and Conditioning Coach

Roddy has been part of the RUBC coaching team since 2011. He has been involved in the fitness industry for over 25 years and brings his knowledge and experience into the gym to help the athletes at RUBC. Roddy is one of the best in his field, getting the best out of every athlete with S&C plans periodised to match the racing calendar and training phase.

To get in contact with the coaching team, please email rowing@reading.ac.uk 


  • BUCS Regatta 2019: 5th in Victor Ludorum, 6 golds, 4 silvers and 5 bronze medals.
  • World Rowing U23 Championships: RUBC rower Chloe Knight selected to race in the LW2x (Sarasota, Florida)
  • EUSA 2019: Golds in both the M4X and W4X
  • Pairs Head 2019: 1st for Champ M2X and Open Lwt2X, fastest crews of the day
  • Head of the River Charles, Boston USA 2019: WIN, Fastest College Double
  • GB November Trials 2019: 1st place in U23 W1x and Lw1x, 2nd in M1x
  • Fours’ Head 2019: 2 golds, 2 silvers
  • Scullers’ Head 2019: U23 Pennant, 5th overall
  • BUCS Head 2020: 2nd in Victor Ludorum, medalled in all 6 categories entered


  • The boathouse offers an extensive fleet of Olympic standard filippis and empachers. Regularly updated and improved, there are currently boats of almost every type: men, women, lightweights and heavyweights, including 10 quads, 16 doubles, and 8 singles (alongside 22 private boats).

  • The boathouse is equipped with around 20 ergos, 4 wattbikes, 2 static bikes and small strength and conditioning facility. Additionally, the athletes use SportsPark, the University campus gym.

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