#25 Cardiff University



The University 

Cardiff University is the only Welsh university which is a member of the Russell Group. It is also one of the ten largest universities in the UK  The university does not, however, suffer from quantity over quality, being recognised as providing high-quality research led education.  

Located just outside of Cardiff city centre, the university is situated in an ideal location, with the city centre only being just a short walk away. Living in Cardiff gives a taste of city life without being hugely expensive, there are 4 universities in Cardiff (including the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama) so with the countless student-friendly pubs and bars and cinemas which are only £3 a ticket, there is always plenty to do.

The Cardiff Student Union is known for providing some of the support to students in the UK with great shops, nights out and music events.  There are over 250 societies and sports clubs, enough to keep any student busy and if there isn’t something for you then you’re always welcome to start your own.

The Boat Club

Cardiff University Rowing Club (CURC) is one of the Athletic Union’s most established clubs, with over 150 members spread across 4 squads.  No ability or knowledge is required prior to joining the club which helps attract those looking to do something fun and healthy during their degree.

CURC has consistently performed well at both local and national events.  In the 2018/19 year they had several huge performances at BUCS regatta UBBC Head, gaining medals in the WInter 4x and the WLwt 1x.

Cardiff vs Swansea is one of the UK’s strongest Varsity rivalries and Cardiff have won it most years since its inception, the Senior Women having never lost a varsity race. In 2019, there were victories for the Novice Men, Novice Women and Senior Women.  

As a Novice, the main focus is on sweep rowing and for the past few years this has been the club’s prime focus. However, with the arrival of several new sculling boats this year, this has started to change.  This has widened the different boating opportunities that the club is able to offer to prospective rowers regardless of their ability.

The boatyard is a 15 minute bike ride from the Student Union, located at the mouth of the Taff where it flows out into Cardiff Bay.  There is 5 kilometres of rowable water, stretching from the scenic Bute Park, past the Millenium Stadium, into Cardiff Bay. 



Each of Cardiff's squads are fortunate enough to have a dedicated coach to help guide them through the year. For 2019/20 the Senior Men were coached by Ollie Gibbons and Maddie Scott, and the Senior Women were coached by David George. Not long after the arrival of David George, the Senior Women had some immediate success qualifying 4 boats for Henley Women’s Regatta in the summer of 2019.  Our Novice Squads are equally coached by experienced alumni with over 20 years of rowing knowledge between them and a Captain from the Senior Men or Women’s squads.  In 2018/19, Harry Perry, a Masters student at the time and Holly Thomas coached the Novice Men whilst Emma Fitzpatrick coached the Novice Women with the help of James Dennis and Adrien Grubb.  They managed to grow both squads into strong athletes, which won both of their Varsity races as well as several good performances across the year.

Cardiff also have Steve Williams, their strength and conditioning coach at the university gym.  He provides them with a programme tailored to each squad, with each squad having 2 sessions a week, one of which is done under supervision to improve technique and the other done in the athlete’s own time.

2020-21 Coaches - Contact Here

Novice Women- Claudia Howells

Novice Men- Tom Zawalnyski

Senior Women- David George

Senior Men- Maddie Scott and Ollie Gibbons


  • Reigning champions of the Welsh Varsity Boat Race
  • 4 x C finals, 3 x B finals, 5 x A finals and 2 x Bronze medals at BUCS regatta 2019
  • Alumni Joshua Bugajski, Beccy Girling and Tom Barras attending the 2019 World Championships with GB
  • 5 students/alumni select for Wales’ 2019 HIR squad.
  • Dedicated Coach in the University Strength and Conditioning Gym
  • Use of the University Sport’s Centre Hall for Novice Circuits
  • Erg room with 20 new Concept 2 rowing machines
  • Boats for all categories including a brand new Hudson 4x, and indoor/outdoor rack space for personal boats
  • A private pontoon for launching and landing.
  • Access to the Channel View Leisure Centre


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