Imperial College London is based in South Kensington, London and is the only UK university focused on science, engineering, medicine and business. Ranked 9th in the QS World University Rankings® 2020, Imperial is highly regarded worldwide for both its teaching and research, associated with 14 Nobel laureates since its founding in 1907. A multidisciplinary space for education, research, translation and commercialisation, Imperial harnesses science and innovation to tackle global challenges. A truly international institution, over 140 countries are currently represented on campus.
Working to make a top-class education accessible for all, Imperial offers a range of scholarships and the most generous bursary scheme of its kind of any UK university. Also host to an excellent careers service, Imperial graduates ranked the most employable in the UK in this year’s Guardian University Guide.
Set in the heart of one of the greatest cities in the world, there is something to suit everyone when it comes to student life. There are countless pubs, parks, museums, cinemas, theatres, art galleries and eateries in close reach of campus, while the university itself boasts over 320 clubs & societies. Campus is host to a 24-hour library, the main Ethos gym & swimming pool and multiple music practice rooms. Accommodation is guaranteed for all first years in student halls, while the university supports older students in finding accommodation in the private sector. There are also rooms for eight student rowers in the flat above the boathouse in Putney.
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The Boat Club
Founded in 1919, Imperial College Boat Club (ICBC) is based on the Putney embankment, just a 20-minute cycle from campus. The club caters for all members of the student body who are interested in rowing, with training programs to suit everyone from novice rowers to aspiring Olympic athletes. A strong community spirit is at the heart of ICBC and their approximately 100 club members have ample opportunity to get to know each other with a range of social events, residential trips to races and training camps in Europe. As a member of ICBC, you are likely to find lifelong friends and have the most incredible and rewarding experiences, all whilst studying in the heart of London.
Ultimately, they aim to develop their athletes to compete at the highest level. One of their current athletes began as a Novice and in his second year, trialled for the GB U23 squad and won the Prince Albert Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta. Despite being a relatively small university, they focus on developing their own talent and creating a friendly yet competitive training environment. With racing on the Tideway, and Dorney and Henley within close reach, they follow an exciting racing calendar, with fixtures with Oxford & Cambridge and races abroad to destinations including the European University Championships in Sweden and regattas in China. A number of their athletes also receive support through rowing scholarships of up to £3000pa.
Head of Rowing Peter Hardcastle joined Imperial in 2017 from London Rowing Club having sculled for Australia at the Sydney, Athens and Beijing Olympics. In his first season at Imperial, he coached the crew that won the Prince Albert Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta.
Assistant Coach Jamie Kirkwood rowed in the Great Britain lightweight squad from 2012 to 2016, and rowed for Imperial himself between 2009 and 2012. Prior to joining Imperial, Jamie was assistant coach at Oxford University Women's Boat Club, helping to prepare the crews for the Boat Races and running the development program.
Tessa Millar is a key part of the coaching team and has volunteered at ICBC for the past five years, coaching at every water session each week. Tessa too has a strong rowing background having represented Great Britain at the 1984 Olympic Games and two World Championships. Before joining Imperial, Tessa had success coaching GB lightweights, Thames Rowing Club women and Oxford University women.
They also have a dedicated boathouse manager, S&C coach, physiotherapist and several novice coaches.
- More than 20 wins at Henley Royal Regatta, most recently in the Prince Albert in 2018
- Two athletes selected for U23 teams in 2019, with one winning a world silver medal
- Consistent top four finishes at WEHORR since 2011
- European University Championships 2018 - Men's eight gold and women's four bronze
- Top ten at HORR 2016, 2018 and 2019 with full student crews
- Boathouse located only a 20minute cycle from campus, the closest of any GB High Performance Centre
- Excellent stretch of over 25km of rowable river on the Tideway from Twickenham to Westminster
- Extensive fleet of boats including two carbon-wing Empacher eights for our men’s squad and two Hudson eights for our women’s squad. The boathouse also holds a number of Empacher and Hudson small boats including a carbon coxed four
- Full weights and erg room at the boathouse, with further state-of-the-art gym facilities on campus. The boathouse gym features five Olympic racks and Olympic barbell sets, a large selection of free weights and cardio machines/
- Experienced S&C coach and physiotherapy from current head physio for the Great Britain U23 Rowing Team
ANECDOTES FROM PAST AND PRESENT MEMBERS
"It’s not just a boat club. For a lot of us, it’s our whole uni experience "
Helen Kirkpatrick, current student and GB athlete in the European U23 squad 2019
"My time at Imperial was one of the most challenging, and most rewarding times in my rowing career. It’s given me a deep-seated confidence that I don’t think I could have found elsewhere. Getting through tough periods of training and study has undoubtedly helped me deal with working as a doctor in the NHS. It’s given me my rowing career, and it’s also given me my career as a doctor."
Melanie Wilson, Olympic Silver Medallist Rio 2016
"It’s about a community that supports each other, both on & off the water."
Bazil Saiq, current student and former novice rower