Excellence in rowing

The Hartpury Rowing ‘Start’ programme is a unique joint initiative between Hartpury College, the GB Rowing Team ‘Start’ Programme and Gloucester Rowing Club, aimed at identifying and developing the next generation of Olympic rowers.

Our junior rowing programme has produced 14 Great Britain junior and Under-23 rowers in seven years and won four consecutive Henley Royal Regatta titles from 2014 to 2017.

As part of the rowing programme, you will train amongst a concentrated group of 16-22 teammates, and work with a dedicated GB Start programme coach, in addition to a full-time assistant coach and team of postgraduate intern coaches.

We’ve developed an all-round package to enable you to develop your rowing and study your A-levels or diploma on the same campus, in an environment which works cohesively for the benefit of each individual student-athlete.

There are three strands to Hartpury’s rowing programme:

  • Diploma in Sporting Excellence (DISE) – a support programme targeting potential GB Junior trialists.
  • Hartpury College is also the British Rowing education partner supporting their delivery of the DISE programme to non-Hartpury based students. For more information see: https://www.britishrowing.org/gb-rowing-team/rowing-for-gb/england-talent-pathway/diploma-in-sporting-excellence/
  • GB Rowing Team ‘Start’ – for students meeting specific physical criteria as laid out by the GB ‘Start’ programme. Made up of athletes who may or may not have rowed before.
  • Rowing Development Programme – for junior rowers of all abilities wishing to develop their rowing skills and training alongside academic study.

All athletes on the academy train together and will benefit from excellent land training facilities at Hartpury alongside water-based training at Gloucester Rowing Club’s new £1.6million boathouse, which opened in 2017. This sits alongside one of the best stretches of rowing water in the UK with 50 kilometres of sheltered, uninterrupted training water.

And, as part of an elite squad, your development will be supported by having access to professional services that could include psychology, nutrition, physiotherapy, performance lifestyle, and strength and conditioning.

Due to the demands of the rowing programme (a typical week includes eight to ten sessions over six days), students applying are advised to consider only taking places on a variety of A-level courses or a diploma in Sports Coaching or Exercise Science.

You can view a sample rowing timetable here.

As places on the academy are limited, there will be a selection trial day in February/March, which will take place on the afternoon following an open morning where possible. During this day you’ll go through the finer details of the programme and have a chance to meet the coaching team in person.

Interested in finding out more information? Simply submit your details in our 'Interested in Sport' form and a member of the rowing academy will be in contact.


Scholarships are offered to rowers on an individual basis and are directly related to sporting and academic performance usually determined through a sporting CV and achievements prior to joining Hartpury.

These are re-assessed on an annual basis, with a review looking at academic and sporting performance as well as an individual’s disciplinary record and behaviour over the course of the 12 month period. Scholarships will generally contribute towards the cost of student accommodation.

I had no previous experience in rowing and the academy was great, providing strength and conditioning, physio support and top class coaching. Also, through the GB ‘Start’ Programme, I had regular opportunities to test myself against more experienced rowers, which really helped to push me on.

Sarah Bonar Hartpury A Level student Great Britain junior international