Page 209 - MBS 2022/23
P. 209

                                 Over the last 12 months, Rowing, and in particular On The Water (OTW) Rowing for both the RAPTC and
Army has continued to try and rebuild itself after the pandemic. The intention over the next year is for RAPTC Rowing to develop and continue the momentum that was gained during the 2019-20 season. The Army’s new boathouse has now been built and is open for business, which will allow rowers to get back out on the water and the long awaited Learn to Row courses can now take place. This will hopefully reinvigorate RAPTC Rowing on the water, with future aspirations of entering a team into the annual Joint Services Regatta.
There is also no surprise that Indoor Rowing has again been instrumental, as due to the nature of the sport there has been a mixture of physical and virtual events taking place. 4 x RAPTCIs continue to lead from the front by representing the Army Indoor Rowing Team (AIRT) at National and International Indoor Rowing Championships, with SSgt Charlton being selected as the AIRT Men’s Captain for the second year running.
Army Indoor Rowing League (AIRL) 2022- 23. The AIRL commences every October and runs until January. The competition is open to all Regular and Reserve soldiers, including UOTC and Civil Servants. The AIRL is a perfect platform to inspire and challenge service personnel who wish to represent the Army, whilst also developing Unit Medically Limited Deployable (MLD) and Medically Non Deployable (MND) personnel to set new goals and compete in a low impact sport, that will challenge and enhance their personal fitness.
The AIRL would not be what it is today without the committee, which consists of 6 RAPTCIs:
• SSgt (SSI) A Griffiths RAPTC
AIRL Chairman.
• SSgt (SSI) B Charlton RAPTC
RPOC North, Scotland & NI.
• Sgt (SI) R Wilkins RAPTC
RPOC Midlands.
• Sgt (SI) A Crosbie RAPTC
RPOC Southwest.
• Sgt (SI) N Jones RAPTC
RPOC Southeast.
• SSgt (SSI) K Price RAPTC
RPOC Ops & other overseas locations.
The AIRL captures all the best elements of the Army’s approach to fitness and the committee’s commitment and enthusiasm has been simply outstanding. They have played a vital role in making sure that the AIRL ran smoothly, including advertising and the painful process of interrogating and uploading the results every month from across the whole Army.
SSgt (SSI) Barrigan rows for the Army at the WRIC 23. Photo courtesy of World Rowing Indoor Champs
Due to the nature of the sport, the AIRL has grown significantly since its introduction 7 years ago, attracting up to 1500 Service Personnel per season. The key attraction is there are no associated entry costs or T&S charges to units. It takes minimal time, but enormous effort to participate, as indoor rowing requires physical fitness and mental toughness. The very nature of the competition is all inclusive, providing incentive and motivation to those of all abilities and levels of fitness.
Army Indoor Rowing Individual Championships (AIRIC) 2022. The AIRC entered its second year, continuing with the hybrid approach to the competition, where a total of 282 personnel participated. SSgt Charlton gave units the opportunity to compete remotely from their own gyms, which encouraged maximum participation. Competitors raced each other in different categories over a distance of 2000m, which included 7 x RAPTCIs: Sgt Body (1st place Male heavyweight open), SSgt Coussens (2nd place Male Lightweight A), Sgt O’Brien (3rd place Male Lightweight A), Sgt Crosbie (Male Masters A) and SSgt Charlton (2nd Place Male Masters A).
World Rowing Indoor Championships (WRIC) 2023. The WRIC is the ultimate event for indoor rowing, which brings together the best rowers from across the globe to race against each other. This year, those who took part finally got to race in person with the event being held in Mississauga, Toronto, Canada. The Army Indoor Rowing Team took 11 males and females to compete in the 2000m, 500m and Relay Events. The male team was captained by SSgt Charlton and also in attendance from the RAPTC was Sgt Body, Sgt Crosbie and returning medallist from the 2020 Championships, SSgt Laura Barrigan. An amazing tour which challenged all those who took part competing against the world’s best rowers. Next year sees the competition take place in Prague.
RAPTC Rowing - On the Water. Not only has the Corps Rowing Team been representing on the Indoor Rowing scene,
SSgt (SSI) Charlton and Sgt (SI) Crosbie rowing for the Army at the WRIC 23. Photo courtesy of World Rowing Indoor Champs
but it has also been putting in hours of practice on the water. Last year’s regatta season was quiet due to the building of the new Army Boathouse, however that did not stop the Joint Service Regatta taking place at Peterborough. The Army’s 8+ consisting of representatives from across the service and included SSgt Coussens in Bow (heavyweight rower). This crew won against the RAF and the Royal Navy, an immense success for the Army! Additionally, SSgt Coussens has been providing S&C coaching for Army Rowing with the aim to support and enhance rowing performance and ability. Goals for next season: compete at more civilian regattas, beat the two services at the Joint Service Regatta again and more importantly, expand the Corps’ presence on the water.
Future Plans. This year, the focus will be on the development of the RAPTC OTW cohort, whilst continuing the momentum of the Indoor Rowing scene. Last year’s aspiration to break a team 100,000m record at the RAPTC Reunion was sadly postponed due to the passing of HM Queen Elizabeth II, but hopefully this can be rescheduled this year. The RAPTC training camp is scheduled for next year, with locations being explored in and around the UK. Finally, the reinstatement of the Army’s Learn to Row courses are great for initial exposure to OTW rowing, developing technique and future representation. Therefore, if anyone is interested in learning a new sport, please keep an eye on the DownRep for course dates.
SSgt (SSI) Coussens, getting ready for OTW rowing at the Army Boathouse, Abingdon

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