Many of the University’s sports clubs hold charity events or fundraisers during the year but many of them tend to occur at the back end of second semester. However, the University Boat Club are continuing to buck this trend with their 24-hour charity ergathon on Friday 9 September. All proceeds of the event will be going to Maggie’s Cancer Centre, a local cancer charity based in Fife.
The ergathon, as the Boat Club’s Development Officer Ed Woolgar brilliantly explained, is an endurance event held using rowing machines. Members of the club take it in thirty minute blocks to try and row as far as possible, hoping to be sponsored for their efforts.
Hosting it at the start of the year is a deliberate move according to Ed, as it allows them to catch a big crowd with all the freshers in town and is part of them building a longer-term charitable events programme. Holding one event now before most of their competitive season starts means there is a lot of positive morale in the team and then it also will allow them to hold another event next semester.
The event has been held by the club on and off for the last 10 years but has really grown in recent years with continued improvement, both in the distance rowed and in the money raised. This year they are hoping to better last year’s total and raise over £1500, which will obviously make a huge difference to the charity and the wonderful work that they do.
Following the ergathon last year, the boat club visited the charity and saw the work that they did. Ed described it as a particularly rewarding experience and it is visits like that and events like the ergathon that really help the University sports clubs with their community outreach initiatives in Fife.
The Boat Club used to be based on the River Tay but have since moved closer to the University but continuing to raise money for Maggie’s is an homage to their former training base.
This fantastic event coincides with other charity campaigns that the club is involved with, including one with Madras School, where the club have donated two rowing machines and will soon be taking a group of students to Strathclyde Country Park, the home of Scottish rowing.
The rowers are going to be working super hard at this event and deserve your support, be it financial or otherwise. If you can offer some money then you will know it is going to a good cause and even if you can’t, you will at least be offering some support to a fantastic charity initiative.
The link to donate online can be found here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/saintsboatclub-Ergathon2016. If you do not want to give online, then there will be buckets available during the event, which is scheduled to be held outside the Blue Stane pub at the bottom end of Market Street.