When I decided to give rowing a go at the Mansfield Freshers' Fair I definitely did not expect to be writing these words less than two years later. I enjoyed the taster day and thought that I'd continue with it: sport has always been a part of my life and I wanted to try something new. However I had no idea how much rowing and MCBC would come to define my university experience. The combination of teamwork, discipline and physical excellence makes rowing a sport unlike any other I've tried and MCBC is a very special club.
Mansfield College has always striven to promote the ideals of access and inclusivity, and these values are firmly embedded in the culture of the boat club: rowing can be a very expensive hobby and MCBC allows people from all backgrounds, who would not have otherwise had the chance, the opportunity to experience it. This being said, we are a relatively small and underfunded club, so it is our incredible coaches and athletes to whom we owe our success. We regularly outperform much larger and better resourced colleges in the three main Oxford regattas: in 2016 and 2018 Mansfield crews reached the quarter finals of Christchurch Regatta, and our men's and women's first VIIIs hold strong positions in division 2 of Torpids and Summer Eights.
I am very optimistic about the year ahead - we have overcome the recruitment issues which have prevented us from continued success in recent years, and have established a strong base of enthusiastic returners going into the coming season. Combined with what will hopefully be another successful recruitment drive this Michaelmas, I'm excited to see this great community of athletes, coaches and alumni continue to grow and build on our previous accomplishments to take MCBC to new heights.
If you're coming to Mansfield this October and are looking for a sport that will push you physically as well as help you forge long lasting friendships and great memories, make sure to look out for us during Freshers' Week and give rowing a try. I look forward to seeing you there.
MCBC President, July 2019