John Laurenson |

‘Let’s take the time to enjoy our sport together, and relish those early mornings on the water’

John Laurenson from Junior Rowing News reflects on an extraordinary year for university students

Throughout the past year, everyone across the world has had their lives turned upside down by the pandemic – life for our university students has been no different. What is supposed to be the ‘time of students’ lives’ came to a dramatic standstill in March 2020, with most students retreating from their places of education favouring being at home with their families. Having yo-yoed into and out of various shades of lockdown ever since, we have seen almost a year of fully remote learning and e-training for student rowers.

With rowing now returning to the UK universities, it’s a prime time to reflect on our year in lockdown.

Working from home and doing more independent learning has – for some – improved the status quo. Speaking for myself (and many others, I suspect), I wouldn’t have minded having to study online. However, what made things more challenging was the sudden severance from friends, teammates and colleagues; missing out on those everyday interactions that are so crucial to one’s wellbeing. Rowing comes under this bracket for me. While most of us row to satisfy our competitive nature, spending time with like-minded individuals is where the real value is. Without ‘actual’ rowing, it has been hard to maintain this community.


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