Newnham College Exercise and Social Club

Michaelmas 2020 began with an erg-based rowing week – outings in scratch crews being impossible. With ergs now on the roof of the Dorothy Garrod building, we were entirely at the mercy of the weather, which rained disobligingly (or obligingly, depending on your outlook…) over a third of the scheduled sessions – including all planned 2ks!

Photo of three people wearing masks, standing beside rowing machines on a rooftop. Pink sunset in the background with silhouettes of buildings in front.
On the plus side, watching the sunset over the college gardens isn’t a bad way to erg!

Following this, and despite a lack of 2k times, crews were finally set, and outings began. In line with the lengthy risk assessment compiled by star Safety Officer, Cat, this included several new procedures – including PPE for coxes, and most notably, donning fetching pink Marigolds and bleaching all blades and boat before and after each outing. Here we were limited by the health of crew members: the 2nd VIII managed a grand total of four outings (the rest cancelled due to people self-isolating), while the 1st VIII ended up in a IV when their stroke sprained her wrist. British Rowing rules stipulated full crew rowing full slide for the entire outing to maintain social distancing, so the decision had been taken not to put any novices on the water – which didn’t stop a whopping 68 people signing up just to erg, a source of both excitement and stress for the LBCs…

Photo of a person standing by a river, wearing a life jacket and PPE (face mask and face shield)

In November, the UK’s second lockdown put an end to all on-water activities. It was here that Newnham College Exercise and Social Club (born the previous Easter) was revived, with a weekly timetable of Zoom sessions – everything from the usual circuits to games nights, yoga, and Just Dance sessions! Social Secs Emma and Emma even managed to recreate BCD on Zoom, ordering pizza and providing the usual awards, personalised BCD programmes, and a photo collage!

Light blue background with yellow and dark blue stars at the top. Title reads 'NCBC in lockdown'. Below is a weekly calendar showing activities taking place on each day.

Coming out of lockdown just at the end of term, those remaining in Cambridge were able to have a few final outings – including a memorable first-time-back-on-the-water in the snow!

While Lent Term sees NCBC separated once again, exercise and socials continue, and we hope to be back on the water (and give the novices a chance to actually see a boat in person!) soon!