In certainly one of the most bizarre Trinity terms Oxford has seen, the UK lockdown saw the entire student body make a valiant effort to continue their studies from home. The oddity of zoom tutorials and pre-recorded lectures was one thing, what proved much more difficult was continuing some semblance of a university experience. OUWLRC’s development squad turned out to be a bit of a beacon of hope in such a monotonous and frustrating time. Ploughing ahead despite the opposition we faced in access to equipment, space and communication, they somehow managed to run an extremely comprehensive and fulfilling training programme. Not only were we given amazing advice on how to make the most out of what we had at home to stay active and make progress, but zoom circuits, nutrition, physio and s&c seminars gave us a wealth of information about all aspects of being an athlete. Bi-weekly challenges kept us accountable and competitive and the squad as a whole, girls and staff alike, provided a positive and understanding community to both support and push us over the months. I am extremely thankful for the whole experience and everyone involved. In these confusing times, I think dev squad was more valuable than anyone could have anticipated.
It was safe to say I had not expected my last term of year 13 to consist of online schooling and virtual training, but when this enabled me to join the OUWLRC Dev Squad in March, it was a brilliant opportunity to meet so many other talented female athletes and rowers and to get to know some current Oxford students! It was really inspiring to be able to train with some current OUWLRC Squad members and hear about their experiences rowing at Oxford, as well as be able to participate in proper physio and mobility sessions, S&C training and circuits sessions with the girls over zoom. I’ve loved being a member of the Dev Squad, and it’s made me very excited to finally meet everyone in person at the start of term and get out rowing on the water again!