Green Templeton Boat Club

Jolet Mimpen, Sanja Brolih and Jessica Buck explore the history of Green Templeton Boat Club, and the history of rowing in Oxford.

The youngest of the college boat clubs, Green Templeton Boat Club (GTBC) was created in 2008 after the merger of Green College and Templeton College. Since then, the GTBC has grown rapidly into a large vibrant community of enthusiastic rowers of all levels.

We welcome not only current students, but also alumni and associate members, as well as family and friends. Our history may be short, but already we have earned a reputation for both our skill and our fun. Our members are extremely dedicated and train several times a week in all weather conditions to bring their boat together and get ready for bumps.

The skill of our athletes, coaches and coxes has become clear as all our boats have rapidly climbed up the ranks, especially our Women’s First Boat which has never been bumped in the history of the club.

In addition, we are extremely proud to have had multiple members – both those that learned to row/cox at GTBC and those who had previous experience – join the University Rowing teams and represent the University in the Boat Races between Oxford and Cambridge. Crews have also competed at the prestigious Henley Women’s Regattas and an alumni crew placed in the top 10 at the World Masters Championships in Slovenia in 2017.

However, GTBC is not only about rowing, it’s a community. By rowing together, you learn to depend on each other: the boat cannot move without following and trusting each other. By working closely together in a team like this, many strong bonds and tight friendships have been formed over the years. We pride ourselves on our welcoming club culture and our belief that anyone of any ability should have the chance to enjoy rowing. The endless hours of training spent together really enforce the relationship between all our members and make the club a new family for students at Green Templeton.

All in all, in our short but proud history, GTBC has been a platform to push yourself and develop skills, build relationships and friendships, and have fun both on and off the water. The rowing and non-rowing activities organised by the club contributes to its members becoming like a family and succeeding in various aspects of their academic and social lives at Oxford.

It has been an invaluable experience to many in the past, and surely many in the future.

History of rowing in Oxford

Rowing has a long history in Oxford. Besides gowns, colleges, and debating, rowing is at the core of the ‘Oxford Experience’. The majority of Oxford students get involved with their college boat clubs to discover what the famous rowing chat is all about.

Rowing started to gain popularity in the 1700 to 1800s and it wasn’t long after that when the first Oxford college raced in the summer of 1815.

The rowing season at Oxford and Cambridge University is unique in that it is centred around Bumps racing. As early as 1826, the recognisable ‘bumps’ racing rules had been drawn up as we know them now: boats lining up at the bank with even space between them, all starting when the start shot is fired; when a bump (contact between two boats) has occurred, the involved boats immediately cease to race and the other boats continue. In the next race, the two parties involved in the bump exchange places in the starting order.

With small changes, these rules still apply during the bumps races events in Oxford today: Torpids during Hilary Term (end of February/start of May) and Summer Eights during Trinity Term (end of May/start of June). Both events are hugely popular among rowers and non-rowers, with the final day of Summer Eights attracting 1,500 participants and even more spectators.

Find out more

If you are interested in learning more about the Club, check out the GTBC Facebook Group.

If you are interested in rowing, please contact: