Coronavirus, an update from Active Cornwall

Truro students get to Explore Rowing


Students from Truro schools have been thrown in at the deep end and have learned to surf row through a local scheme to get more young people active.

21 Further Education students from schools across Truro have had the chance to complete an ‘Explore Rowing’ course, funded by the Cornwall Sports Partnership and conducted by The United Kingdom Surf Rowers League, using surfboats kindly provided by Perranporth Surf Life Saving Club (SLSC).

Over the ten week programme they were expertly coached by Level 2 Rowing Coach Peter Gaisford and Nick Healey from Porthtowan SLSC to row using sliding seats, as used in Olympic rowing crafts.

The project was funded by Sport Unlimited, a national Sport England initiative that is facilitated by the Cornwall Sports Partnership, to give young people the chance to have a taster of an activity they wouldn’t ordinarily have the opportunity and possibly the confidence to try. Other projects, for semi-sporty 11 to 19 year olds to have a go at something new, will be happening from January; further details can be found at

Rhiannon Halliday, British Rowing West Region Team Leader, said: “The UK Surf Rowers League has been a pleasure to work with and I am pleased with the success of the project. The UKSRL has been able to offer 21 students the opportunity to try rowing, and I am hoping that the young rowers will continue with the sport.”

Surfboat rowing is an adaptation of surfing which uses a 180kg fibreglass Surfboat with four rowers and a "Sweep" or Steersman who stands at the stern to takeoff on a wave. It is the ultimate example of team surfing and a massive adrenalin rush for the crew. It originates from Australia but the UK Surf Rowers League was set up in 1999 with Crews from Bude, Tolcarne, Perranporth, Porthtowan and Portreath (all from Cornwall). Now a thriving association, all crews regularly meet to train and race: visit for further details.