Challenge 21

Building to 2021 and beyond

  • £6,190

    pledged of £9,000

    • 82


    • 0


This project received pledges on Thu 07 Dec 2017

A short summary of your project

After a successful 2017, Somerville College Boat Club (SCBC) is closer than ever to achieving our goal of Headship by 2021 - our centenary. In order to succeed, we need your help to ensure our crews can get the best possible training and experience building up to 2021. The funds raised from this project will grant us access to more professional coaching, tank sessions, weekend training camps, and more. In addition, your generous donations will allows us to maintain our boats to make sure they stay in the best shape possible for our crews.

We will also ensure that no-one is prevented from joining SCBC by the cost of membership. Fundraising will mean that we are able to lower subscriptions (as we currently have the highest membership costs of any college boat club in Oxford), by creating a hardship fund, subsidising membership for those who could otherwise not afford to join us.

M1 and W1 at the annual Eights Dinner, celebrating a great year, and looking forward to another!

Your story

Founded in 1921, SCBC is 4 years away from it's centenary. Over the last 100 years (almost!), SCBC has a fantastic number of achievements under its belt.

In 1927, the first women's rowing event between Oxford and Cambridge was held, and D.E Gibbs of Somerville College rowed for the Oxford team (essentially Somerville's first Blues rower!)

Somerville College Women's Eight, March 1926

It was not until the mid-1970s that a separate bumps race for female crews was introduced in Summer Eights. In 1976, 12 women’s boats competed in the first ever division dedicated to women at Summer Eights, and by 1980, SCBC was Head of the River (having had a terrific year in 1979, in which, armed with the first ever boat of their own, Somerville bumped on every day of the competition, moving from the 6th bungline to the 2nd!).

To date, we are the most successful women's boat club, with 8 headships at Summer Eights, and our men are steadily rising through the ranks. Our Women's W1 team, after a hugely successful year, are in the top division, meaning winning Headship again is within our reach. By 2021, we want to be able to show that all of our crews proudly stand in the best position possible, carrying 100 years of history on our shoulders and setting it down on the Isis.

Somerville W1 in 1986, a year in which we took Headship

Back in 2015, we successfully fundraised to purchase a new boat for our W1 team, thanks to a huge number of generous donations from those who want to see SCBC achieve our potential.This new boat was pivotal in our gaining such success in subsequent races, and without this generous support, it would have been much harder to achieve as much we have.

SCBC W1 and M1 after a fantastic Summer Eights this year

With 2021 approaching, the next four years are an opportunity for SCBC to build on its previous successes and be the best we can be, using the donations received here to fund training activities and boat maintenance, as well as maximising the club's accessibility to everyone with a passion for rowing.

Any and every donation we receive is truly valued and helps us greatly, so, if you prefer not to donate something all at once (or if you're feeling exceptionally generous and fancy doing both!), you can pledge a regular monthly donation. £10 a month, for example, which is just the price of one cup of coffee a week, will make a huge difference for SCBC, and keep pushing us onwards and upwards.

To sign up, click: Pledge a regular donation to SCBC

Where will the money go?

The donations received will fund training for all our crews, to help them develop their technique, stamina and all-round rowing skills'

  • Sessions with professional coaches are crucial for development. This time allows coaches to find flaws in our strokes and techniques and advise on changes to help improve as a crew moving forward.
  • Tank sessions are great for putting what we've learned from coaching sessions into practice within a controlled environment. It allows us the ability to swap people out quickly and try different techniques to find what works best for each race.
  • Weekend training camps give crews the opportunity to truly focus on rowing with uninterrupted coaching sessions. This kind of training excels to run drills and splits in preparation for major races.
  • Being able to afford to attend and compete in external regattas gives crews race experience, something that can't be underestimated in its benefits.

Money will also be spent on the repair and maintenance of our boats, including paying for a new cox box; no point in having a great crew if they can't hear the cox!

We also want to make sure SCBC is open to everyone with a passion for rowing, regardless of their financial situation, so we will set up a hardship fund to subsidise membership for those who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford membership of SCBC.


Generous donations mean generous rewards! Take a look at our list of rewards and keep them in mind when donating!

Find us here

Follow our updates on Facebook and Twitter to see how the fundraising is going!



Instagram: @someboatclub

Our website:

If you would like to receive regular email updates to see how the fundraising is going, please email:

Help us succeed!

  • You don't need to give money to help us succeed! Please share this project with anyone you think would support us – on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, by email, telephone, in a chat over the fence or on your blog.
  • In fact, share it with everyone you know as we think it's a great idea, and the more people who know about it, the more likely we are to make this work out brilliantly.
  • We know we said you don't need to give money to help us, but we'd love it if you did! Every donation brings us closer to our goal and to making our upcoming centenary one to remember!

Choose reward

Pledge £1 or more

Select this reward if you just want to donate to the project without receiving a reward.

53 claimed

Pledge £5 or more

Get a shout-out on our Facebook and Twitter pages!

6 claimed

Estimated delivery: 1 December 2017

Pledge £10 or more

Receive a subscription to our termly digital newsletter!

5 claimed

Estimated delivery: 1 December 2017

Pledge £25 or more

An e-card thanking you for your donation from the captains of SCBC!

7 claimed

Estimated delivery: 1 December 2017

Pledge £50 or more

A signed postcard from the captains thanking you for your donation!

5 claimed

Estimated delivery: 1 December 2017

Pledge £75 or more

The above (signed postcard), plus a thank you video from our crew!

1 claimed

Estimated delivery: 1 December 2017

Pledge £100 or more

The above (signed postcard and thank you video), plus an SCBC pin!

4 claimed

Estimated delivery: 1 February 2018

Pledge £150 or more

All the above (signed postcard, thank you video, and SCBC pin), plus a signed photo of one of our crews from the Eights Dinner in June!

0 claimed

Estimated delivery: 1 June 2018

Pledge £250 or more

All the above, and you can join one of our crews for an outing! Get a chance to row along with SCBC in Hilary term! (travel costs not included)

1 claimed

Estimated delivery: 1 January 2018

Pledge £500 or more

Get all of the above, plus an SCBC sweatshirt! (will be in contact to confirm sizing)

0 claimed

Estimated delivery: 1 January 2018

Pledge £1000 or more

Get all of the above, as well as a place at the annual Eights Dinner at Somerville as a guest of the captains! Join SCBC and others at a black tie drinks reception and dinner in Somerville's hall!

0 claimed

Estimated delivery: 1 January 2018

Pledge £2000 or more

Get an engraved SCBC blade, the ultimate stash item!* Also includes an invitation to the Eights Dinner in Trinity Term as a guest of the captains! *Cost of postage not included

0 claimed

Estimated delivery: 1 January 2018

Pledge £4500 or more

The first donor to give £4,500 will have the honour of having our new 4-seater named after them! Come Hillary Term 2018, your name could be racing down the Isis!

0 claimed of 1

Estimated delivery: 1 January 2018