What does FASBC actually do?
Abingdon School provides very generous support for its rowers but, like all organisations, has to set a budget each year. The money raised by FASBC helps to buy equipment that is not covered by the school’s budget – see the list of the equipment purchased by FASBC.
Due to the nature of rowing events, they can often involve supporters being there most of the day. FASBC provides a central focus for supporters, particularly at the major regattas; hospitality and warmth from the chill wind and rain within the FASBC marquee – you can’t miss our pink & white extravaganza on the river-bank – where the kettle is always on and you’re always welcome!
What do I get for my membership?
Hopefully, you will get a warm feeling of supporting your son and his crew members by giving them the equipment they need to maintain their position in the top flight of school rowing! You will also get a warm feeling at regattas from the cups of tea and coffee available and fantastic social atmosphere in the FASBC marquee! And from a practical perspective, you will also get copy of the FASBC Members Handbook each year and the ‘marriage saving’ How To Get There booklet containing directions, parking tips etc. to all the usual regatta sites. The Handbook contains lots of information which will help the ‘novice’ supporter who is unfamiliar with the sport of rowing. It gives a good picture of the rowing year and has explanations of lots of the rowing ‘jargon’.
How much is a membership of FASBC?
For the parents of J14 boys, the fee is just £30 for the year.
For parents of J15s and above, the fee is £40 for the year.
Some parents choose to take out Life Membership at £180.
I'm not familiar with rowing. How can I find out more?
You will of course find some information on the Internet but one easy way is by reading the FASBC Members Handbook which gives a good overview. You will automatically get a copy when you join or renew your FASBC membership.
Where are the regattas and heads?
They are dotted around all over the country; Eton, Bedford, Peterborough, Nottingham, London, Wallingford, Boston (both Lincolnshire and USA!). Comprehensive directions can be found in the FASBC “How to get there” booklet (free to members!).
What does my son need to take?
Best to check with his rowing coach for each event, but as guide:
- Clothing: J14s normally only need a school sports vest or rowing top, school black shorts, and perhaps a pair of school rowing socks. J15 and above wear all-in-ones. It is important they have lots of warm layers for heads and early regattas to cope with all the waiting around in freezing conditions.
- Food: Coaches will usually recommend dietary requirements, but you can’t go wrong if they take lots of water and a large container of pasta (maybe with pesto ham or something in it).
What do I need to bring to a regatta?
During the winter Heads races, you’ll probably need thick woollies, water-proofs, solid walking boots/wellies.
At summer regattas, sun-hats, sun-cream and sun-loungers (and occasionally some of the above!). Lots of people bring lightweight folding chairs, picnic blankets, etc. For the energetic, you can even join the peloton of bicycles to follow alongside the race at some venues.
FASBC take the marquee to most of the summer regattas, which acts as the focus for the rowers and their supporters. FASBC provide tea, coffee and squash at most regattas and at the major regattas like National Schools and Henley we organise a buffet lunch and tea – partly through kind donations by parents. For the other regattas, you will find on-site catering or, better still, bring along your own picnic hamper.