Cambridge University Varsity Boat Clubs’ Statement: Black Lives Matter

Discrimination based on race or any other form is a destructive and pervasive reality in the UK and globally. It contradicts the values we strive for as a Club.


To communities of colour, we hear you, we see you, and we value you. We are committed to standing alongside you, learning from you, and working together towards change.


Rowing provides opportunities for personal growth, teamwork, goal-setting, and perseverance.
However, rowing in the UK and at Cambridge has historically been and continues to be an overwhelmingly white, privileged sport. The work we’ve done in changing the demographic of rowing has fallen short of what is needed and is a failure of our club.  We want all communities to have access to, partake in, and experience the elements we value so highly in our sport.


We commit to internal change. Entering our new structure as one unified club, we have the opportunity to make equality and diversity essential priorities. In the coming weeks and months, we will ask ourselves difficult questions with complex, difficult answers. As a club, we will reach out to some of the existing organisations providing diverse access to rowing and ask how we can actively support and learn from them.


We dedicate ourselves to working with the University, college boat clubs, and the broader rowing community to address our shortcomings and create a more inclusive future for our sport.


We are currently taking time to research avenues to most effectively enact change, ensuring our actions have maximum impact both within our organisation and the communities of which we are a part.


This statement evidences only the beginning of our commitment to these issues, as we know change on the club and institutional levels will take time. We are dedicated to working towards diversification of our club and rowing. We will endeavour for self-accountability and transparency on the actions we have outlined above and others that present themselves as necessary and important in the future. We encourage members of the rowing community and community at large to continue to hold us accountable as well.


Together, we will work to enact meaningful change in our sport.