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THE OD

6

ROWING

Rowing

The Pearl in the Oyster

27) and - eventually - the Dragon, began.

Rowing at the Dragon is like a pearl

in the oyster. Few prep schools row.

Traditionally school rowing starts at 13

and pupils either squeeze in five years or

muddle along with a club in the holidays.

At the Dragon we enthuse, cajole,

support and encourage rowing because

it instils pride and makes many children

hungry for competition.

Many rowers are superb natural

It’s nearly 20 years since, one cold winter’s

dawn morning, a young rower climbed the

staircase of the National Water Sports Centre

in Nottingham to join the GB Junior Rowing

squad. 14 years old, 6' 2" - maybe 6' 3" -

and strong.

I asked her about her rowing history.

“I started at the Dragon when I was 11…” and

so my relationship with Frances Houghton

(OD 1993), her father Robin (Lofty)

Houghton who sadly died recently (see page

Rowing 2004 Olympic Regatta women's quadruple sculls at Athens 2004, Frances Houghton second from left

sportsmen and women; many are not

traditional 'sporty types'. I could argue

that scullers aren’t usually ball carriers or

hitters or bowlers, but that would be untrue.

We have 1st XV rugby players, tennis and

athletic squad members - rowers who are

torn between matches on a Wednesday and

a 6km technical amongst the grebes and

mosquitoes. They do what they must, but I

know when a child can’t put sculling down.

Frances is one who couldn’t.