The Performance Rowing programme aims to develop athletes to national and international standard, whether they arrive as experienced juniors or complete novices.

Rowing supporters
Our supporters

One of the most highly regarded of its kind in the UK, the University of Edinburgh Performance Sport Programme enables athletes to achieve a world-class degree and perform to the best of their ability. Edinburgh University Boat Club's High Performance Programme is recognised and supported by the GB Rowing Team and funded through the National Lottery. EUBC has a track record of coaching rowers to challenge for a place in the GB Rowing National Squads and is committed to Rowing's World Class Performance Strategy. 

The University of Edinburgh Rowing Programme prides itself on developing individuals with potential and a positive attitude into performance athletes. The programme is aimed at serious athletes who compete on a national and international level. In return for your dedication and hard work, we will offer you world-class training facilities and support to allow you to be the best you can be:

  • 1 Head Coach
  • 3 Support Coaches
  • Full-time Strength & Conditioning support
  • Academic support
  • Performance lifestyle support
  • Nutritional advice
  • Mental skills training and assistance
  • Access to the world-renowned FASIC Sport & Exercise Medicine Clinic


Image of Lydia Currie and Alex Rankin

I've received amazing support from coaches and staff here at Edinburgh which, combined with great facilities, has allowed me to achieve my goals in Rowing


Studying and training in the Edinburgh with the support of the University and the dedication of the coaching staff has proved invaluable in helping me keep moving forward towards my goals.

We are an official GB Rowing Team High Performance Programme and our athletes frequently represent both Great Britain and Scotland. Our rowers also consistently perform at the highest levels domestically in BUCS events, Henley Royal Regatta, Henley Women’s Regatta and the major UK Head races. Top titles have also recently gone to our rowers at the World Indoor Rowing Championships and the Under 23 World Championships. 

We are also proud to have supported athletes to Olympic Success, including Olympic Gold meddalist and four-time Olympic Silver medallist Dame Katherine Grainger, who started rowing at Edinburgh and Olympic Silver medallist Polly Swann.

Polly Swann with Olympic Medal

Other highlights

  • Senior Men BUCS medals in Champ Double, Lightweight Single, Lightweight Double.
  • Senior Men Victor Ludorum at the Scottish Championships.
  • Senior Women Victor Ludorum at BUCS Regatta.
  • Senior Women Gold at the Coxless Fours at Henley Women's Regatta.
  • U23 World Championships gold medal and Henley Royal Regatta win for Josh Armstrong, U23 World Championship gold medals for Lucy Glover, Alex Rankin and Lydia Currie.

We support elite athletes during the University application process by crediting athletic attainment.

Find out more about our Elite Athlete Policy:

Elite Athlete Policy

EUBC Coaches

Head of Performance Rowing, Colin Williamson

Colin Williamson has been Head of Rowing at the University of Edinburgh for 3 years. Originally he took up rowing after his Rugby career was cut short due to injury. Colin's athletic career as a rower is impressive as he has represented Scotland, Great Britain and Ireland as an athlete before taking up coaching positions.

Some of his coaching successes are:

  • Coached at the 2010, 2014 and 2018 Commonwealth Games
  • Coached at the 2013 World University Games

Assistant Performance Coach, John Higson

John Higson has been the Women's Senior Coach for 7 seasons and has seen EUBC from all angles, having been an athlete in the club between 2002 and 2009. John saw the Women's Senior team qualify for the Remenham challenge cup at Henley Royal Regatta this season - for only the second time ever.

Some of his coaching successes are:

  • Coaching the GB U23 Women's coxless four to gold at the World Championships in 2019
  • Coaching GB Senior athlete Maddie Artlett
  • Winning championship coxless fours at Henley royal regatta.

Performance Pathway Coach, Michael Hughes

Michael Hughes has been the Performance Pathway coach for Edinburgh University Boat Club since September 2019. He began his coaching career in 2010 with Newcastle University and has had the opportunity to work across the UK with a range of athletes from those with GB ambitions to recreational rowers.

Senior Squad Head Coach, Lewis McCue

 Lewis, who is a graduate of the Robert Gordon University, is the current Head Coach at the Aberdeen Universities Rowing Programme and was awarded the accolade of Scottish Rowing’s Coach of the Year in 2019. Prior to his move into coaching, Lewis enjoyed a glittering career as an international rower, competing in the Junior World Championships in 2012, and the World Under 23 Championships from 2013-16


We train up to 12 times a week at venues such as Edinburgh’s Union Canal and Strathclyde Country Park. Our rowers also make use of cutting edge facilities at the Pleasance gym, including a dedicated Performance Gym and dedicated rowing gym named in honour of Alumna Dame Katherine Grainger.

Rowing Gym

Further Information

Get in touch

We are always looking for ambitious, academic athletes to realise their potential with us. We look forward to welcoming the next generation of rowers to our Performance Programme, email Head Coach, Colin Williamson, to start the conversation about your application. 

Colin Williamson

Head of Performance Rowing

Contact details