The University of Warwick Boat Club (UWBC) was founded in 1967, the University itself founded in 1965. In 1966, there were several undergraduates who had previous school rowing experience, who began boating from Stratford Rowing Club- a stone's throw away. Their first race was in a pair, borrowed from Stratford R.C!
During the academic year 1967-68, John Fawthrop and Godfrey Bishop, the Clubs Treasurer and Captain respectively, started the process of registering the Club with ARA (now British Rowing), as well as designing the first kit; with the notable red, white and black colours. The search started for a location to build the boathouse and a stretch of river to row on...
Godfrey began looking at the local Ordance Survey map to examine a suitable stretch of the River Avon. He was able to borrow a canoe and paddled down the river Avon, from Warwick Castle, to the little village of Barford. After leaving Warwick Castle behind he stumbled across a gold mine- the river opened up to reveal a stretch wide enough for side by side racing. The club now rows out of their boathouse on this lovely stretch of the River Avon, about 15 minutes drive from the University. Catering for all levels of experience, from complete novice up to experienced oarsmen, currently clocking in with over 120 members, it is a fantastic club to be a part of.
Previous members include; Ben Ellison, the 2011 Boat Race winner (who started at Warwick as a novice), Tom Solesbury, Olympian, Bronze World Champion and Boat Race Winner, and Oliver James MBE, Paralympic gold medallist.
The club's alumni maintain strong links with the graduate Boat Club, Ursus B.C. Ursus was set up in 2002 by alumni Ken Loveday and Mark Williams, to allow old friends to keep in touch and for the alumni to support new equipment for UWBC. Members of UWBC and Ursus compete and socialise regularly, including the annual ball and regatta in Spring term.