The winning feeling

A good week on the river for Selwyn women

Selwyn’s second women’s crew had the College’s best results in this year’s May Bumps. These historic races, which take place in June despite their name, pit Cambridge Colleges against each other on the River Cam – with glory for the crew that manages to bump the boat in front of them. The W2 Selwyn boat managed three bumps in the four days of competition. The men had a more mixed time, but our first crew ended the week +1 and are at the top of the second division. You can read a full round-up of the results here: http://bumps.camfm.co.uk/

Many of our rowers had never taken part in the sport before arriving in Cambridge, but Selwyn has had a reputation for rowing since its foundation. Indeed, The Spectator magazine in 1881 said that this “frugal” sport was likely to be particularly successful here at a time when the newly-established College would have more students from poorer backgrounds:

“A College where the men are all poor is likely to be a College where the love of corporate amusement will be highly developed. For example, if they cannot afford to hunt, they will throw the more energy into the College boat or the College eleven. At a rich College the passing fashion may make against these comparatively frugal pleasures ; and if the wealthy men—the men who give its social tone to the College —do not care to row or play cricket, the poorer men will seldom keep up the College reputation in these ways by their own unassisted energy. They are more likely to loaf about, unable to join in costly amusements, and having no others in which they can join. This is a case which is precisely met by a College of the type of Selwyn or Keble. There are enough Undergraduates there to make success on the river or in the cricket-ground possible, while their means are sufficiently restricted to make their recreation naturally take these forms. Altogether, therefore, a young man who goes to one of these Colleges with very little money to spend is more likely to spend it wisely—that is, to get the most profit and the most enjoyment out of it—than he would be at the majority of the older Colleges.”

These days rowing is somewhat less frugal as a sport. The College is currently raising money for a new boathouse, to be shared (as is the case in the current building) with King’s, Churchill and the Leys School. You can read a news story about the plans here: http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/News/Plans-for-two-new-boathouses-alongside-River-Cam-floated-by-rowers-20140513071500.htm.