Super-fit rowers from the University of Birmingham Boat Club will be making a splash - albeit on dry land - when they take part in a gruelling "Ergo Challenge" this week.

With the club enjoying increasing local and national recognition as its competitive success continues, members will be trying to beat the club's previous record of rowing 100km on a rowing machine in just eight hours. They also hope to raise much-needed training funds.

The ergonomic endurance test is due to take place on Thursday March 23, from 11am-6pm outside Joe's bar in the Mermaid Square on the Birmingham campus. Around 80 club members will be on hand to spur one another on during the challenge and to carry on other fundraising activities.

With more than 100 members, the club is one of the largest sports clubs in the Athletic Union and is well established within University Sport.

Rowing is a particularly expensive sport to fund. "As annual membership of the club grows, demand for equipment – both for land and water training – is great, explains Women's Vice Captain Larissa Matley. "With more funding, we would be able to invest in new equipment, matching that of rival universities."

Club members are currently training hard for forthcoming race fixtures including the Women's and Men's Eights Head of the River event (the Oxbridge Boat Race backwards) and the British Universities Sports Association (BUSA) regatta.

On an average Saturday morning, even on the coldest winter days, squads are out at 7am to travel to Worcester for what they describe as "hardcore double water outings". Highly motivated to "achieve the best results we can", they train six days a week - on land and water - to make sure they stay on top form.

The team hopes they will attract plenty of public support at the Ergo Challenge. Says Larissa: "We will be busting our guts in our blue lycras and bright red splash jackets, so come and support us and help to raise as much money as possible."


Note to editors:

Team picture available.

* Ergonomics explores how machines and equipment can be organised so that people can work with them most efficiently.

Further information:

University of Birmingham Press Office – tel: 0121 415 8134