The 2008 University boat race is upon us tomorrow,... now that is the Oxford vs. Cambridge race on the Thames, not one of the many similar events between pairs of Universities that have sprung up to emulate the dear old two horse race (fear I may be mixing my sporting metaphors, but I am sure you follow, hehe). The website is at - http://www.theboatrace.org/
My attention was garnered this year by a 'free' program inserted into the "Rowing & Regatta" Magazine which arrives monthly on my doorstep courtesy of my being a member of the ARA (Amateur Rowing Association). Quite the insert it is too... aside from loads of adverts from event sponsors (which seem to be going from strength to strength of late)... there is quite the breakdown of the race and the athletes taking part, and even a brief but refreshing piece on volunteers cleaning up the Thames by a charity called Thames21 http://www.thames21.org.uk/
Not sure really how anyone not signed up to the ARA gets a copy of either publication, but that's probably just my ignorance - the program I assume will be on sale on the banks of the river in the build up to the race. Aside from being a really rather successful British Olympic sport it is not clear how the sport is reaching out to the public outside of the once or twice a year TV coverage of Boat Race or Olympic / World Championship Regattas.
Actually (and sadly), the most stand out read for me was on a personal level... there are one or two taking part who are my age!!! Not that that means anything at all, I am hardly likely to go work for Oxford or Cambridge, let alone get into their rowing squads, haha! Still it was nice to feel some of my increasing years is still cutting it ;o)
Not the most coherent of discussions in this post I know, but my mind is on the job application form I am about to spend several hours trying to complete! Sorry :o)