This ground-breaking talent identification programme was established in 2001 with funding from the Lottery Sports Fund with the aim to build the future of the GB Rowing Team by identifying and developing potential Olympians.

Reading is one of 10 Start Projects up and running across the UK.  The Reading Start Programme full time coach Dan Moore is employed by the GB Rowing Team.

Reading Rowing Club is the Host of the Reading Start Programme. This means that the rowers on the Start Programme are members of RRC and are fully involved with the club’s activities.  This normally means rowing in club crews in local regattas as well being involved in the social aspect of the club.  The relationship that Start has with the host clubs is vital to the success of the programme and is valuable support to the Start Coaches and rowers.


The Programme

New recruits to the programme will be placed into Reading Rowing Club where they will be developed by Dan Moore. As part of the training programme, rowers are required to attend the Start Testing Camps which take place throughout the year, bringing together coaches and rowers from all projects. Most of these camps are held at the National Water Sports Centre at Holme Pierrepont, Nottingham. Apply to be tested here.


The history of Start in Reading

Start has been in Reading since 2001 and has shown itself to be one of the most successful centres in the programme with 16 athletes earning 46 vests for the Great Britain Rowing Team at Junior, U23 and Senior/Olympic level. Of most note was the Olympic Gold Medal won at the London Games in 2012 by Alex Gregory in the Men’s Coxless 4-.

2001-2006 – Start (at the time known as ‘World Class Start’) was initially based in Reading Rowing Club under the leadership of Mark Earnshaw, Olympic coach for Beijing 2008 and London 2012.

2006-2012 – Start moved over Caversham bridge to Reading University Boat Club, looked after by both Eira Parry and Don McLachlan. The move came due to an increase in University age athletes.

2012-Present – Start ‘returns home’ to Reading Rowing Club as the changing nature of the program looks towards developing junior (U19) athletes towards GB representation, fitting with the club’s strong Junior Program. Since returning to RRC the training group has had 3 international athletes and 7 international vests.



Start coach Dan Moore began his coaching career in Durham before touring the world to coach in Australia. Coming home to the UK his experience stood him in good stead to continue his coaching career at one of the countries strongest sporting universities, Loughborough. This experience provided Dan with a fantastic platform to start as the GB Rowing Start Coach at Reading in 2012. Since taking this challenge the Reading Start Programme has had numerous GB Trials winners, International vests and Henley appearances.