Rowing in the Netherlands

Rowing in the Netherlands

With all that water, it’s no wonder that the Dutch can often be found in boats; sailing, kayaking and rowing. Conquering the waters seems to be in their blood.

Although it may not pop up on your news feed often, unless you are already a fan and familiar with the rowing world, the Dutch are pretty good at it, even winning a gold medal at the last Olympics (2016) in the lightweight women’s double sculls division.

But how does one go about rowing and what is it exactly? IamExpat investigates.

What is rowing?

Rowing is an international water sport which knows two varieties, namely scull and sweep rowing. This refers to whether you have one or two oars per person. In scull rowing you have two oars, and in sweep rowing you only have one.

Now that the types of rowing are out of the way, let’s talk about boats. In rowing, there are many different types of boats, ranging from one-man boats called single sculls, to eights, for eight rowers and one coxswain (the person steering the boat). Often, you will learn to row in a boat with a keel, as these boats are more stable, minimising the chance of capsizing.

Whilst being a popular sport amongst students, anyone can do it, whether you are 10 or 80. The only thing you need is a certificate which says that you can swim. Contrary to common belief, rowing does not only train your arms or legs, it provides a full-body workout.

Where can you go rowing in the Netherlands?

The Netherlands is full of rowing clubs, with 121 different ones to choose from. Of these 121 clubs, some are specifically for students, whilst others may be joined by anyone.

Rowing clubs differ in what they offer, but must will provide you with a few lessons to get you started and teach you how to row safely on Dutch waters. Clubs also differ in terms of the fees they ask and how they go about assessing your level- if you are not a complete beginner. So, it’s a good idea to check out a few before deciding which one suits you best.

Traditions may also differ from club to club. In general, rowing clubs are a great place to socialise as they often host a weekly dinner, which you can sign up for, and other activities to bring members together.

If you are looking for a rowing club near you, check out the clubs in the following Dutch cities:

Rowing clubs in Amsterdam

  • Royal Amsterdam Rowing and Sailing Club De Hoop
  • A.S.R. Nereus (students only)
  • Rowing Centre Berlagebrug (lessons only)
  • Rowing Club RIC
  • Rowing Club Poseidon
  • A.A.S.R. Skøll (students only)
  • Rowing Club Willem III
  • Rowing and Sailing Club De Amstel
  • R.S.V.U. Okeanos (students only)

Rowing clubs in Delft

  • Delft Student Rowing Club Proteus Eretes (students only)
  • Rowing Club De Delft Sport
  • D.S.R.V. Laga (students only)

Rowing clubs in Eindhoven

  • E.S.R. Thêta (students only)
  • Eindhoven Rowing Club Beatrix

Rowing clubs in Groningen

  • A.G.S.R. Gyas (students only)
  • Royal Groningen Rowing Club De Hunze
  • G.S.R. Aegir (students only)

Rowing clubs in Leiden

  • Leiden Rowing and Sailing Club Die Leythe
  • Royal Student Rowing Club Njord (students only)
  • Rowing Club Rijnland
  • A.L.S.R.V. Asopos de Vliet (students only)

Rowing clubs in The Hague

  • Rowing Club De Laak
  • The Hague Student Rowing Club Pelargos (students only)

Rowing clubs in Utrecht

  • Utrecht Rowing Club Viking
  • U.S.R. Triton (students only)
  • Nieuwgein Rowing Club De DoorSlag

Rowing clubs in Zwolle

  • Zwolsche Rowing and Sailing Club
  • Z.S.R Boreas

Of course this list is not extensive and there is a rowing association in almost every city, provided there is suitable rowing water. So, be sure to check if there is one in your area.

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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Brock Sampson 08:26 | 16 February 2018

I am an American coach at RV de Waal in Nijmegen, NED. If you are looking to get connected into the Dutch rowing culture, I also can help!