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Oxford University Boat Club unifies men’s and women’s sides

The Oxford University Boat Club (OUBC) has announced that it will be unifying its men’s and women’s squads into one boat club. The unified club will represent Oxford in races in 2024.

News of the changes were shared by the OUBC over X, formally known as Twitter, stating: “We have decided to unite into one Oxford University Boat Club (OUBC). For the 2024 Boat Race and beyond, men and women from both the openweight and lightweight squads will represent Oxford University Boat Club.” Their social handles will also represent the unified squad.

Previously, the men’s squad was represented by OUBC, whilst the women’s squads were represented by Oxford University Women’s Boat Club. Cambridge used to have a similar arrangement but decided to unify the squads in April 2020, who have represented Cambridge in races since.

OUBC told Cherwell: “Over the past few years, the clubs have been aligning to support each other in our shared goal of beating Cambridge.”

The two squads have been training at the same facilities at Iffley Roast and in Wallingford for many years and receive equal funding from The Topolski Fund. 

According to OUBC, the executive committees came to the decision after an extensive consultation process with their respective clubs, coaches, and athletes. The change aims to “reduce operational complexity and improve governance”, which the club says will benefit all athletes’ focus between sports and studies.

Despite Oxford’s crushing defeat in the Boat Race last year, where both the men’s, women’s, and reserves squads lost to Cambridge, OUBC told Cherwell: “The atmosphere at training is electric and the outlook is positive for The Dark Blues in the 2024 Boat Races and beyond.”

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