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Even as part of the competitive rowing team, Ruth still finds time to have fun. (Image: FAU/Franziska Sponsel)

You want to test your skills by competing against other students? Then why not join one of the FAU teams that regularly take part in competitions. Like Ruth.

Just a few more powerful strokes and the rowing boat will cross the finishing line – ahead of all the others. Ruth and her three team mates are ecstatic, as they have just won the mixed quad sculling race at the German University Championships (DHM). That’s not the only reason for Ruth to be happy. By winning third place in the women’s quad sculling race she has also qualified for the European University Championships (EUG). She will be heading to Coimbra in Portugal in July.

Ruth is studying medicine at FAU and rows for the Erlangen Rowing Club (Erlanger Ruderverein). She started the students’ rowing team together with Hedwig when she first came to university. Sporting success is not the only thing that motivates the 26 year old to take part in the competitions. ‘The DHM is the perfect combination of sport and fun. You get to spend a lot of time with the team and it really is a great experience, not just during the races,’ reports Ruth. Standards at the DHM are very high, as a number of top athletes take part.

Ruth has qualified for the European University championships with the women‘s quad sculling team. (Image: Julia Kirsten)

You don’t have to have a lot of experience to take part, however. There are special rowing races for beginners. Some successes sound like a fairytale come true: Larissa, for example, joined the rowing group as a beginner in her first semester at FAU and is now going to the EUG in the summer. Anyone can join in at rowing, no matter whether they are setting out to win or just want to give the sport a try. According to Ruth, some are pushed to their limits, others are encouraged to develop their potential and others just enjoy the exercise and companionship within the group.

Rowing motivates Ruth whilst studying, and is a welcome way to relax. The DHM is usually held right in the main examinations period. However, team members give each other valuable moral support during this stressful period, as they are, quite literally, all in the same boat! They are a great source of encouragement and motivation for each other – both when rowing and when studying. There is also plenty of opportunity to relax and have fun together, whether having a barbecue, playing board games, watching favourite series on TV or going skiing.


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