St John's men and women are competing in the Wallingford Head of the River race to raise money for a water and sanitation charity.

On 4 December, St John's College Boat Club is sending one Men's and one Women's crew to race in the Wallingford Head of the River. In addition to racing, they are using this as an opportunity to raise funds and awareness for Toilet Twinning, a charity looking to improve sanitation and water supplies in regions of the world that need it most.

Nyasha Mbewe, a second year at St John's studying German and a member of the women's crew, says:
'For many of us, the 4.5 km course will be the furthest we've ever raced, and we've been training hard for this all term, trekking to Abingdon at 6 in the morning in order to make the most of our available time to train!  

Toilet Twinning is a brilliant charity, linked to Tearfund, that educates African and Asian communities on hygiene and sanitation and uses donations to help these communities build their own toilets. Our current Water Safety Officer, Mary Curwen, first had the idea of twinning the toilets in the Boat House, and when we decided to enter Wallingford Head we thought it was a perfect opportunity to get some sponsorship and make our race more meaningful. 2.4 billion people in the world don't have access to a toilet, which is a major health issue, but also has a high impact upon women - girls in developing countries often have to drop out of school because of a lack of access to toilets, and using the toilet outdoors makes them extremely vulnerable.

Having grown up in rural Mozambique and Zimbabwe and experienced first-hand what it's like to have to use a drop loo, I'm so proud to say that the Boat Club has wholeheartedly taken this cause on. Already we have raised enough money to twin the Boat House toilets and can now set our sights even higher! With the race just two and a half weeks away, we appreciate all donations and are looking forward to getting photos of the toilets we've funded to hang up in the Boat House.'

Please donate on SJCBC's Just Giving page or text SJBC55 £3 to 70070 to give £3.
Find out more about Toilet Twinning on their website

Women's rowing crew training 2016

The women's and men's crews in training.