Satsuma – check. Chocolate coins – check. iTunes voucher – check. New jammies – check. You’ve been shopping for Britain but it’s all still looking a bit… lame. Thankfully help is at hand. There are gifts out there that your junior rower genuinely will love, and they might even be so grateful that they help with the washing up (no promises, mind). Yes, it’s the Girl on the River Christmas Gift Guide for Junior Rowers.
1. Lysefjord Rowing Christmas jumper – £30, Square Blades
Christmas jumpers are getting brighter and tackier every year, but this one is a cut above. No garish penguins or winking Santas but a tasteful design featuring cute little rowers and crossed blades. Best of all, though, it’s a really, really nice jumper (I know because I just got one for my birthday and I’m wearing it right now). It’s soft, well cut and unbelievably toasty. An all round winner. By the way, if your junior is really tiny you might find her slightly swamped by this – I’m just over 5’3″ and the small is just right but I wouldn’t want it any bigger. Most juniors are bigger than me these days, though. Sigh.
2. Crazy rowing leggings, £35, Stitch
The craze for wildly-patterned rowing leggings continues unabated, and if it’s statement leggings you’re after, Stitch should be your first stop. This is just one of many, many off-the-shelf designs they have, and they tell me they can put any design/pattern imaginable into them – even photographs if the quality is high enough (though thinking about it… oh, boy, that could end badly…) They’re all available from XXS to XXL and can be altered to add/remove length if needed, and come in unisex and female cut (which has a wider, more flattering waistband).
3. Medal display plaque, £44, Rowperfect
So many medals, so little space, right? Now, I know the idea of a medal display plaque might sound a bit like a Well Meaning Auntie kind of gift, but this one’s a bit special. You get the blade customised in your junior’s club colours, which makes it pretty fantastic if you ask me. It’s strong enough to hold a full haul of medals, and small enough that if they haven’t won many yet it won’t look silly. Better get cracking, though, as you need to allow two weeks for shipping.
4. Motivation water bottle, £15.99, Nativ
A tough, motivating message AND a tally of how much water they’re drinking – a brilliant water bottle for your young athlete. It’s BPA-free (something I’m kinda fussy about – no nasty stuff leaching into the water from the plastic sides) and comes in a variety of colours, with different motivational messages. Some of the designs have sold out – this is a new company and is making a splash – so get your skates on.
5. Go south hoodie, £79, Crewroom
The Crewroom mid-layers are truly a thing of beauty, and there are plenty of different styles to choose from, for both men and women. Designed by rowers, for rowers, your junior won’t catch his or her hands in them, and they are lusciously soft and comfortable.
There, that was easy, wasn’t it? Just the wrapping to do now. Oh, and tomorrow’s gift guide, which is the one for women. Ho, ho, ho.