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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 January 2007, 16:20 GMT
Rugby pitches become rowing lake
Students rowing on the sports fields at Shiplake College
The sports fields are said to be a safer rowing option than the river
A school in Oxfordshire is using its sports fields for rowing after the River Thames burst its banks.

Students at Shiplake College, in Henley-on-Thames, have spent the past five days rowing on a 2ft deep "lake", which covers five rugby pitches.

Teacher Michael Edwards said it was not the first time the college sports fields had been used for rowing.

He told BBC News: "It happens every few years. It's a good way of getting some practice in."

'Too fast'

"You actually get waves on the water, especially if the winds get up," he added.

"The river is just too fast and too dangerous for them to practice on at the moment."

He said the "lake" provided a good option for the younger students, but it was "not challenging enough for the older ones training for the Henley Regatta".

About 320 boys and girls, aged between 13 and 18, attend Shiplake College.

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