British Rowing the Amateur Rowing Association, is the governing body for the sport of rowing. It is responsible for the training and selection of individual rowers and crews representing Great Britain and for participation in and the development of rowing and indoor rowing in England. Scottish Rowing and Welsh Rowing oversee governance in their respective countries, organise their own teams for the Home International Regatta and input to the GB team organisation. British Rowing is a member of the British Olympic Association and the International Rowing Federation known as FISA; the ARA had it roots in the desire to form crews drawn from the leading English clubs'for the purpose of defeating the foreign or colonial invader' although in fact this aim was not fulfilled until much later. A series of meetings were held in Putney from 1877 culminating in the formation of the Metropolitan Rowing Association in 1879 by Cambridge University Boat Club, Dublin University Boat Club, Kingston Rowing Club, Leander Club, London Rowing Club, Oxford University Boat Club, Royal Chester Rowing Club, Thames Rowing Club and Twickenham Rowing Club.
Molesey Boat Club joined soon afterward. In 1882 the Metropolitan Rowing Association changed its name to the Amateur Rowing Association, having gained additional member clubs from outside London, began its evolution into the governing body of rowing. In 1886 the ARA issued General Rules for Regattas; the ARA adopted Henley Royal Regatta's restrictive definition of "amateur" which not only excluded those who made their living as profession oarsmen but anyone "who is or has been by trade or employment for wages a mechanic, artisan or labourer." Moreover, the new rules stated that only clubs affiliated to the ARA could compete in regattas held under ARA rules, that ARA affiliated clubs could not compete under any other rules, nor against crews not affiliated to the ARA. This ruling was socially divisive excluding any club with a mixed membership, it resulted in the formation of a breakaway organisation in 1890, the National Amateur Rowing Association, whose clubs could draw their membership from all social classes and occupations.
The schism in English rowing was to remain for over half a century as a regular cause of controversy and bad feeling. Change only came after the Australian national eight, preparing for the Berlin Olympics in 1936, was excluded from the Grand Challenge Cup at Henley because the crew, who were all policemen, were deemed to be ‘manual workers’; the embarrassment caused persuaded the ARA and the Stewards of Henley Royal Regatta of the need for change, on 9 June 1937, the offending references to manual labourers, mechanics and menial duties were deleted from the ARA rules, with Henley following suit the following day. The ARA and NARA amalgamated in 1956. David Lunn-Rockliffe, Executive Secretary of the ARA from 1976–1987 and co-founder of the River and Rowing Museum at Henley-on-Thames, oversaw the transition to a more professional organization. In 1998, the ARA followed FISA in removing all references to amateurism from its rules. Professional rowers are now permitted; the name Amateur Rowing Association remained because of its heritage and because no agreement could be reached on alternatives.
In 2009, a decision was taken to rename the organisation as'British Rowing'. Five English rowing clubs retained the right to appoint representatives directly to the Council of British Rowing, they were: London Rowing Club, Leander Club, Thames Rowing Club, Oxford University Boat Club and Cambridge University Boat Club. This right was, removed from the five clubs in September 2012. Sir Steve Redgrave, multiple Olympic Gold medallist in rowing, was the Honorary President of British Rowing from 2001 until 2013. Dame Di Ellis, former chairman of British Rowing, succeeded him as Honorary President. British Rowing operates a points system to allow rowers to compete with those of a similar standard. Competitors gain points in both sculling by winning a qualifying race; when first joining British Rowing, all members begin at zero points. Points are increased by members winning qualifying regattas; the current status levels are Elite, Intermediate 1, Intermediate 2, Intermediate 3, Novice. Each crew members' points are added up and this determines the status of the crew.
The crew is only allowed to race at higher. The table below indicates the maximum number of points that may be held by a crew at each status level. Anyone who has competed for the Senior, Lightweight or U23 international squads will be given 12 points; those representing GB at the World Rowing Junior Championships have their points topped up to 6. There are a number of junior categories; the number represents the age competitors must be younger than, before the first day of September preceding the event. Sweep oar rowing is only allowed at J15 and older for both boys and for girls, due to possible issues of asymmetric muscle development. British Rowing has an awards scheme for coaching that up until 2005 consisted of the Instructor's Award, Bronze Award, Silver Award and the Gold Award; these were overhauled in 2006 as qualifications were brought in line with the Sportscoach UK system that many other sports in the UK have adopted. British Rowing now offers the Level 2, Level 3 and Level 4 coaching awards and other related workshops and training cou
Henley Boat Races
The Henley Boat Races are a series of rowing races between men's and women's lightweight crews representing the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge. The event was founded in 1975 and takes place annually on the River Thames at Henley the week before the University Boat Races; the Henley Boat races take place over a 2000 m course, downstream — the opposite direction to the Henley Royal Regatta course — and finish halfway down Temple Island. Competitors at the events have gone on to compete at olympic levels. In addition to the lightweight races, the leading men's and women's college crews from each university race on a 1750 m course. From 1977 to 2014, Henley Boat Races hosted its reserve race; the Henley Boat Races began as men's lightweight races in 1975 and enlarged to incorporate the Women's Boat Race and their reserve crew race from 1977 and the women's lightweight race from 1984. In 2000, the lightweight men added a race for their reserve crews and Granta; this fell into abeyance after 2009 as a result of Cambridge not fielding a Granta crew from 2007, giving Oxford a row over for three years.
Since 2016, Nephthys and Granta have raced again, sometimes on a different date or location to the main Henley Boat Races. A women’s lightweight reserve race was held in 2012 prior to race day and has taken place since 2016 on race day. In 2015, the Women's Boat Race moved further down the River Thames to the Tideway to take place as a combined men's and women's Boat Race. An alternative venue is used if the water conditions are rough at Henley; the 2013 event was moved to Dorney Lake as a result of flooding on the Thames. The event was moved to Dorney Lake again in 2018 due to "adverse river conditions on the Thames at Henley" and the collegiate races were cancelled; the races receive annual press coverage, competitors from both Universities have gone on to compete at international and Olympic levels. Henley Boat Races takes place annually in late March or early April the week before the University Boat Races, which are held on the Championship Course on the Thames in London. Crews from the University of Oxford and University of Cambridge race side by side over a 2000 m course on the River Thames at Henley-on-Thames, racing downstream — the opposite direction to the Henley Royal Regatta course — and finishing halfway down Temple Island.
The collegiate races take place over a shorter 1750 m course. The races include: Lightweight Men's boat Race Lightweight Women's Boat Race Lightweight Men's Reserves Lightweight Women's Reserves Men's Intercollegiate Boat Race Women's Intercollegiate Boat Race An Alumnae race has also been held in recent years; the lightweight races constitute the varsity race. The first crew receive university half-blues, is therefore more known as the Lightweight Blue Boat; the reserve crew receive university colours. The intercollegiate races are between the fastest crews from the Oxford Torpids and the Cambridge Lent Bumps; the following races have been held at Henley: Women's Boat Race Women's Reserves The history of the results of the races are as follows. Cambridge: 28 wins Oxford: 16 wins Cambridge: 19 wins Oxford: 17 wins Oxford: 9 wins Cambridge: 4 wins Cambridge: 4 Oxford: 1Raced on the Friday before the main event in a 4+ in 2012, incorporated into main race day in 2016. Cambridge: 7 Oxford: 2 Cambridge: 5 Oxford: 4 The Women's Boat Race and its Reserve race became part of the Henley Boat Races in 1977.
With the Women's Boat Race moving to the Tideway Championship Course and forming part of The Boat Races 2015, the race as well as the race of the reserve boats Osiris and Blondie ceased to be part of the Henley Boat Races. For the full results tables, see the main article on the Women's Boat Race. Cambridge: 21 wins at Henley Oxford: 17 wins at HenleyNotes – The course was shortened in 2007 due to rough water during the Henley Boat Races, it was reduced from 2000 m to less than 1500 m with the start between the Upper Thames Rowing Club and Old Blades. Cambridge: 19 wins at Henley Oxford: 19 wins at Henley Henley-on-Todd Regatta Official website
Fitzwilliam College Boat Club
Fitzwilliam College Boat Club is the rowing club for members of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. Prior to the 1960s, Fitzwilliam House occupied a position near the bottom of the 2nd division or top half of the 3rd division of the Lent and May Bumps finding itself in the 4th division of the Lent Bumps briefly. Between 1959 and 1969, the 1st men's VIII were not bumped in the Lent Bumps, rising to Head of the River in 1969. Between 1960 and 1971, the 1st men's VIII were bumped only once in the May Bumps, taking the headship for three years between 1969 and 1971. From until the mid-1980s, the 1st VIII held a position in the top-half of the 1st division and won both the Fairbairn Cup and the Emmanuel Sprints Regatta in the Michaelmas Term of 1982; the 1982 crew completed the traditional Fairbairn course in 14.34, becoming the second crew to post a winning time of under 15 minutes over the original race distance. The women's 1st VIII held a position in the top-half of the 1st division in the 1980s, but fell from 6th to 39th position when the May Bumps were re-organised in 1990, with the introduction of coxed-eights.
Between the mid-1980s and mid-1990s, the women fell 20 places in the Lent Bumps. The 1st Men won blades in Lent Bumps 2006. In the May Bumps 2011, the Women's 1st VIII won blades. In 2006 1st Novice Men Won the Fairbairns Cup Novice Division; the club repeated this victory in the Novice Division race in 2007 and again in 2009. In 2014, the 2nd Novice Men won the Clare Novices Plate. In the Lent Bumps 2015, the 1st Men won superblades, bumping five crews in four days and finishing in the top division; the Boat Club is supported by an active dedicated society, The Billygoats, whose membership is open to all who have rowed for Fitzwilliam College Boat Club. The Billygoats affectionately referred to as the'Billyguts' after the typical shape of middle-aged former oarsmen, organises social events at the May Bumps and Henley Royal Regatta as well as raising funds to support the Boat Club. CUCBC/ Cambridge University Combined Boat Club Fitzwilliam College Boat Club
Christ's College, Cambridge
Christ's College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. The college includes the Master, the Fellows of the College, about 450 undergraduate and 170 graduate students; the college was founded by William Byngham in 1437 as God's House. In 1505, the college was granted a new royal charter, was given a substantial endowment by Lady Margaret Beaufort, changed its name to Christ's College, becoming the twelfth of the Cambridge colleges to be founded in its current form; the college is renowned for educating some of Cambridge's most famous alumni, including Charles Darwin and John Milton. Within Cambridge, Christ's has a reputation for highest academic standards and strong tutorial support, it has averaged 1st place on the Tompkins Table from 1980–2006 and third place from 2006 to 2013, returning to first place in 2018. Christ's College was founded by William Byngham in 1437 as God's House, on land, soon after sold to enable the enlargement of King's College. Byngham obtained the first royal licence for God's House in July 1439.
The college was founded to provide for the lack of grammar-school masters in England at the time, the college has been described as "the first secondary-school training college on record". The original site of Godshouse was surrendered in 1443 to King's College, about three quarters of King's College Chapel stands on the original site of God's House. After the original royal licence of 1439, three more licences, two in 1442 and one in 1446, were granted before in 1448 God's House received the charter upon which the college was in fact founded. In this charter, King Henry VI was named as the founder, in the same year the college moved to its current site. In 1505, the college was endowed by Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of King Henry VII, was given the name Christ's College at the suggestion of her confessor, the Bishop John Fisher; the expansion in the population of the college in the seventeenth century led to the building, in the 1640s, of the Fellows' Building in what is now Second Court.
The original 15th/16th century college buildings now form part of First Court, including the chapel, Master's Lodge and Great Gate tower. The gate itself is disproportionate: the bottom has been cut off to accommodate a rise in street level, which can be seen in the steps leading down to the foot of L staircase in the gate tower; the college hall built at the start of the 16th century, was restored in 1875–1879 by George Gilbert Scott the younger. The lawn of First Court is famously round, a wisteria sprawls up the front of the Master's lodge. Second Court is built up on only three sides, one of, formed by the 1640s Fellows' Building; the fourth side backs onto the Master's garden. The Stevenson Building in Third Court was designed by J. J. Stevenson in the 1880s and was extended in 1905 as part of the College's Quadcentenary. In 1947 Professor Albert Richardson designed a new cupola for the Stevenson building, a second building, the neo-Georgian Chancellor's Building, completed in 1950. Third Court's Memorial Building, a twin of the Chancellor's building by Richardson, was completed in 1953 at a cost of £80,000.
Third Court is noted for its display of irises in May and June, a gift to the college in 1946. The controversial tiered concrete New Court was designed in the Modernist style by Sir Denys Lasdun in 1966–70, was described as "superb" in Lasdun's obituary in the Guardian. Design critic Hugh Pearman comments "Lasdun had big trouble relating to the street at the overhanging rear", it appears distinctively in aerial photographs, forming part of the northern boundary of the college. An assortment of neighbouring buildings have been absorbed into the college, of which the most notable is The Todd Building Cambridge's County Hall. Through an arch in the Fellows' Building is the Fellows' Garden, it includes two mulberry trees, of which the older was planted in 1608, the same year as Milton's birth. Both trees have toppled sideways, the younger tree in the Great Storm of 1987, are now earthed up round the trunks, but continue to fruit every year. Christ's College is one of only 5 colleges in Cambridge to have its own swimming pool.
It is fed by water from Hobson's Conduit. Refurbished, it is now known as the'Malcolm Bowie Bathing Pool', is thought to be the oldest outdoor swimming pool in the UK, dating from the mid 17th century; the other four swimming pools within colleges belong to Girton College, Corpus Christi College, Emmanuel College and Clare Hall. With a deserved reputation within Cambridge for the highest academic standards, Christ's came first in the Tompkins Table's twentieth anniversary aggregate table, between 2001 and 2007, it had a mean position of third. Academic excellence continues at Christ's, with 91% of students in 2013 gaining a first class degree or an upper second; this is higher than the University average of 70%. Christ's is noted for educating two of Cambridge's most famous alumni, the poet John Milton and the naturalist Charles Darwin, during the celebrations for the 800th anniversary of the University, were both placed at the foreground as two of the four most iconic individuals in the University's history.
The college has educated Nobel Laureates including Martin Evans, James Meade, Alexander R. Todd, Baron Todd and Duncan Haldane, it is the University's 6th largest producer of Nobel Prize winners. Some of the college's other famous alumni include comedians Sacha Baron Cohen, John Oliver and Andy Parsons, Lord Louis Mountbatten of Burma, South African Prime Minister Jan Smuts, historian Simon S
The River Cam is the main river flowing through Cambridge in eastern England. After leaving Cambridge, it flows north and east into the Great Ouse to the south of Ely at Pope's Corner; the Great Ouse connects the Cam to the North Sea at King's Lynn: The total distance from Cambridge to the sea is about 40 mi and is navigable for punts, small boats, rowing craft. The Great Ouse connects to England's canal system via the Middle Level Navigations and the River Nene. In total, the Cam runs for around 69 kilometres from its furthest source to its confluence with the Great Ouse; the original name of the river was the Granta and its present name derives from the city of Cambridge rather than the other way around: After the city's present name developed in Middle English, the river's name was backformed to match. This was not universally applied and the upper stretch of the river continues to be informally known as the Granta, it has been said that the river is the "Granta" above the Silver Street Bridgemap 11 and the "Cam" below it.
The Rhee tributary is formally known as the Cam, the Granta has a tributary on its upper stretch known as the Granta. The Cam has no connection with the much smaller River Cam in Gloucestershire. An organisation called the Conservators of the River Cam was formed in 1702, charged with keeping the river navigable; the Conservators are responsible for the two locks in and north east of Cambridge: Jesus Lockmap 7 and Baits Bite Lock.map 3 The stretch north of Jesus Lock is sometimes called the lower river. The stretch between Jesus Lock and Baits Bite Lock is much used for rowing. There are many residential boats on this stretch, their occupants forming a community who call themselves the Camboaters. Navigation on the lowest section of the Cam and including Bottisham Lock,map 2 is the responsibility of the Environment Agency; the stretch above Jesus Lock is sometimes known as the middle river. Between Jesus Lock and the Mill Pond,map 12 it passes through the Backsmap 10 below the walls of many of the colleges.
This is the section of river most popular with tourists, with its picture-postcard views of elegant bridges, green lawns and graceful willows. This stretch has the unusual feature of the remains of a submerged towpath: the riverside colleges did not permit barge horses on the Backs, so the beasts waded up the Cam to the mill pulling their loads behind them. Access for mechanically powered boats is prohibited above'La Mimosa' Pub between 1 April and 30 September, when the middle and upper river are open only to manually propelled craft; the most common of these are the flat-bottomed punts. Between 1 October and 31 March powered boats are allowed as far as Mill Pool, but few people take advantage of this, as there are few public mooring places along the Backs, the river is too narrow and the bridges too low to afford easy passing or turning for many boats. Punts and canoes can be manhandled around the weir above the Mill Pool by means of the rollers, a slipway from lower to upper level. From the Mill Pool and its weir, the river can be followed upstream through Grantchester meadows to the village of Grantchestermap 14 and Byron's Pool,map 15 where it is fed by many streams.
The two principal tributaries of the Cam are the Granta and the Rhee, though both are known as the Cam. The Rhee begins just at Ashwell in Hertfordshire. Running north out of Ashwell, it forms the county boundary between Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire for around two kilometres the boundary between Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire for a further kilometre. At this point its course turns east and from here until it merges with the Granta it forms the parish boundary between a succession of villages, though until it reaches Barrington it remains at a distance of around a kilometre from any settlement of any size. Just after flowing under the Roman Ermine Street, it crosses the avenue of Wimpole Hall and a few kilometres it receives the waters of the minor River Mel that runs through Meldreth, it runs along the southern edge of the village of Barrington, where it still powers a water mill known as Bulbeck Mill. At Harston it passes Harston Mill, the site of a water mill from at least the 11th century until the need for mill died out in the mid-20th century, the parish church of All Saints.
It touches the eastern edge of the village of Haslingfield before joining the Granta at Hauxton Junction. From source to its confluence with the Granta it is 33.2 kilometres in length. The longer tributary, the Granta, starts in the parish of Debden to the east the village of Widdington in Essex. After running south west to descend from the hills of Uttlesford, it turns north just west of the village of Henham. From there until Great Shelford it follows the course of the West Anglia Main Line railway, its northward journey passes first through Newport, where it is joined by the streams known as Wicken Water and Debden Water. A couple of miles it forms a picturesque addition to views of the stately home as it flows past the front of Audley End House, is joined by the stream known as Fulfen Slade, it skirts the edges of a number of villages as it moves into Cambridgeshire, successively Littlebury, Little Chesterford, Great Chesterford, Hinxton and Whittlesford, powering a number of water mills along the way.
Forming the boundary between Great Shelford and Little Shelford, it turns west to flow past Hauxton to merge with the Rhee a mile south of Grantchester at Hauxton Junction. From source to its confluen
Corpus Christi College Boat Club (Cambridge)
Corpus Christi College Boat Club is the rowing club for members of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. Corpus blade colours are maroon with a vertical white stripe and rowers wear kit of the same colour; the boat club crest features the same mythical pelican as that of the College pictured in front of a pair of crossed blades. Corpus is one of the smallest colleges in the University of Cambridge fielding 2-3 men's crews and 1-2 women's crews in the Lent and May Bumps races each year, it shares a boat house with the boat clubs of Sidney Sussex and Wolfson colleges. Corpus Christi College Boat Club was founded in 1828; the club benefited when the Lent and May Bumps became separate events in 1887. The 1st VIII managed to take the headship that year, they did again in 1891, but fell away into the 2nd division thereafter, although rising as high as 6th in 1953. Due to how the May Bumps start order was derived in 1887, Corpus started low down and has since spent most of its time in or around the 2nd division.
To date, 1887 and 1891 are the only headships. A women's crew first appeared in 1984 and has spent most of their early years in the 2nd division of both the Lents and Mays making the 1st division in the 1987 Lents. In the bumps, the small size of Corpus has meant that a periodic shortage of well-trained crews has meant Corpus is prone to yo-yo; this has meant Corpus has traditionally found it difficult to get a sufficient run of good crews to get into the 1st Division. The men were last in the Mays 1st Division in 1994, however a run of bad form in the late 1990s and 2000s saw them slip down to the top of the 3rd Division by 2009. After a few years around the bottom of the 2nd Division, they have been progressing upwards since 2014, in 2017 finished 9th in the 2nd Division. In the Lent Bumps the men have been around the middle to bottom of the 2nd Division since the early 1990s, although like in the Mays, have been moving upward in recent years, they finished the 2017 Lent Bumps 7th in the 2nd Division.
The women have fluctuated between the middle of the 2nd Division and the 3rd Division in recent years in the May Bumps. In 2016 they achieved a club record of +6. In the Lent Bumps the small size of Corpus has meant the women have sometimes been unable to field a crew in recent years. In 2016 they finished 15th in the 2nd Division. In 2016 Corpus won the Pegasus Cup for the most successful college boat club in the May races
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K