Rivalries have been put aside by the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race teams in an effort to aid the British Heart Foundation in saving lives.

The crews have united just before this year’s race to learn the lifesaving skill of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).

Both the men’s and women’s 2024 Oxford and Cambridge rowing crews took time away from their training schedules to undertake the charity's online RevivR training in preparation for the 78th Women’s Race and 169th Men’s Race which will be taking place on Saturday, March 30.

Oxford Mail: The crews used the British Heart Foundation's RevivR trainingThe crews used the British Heart Foundation's RevivR training (Image: British Heart Foundation)

There is an ongoing plea for the public to join the crews in learning CPR using the free, online tool RevivR, which requires only a mobile phone or tablet and a cushion.

The British Heart Foundation was announced as the official charity partner for The Gemini Boat Race 2024 earlier this month.

The partnership follows the sudden death of former chair of The Boat Race Company Limited, Tim Senior, who died from a cardiac arrest on February 11, 2023.

Oxford Mail: President of the Oxford University Boat Club, Louis Corrigan President of the Oxford University Boat Club, Louis Corrigan (Image: British Heart Foundation)

Sarah Senior, the wife of the late Tim Senior said: "Tim was given CPR as soon as possible and the paramedics were on the scene immediately.

"We are so grateful to everyone for their incredible efforts that day but sadly Tim died on the way to hospital and our lives changed forever."

She added: “Tim never thought heart disease would be something that impacted him as he was such a fit man.

"But I know he’d be really proud of us helping to raise awareness now through his story."

Chair of the board of Boat Race Company, Siobhan Cassidy, said: "Losing Tim so suddenly sent shockwaves throughout the rowing community.

"It’s heartwarming to see the two boat clubs put their intense rivalry aside in the lead up to the race and unite in Tim’s memory with a shared goal; helping the British Heart Foundation save lives."

The UK records more than 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests annually, but less than one in 10 people survive.

Oxford Mail: Matt EdgeMatt Edge (Image: British Heart Foundation)

Matt Edge from the 2024 Cambridge Men’s squad said: “A cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, at any time, so both Oxford and Cambridge Rowing squads we want to encourage as many people as possible to learn CPR.”

Oxford Mail: Annie SharpAnnie Sharp (Image: British Heart Foundation)

Annie Sharp from the 2024 Oxford Women’s squad said: "The BHF RevivR tool is super interactive, useful and fun way to help learn CPR and be aware of how to react to save a life.”

Dr Charmaine Griffiths, chief executive at the British Heart Foundation, expressed her gratitude to the rowing crews for encouraging the public to take part in the RevivR training.