I was introduced to rowing through my cousin who had taken it up and was enjoying it so much that I decided to give it a go as well. It takes a while to get the hang of rowing a boat but, once you’ve learnt the basics you can then start to work on improving your technique.
After I reached a certain standard with my rowing I was put forward for the boat races at Eton Dorney and Peterborough. Eton Dorney is quite something as Dorney Lake is a world class sporting facility; it was the host venue for rowing and flat-water canoeing in the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Initially we did seat racing for the selection process which involves swapping people in and out of the boat in different combinations to see which combination is the fastest. Although it is nerve wracking I was more excited than nervous about the races though because, they are always good fun. It was about a month after the seat racing that the race would take place, so during that month every time we went on the water, we rowed in that combination.
In order to be at peak fitness levels we stuck to our regular training which is a mixture of indoor and outdoor training about four or five times a week. The training is not always easy; sometimes if you have bad weather it can be less enjoyable, but honestly, it is really fun because you are with your friends and doing a sport you love.
I always get a bit nervous just before the race when we are rowing up to the start, but the adrenaline makes you go faster and you just have to keep calm and tell yourself you just have to do your best.
To keep motivated when I am tired and exhausted I have to remind myself that in order to come in a good position at a national event, you have to put the training in. The best memory I have of rowing is racing at the Cambridge City Sprints this year was a lot of fun, as it was a less competitive, more relaxed event that a lot of rowers took part in. Our quad won which was a great achievement and the atmosphere was great as everyone was cheering each other on!
Cambridge is a fantastic city to live in as a rower; my favourite part of The Cam to row along is a section known as ‘the reach’ which is about 750m of wide water, unlike the rest of the Cam which is quite narrow and bendy.
My passion for rowing has not spread to the rest of my family yet but, I always tell my dad to get back into it and for my sister to take it up.
If someone has never done rowing before and wants to give it a go I would say, don’t be scared of falling in and definitely try it. There are often taster days or weeks at different clubs for people interested in starting – this is how I started rowing.
Rowing is great and its a definitely a brilliant way to fill your free time; this summer I have been racing at the National Junior Championships in a double.
I love living in Cambridge because there are some really pretty areas and there are lots of activities going on. Something I particularly like to do in Cambridge is to go to Parker’s Piece and sit with friends as it is a really nice spot. There are also some fairs that come to Cambridge and those are great too!