Graduate Heather to make Olympic rowing debut

08 June 2012

University of Bath graduate Heather Stanning will make her Olympic debut as a member of the British rowing team at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The Sports Technology graduate will team-up with Helen Glover, who also used to train at the University of Bath, in the women’s pair for the 2012 Games.

Gold medalist Helen Glover and Heather Stanning. Winners of the Women's pair. May 2012 FISA World Cup I. Photo: Peter Spurrier/Intersport ImagesVictoria Thornley, another of the University’s sporting alumni, is named in the 10-strong squad for the women’s eight. A final eight will be selected closer to the Games.

All three rowers came through GB Rowing’s Team Start programme, which is sponsored by Siemens and backed by the Lottery and has been running at the University of Bath since 2003.

Heather graduated with a degree in Sports Technology in 2007. She and Helen won silver at the 2010 and 2011 World Championships and have won gold in both of the World Cups contested so far in 2012.

Helen and Victoria meanwhile, are the first athletes discovered through the Talent ID programme Sporting Giants to be selected to represent Team GB at an Olympic Games.

Victoria Thornley. Photo: Peter Spurrier/Intersport ImagesThe pair were first identified through Sporting Giants, which was launched in 2007, and their skills were honed through the GB Rowing Team and its coaches and support staff, including Paul Stanning who was  based at the University for several years.

Victoria said: “This Olympics was always the aim, but I knew it was going to be hard. You don’t let yourself think anything about the Olympics until you are actually selected.”

Great Britain is third most successful country in Olympic rowing history, having won 54 medals to date, 24 of them gold.

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The University of Bath is The Sunday Times University of the Year 2011/12.

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