Could you be the next big thing in rowing?

13 October 2014

A talent identification session being held at the University of Bath later this month could help find the next generation of Olympic rowers.

The session, which takes place on Thursday 23 October, is part of the GB Rowing Team’s Start talent identification programme.

It aims to identify athletes who could follow in the footsteps of the likes of Olympic gold medallists Heather Stanning and Helen Glover, who learned to row on the Start programme at the University of Bath and Minerva Bath Rowing Club, and went on to strike Olympic gold at London 2012.

To take part in the trials athletes need to be aged between 14 and 22, men must be at least 1.88m tall with women 1.78m, but no previous experience of rowing is necessary.

Endurance and strength

They’ll face endurance and strength tests to see if they’ve got what it takes to progress.

But it won’t be easy – five of the 30 people attending last year’s talent identification session in Bath moved on to the next stage of testing and only three of them progressed to the Start programme.

They come from diverse sporting backgrounds – Nick Bell is a former footballer, Amy Smith a former swimmer and Liz Pressage a former equestrian rider.

Nick, who is studying Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Bath and receives a TASS scholarship, said: “I’d done a bit of rowing before, but I was a novice really and like a lot of people I’d tried lots of different sports.

“I’ve really enjoyed being on Start and I’ve got a lot out of it,” he added. “It’s been challenging, but it’s been a really good platform for me and I want to go as far as I can in rowing.”

Sam Courty, a Sport and Exercise Science student at the University, is another athlete on the Start programme who progressed from the trials. A former equestrian rider, she won a silver medal with the GB women’s eight at the World Under-23 Rowing Championships this summer.

Dan Harris, Talent Development Coach – Bath for the GB Rowing Team’s Start Programme, said: “People have to be motivated to really go for it and dedicated enough to do the training to progress to the next level.”

The testing session on 23 October runs from 4.30pm to 7pm at the University of Bath Sports Training Village. You can find out more about the testing process on the Team Bath website.

Anyone who would like to take part should contact Dan Harris by email.

For further information members of the media can contact the Team Bath press office at or on 01225 383518.

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