Frazier Christie and Sara Parfett are set to become the latest graduates of the successful GB Rowing Team Start Programme at the University of Bath to represent their country at a senior championships.
Both have been selected in a 50-strong GB squad for the 2017 European Rowing Championships, taking place in Racice, Czech Republic, from May 26-28.
They follow a trail blazed by some of the most famous names in the sport – double Olympic Champions Helen Glover and Heather Stanning started their glittering careers on the Bath Start programme, as did Rio 2016 silver-medallist Vicky Thornley who will contest the women’s single scull in Racice.
Both Christie (pictured top) and Parfett combined their rowing with studies at the University and were coached by Dan Harris, who said: “It was an awesome feeling to see their names on the European squad list. Consistent hard work gains success.”
Christie graduated in Economics in 2015, the same year that he made his only previous GB appearance in the men’s quadruple scull at the U23 World Championships. Supported by a Santander Sports Scholarship and Talented Athlete Sports Scholarship (TASS) during his time in Bath, he will race in the men’s double at the Europeans with Tom Barras.
Racice will be a first-ever appearance in GB colours for Parfett, who made the switch from swimming to rowing while studying Biology at the University. She has impressed in trials this year, finishing fifth in the A final of the women’s pair with Annie Withers at last month’s main selection event.
Parfett will race in a new-look women’s eight at the European Championships also featuring Caragh McMurtry, Rebecca Chin, Withers, Rebecca Shorten, Jo Wratten, Fiona Gammond, Katherine Douglas and cox Erin Wysocki-Jones.
Thornley, now the most experienced member of the women’s open-weight squad, goes to Racice on the back of winning a silver medal in the single at World Cup 1 in Belgrade last weekend.