"I have been coaching junior athletes at Exeter Rowing Club for the past two years and have enjoyed seeing the way our young members have grown in confidence and ability in a highly technical and physically demanding sport. And had fun at the same time!
I was 15 years old when I started rowing at a comprehensive school in Wallingford. Although we were coached by a teacher at the school, we were not allowed to train in school time and boated from the town's rowing club situated on the longest stretch of the Thames between locks - quite the opposite of the stretch of water we have to train on in Exeter.
In 1979 and 1980 I rowed mainly in pairs and a fours and won gold medals at the National Schools Regatta and National Championships in both years; and at some international regattas such as Mannheim and Ratzeburg. Selected to row for GB, I rowed at the World Junior Rowing Championships in Moscow in 1979 and Hazelwinkle in 1980. I also reached the final of the Britannia Cup at Henley Royal Regatta (HRR) in 1980. A highlight of my school rowing was when we won the Queen Mother Challenge Cup at the National Schools Regatta in a borrowed eight. This was the first and only time a state school has ever won that event.
After school, I rowed for Leander Club in an eight and coxless four, and in 1981 reached the final of the Wyfold Challenge Cup at HRR and represented GB at the U23 Match des Seniors in Essen. Since then I rowed intermittently, rowing for: Hong Kong at two Far East championships and the China National Championships where we won bronze in the eights event; Vesta Rowing Club; Furnival Rowing Club (coaching); and the Metropolitan and Devon and Cornwall Police rowing clubs."