Great Britain’s World Champion LTA four and Paralympic Games hopefuls challenge four Olympic talent ID athletes to a Boat Race on the Tideway.
Four of Great Britain’s adaptive rowers have challenged four able-bodied athletes, newly recruited to the sport, to a race before the clash between Oxford and Cambridge on 7th April. The adaptive crew won the world championships in Bled in 2011 and are currently trialling to represent Great Britain in the London Games from 31st of August to the 2nd September.
The race will start at 12.40pm, and the two crews will race from The Boat Race stakeboats to the Town Buoy. The Adaptive Four, called Aggar, will race on the Surrey station; and the Start four, called Raynsford, will race on Middlesex. The boats have been named after Tom Aggar and Helene Raynsford, GB’s two Adaptive Gold Medallists from the Beijing Games.
The crews are as follows:
Adaptive four – Aggar – Surrey
Cox: Lily van den Broecke
Bow: Pamela Relph
Two: Naomi Riches
Three: David Smith
Stroke: James Roe
Their opposition are rowers on the British Rowing talent ID start programme and were recruited through UK Sport’s talent ID search, Tall and Talented. They are in the early stages of their rowing careers and have their eyes on selection for Rio or beyond.
Start four – Raynsford – Middlesex
Cox: Henry Fieldman
Bow: Olivia Marshall
Two: Will King
Three: Ben Jackson
Stroke: Catie Sharrod
Lily van den Broecke
At the 2011 World Rowing Championships in Bled, Lily won Gold in the LTA mixed coxed four. In Munich at the first World Cup of 2011 Lily raced in one of two GB LTAMix4+ boats to take gold with Germany in 2nd and the other GB boat taking bronze.
In 2010 she coxed the JW8+ to a gold medal at the World Rowing Junior Championships in Racice, Czech Republic.
Lily started rowing at the same time she started secondary school. Headington School Oxford had a growing boat club that warmly welcomed youngsters, which included her older sister who had joined two years before. After four years of sculling, Lily tried out as a cox and found it suited her.
In 2008 Lily coxed the JW8+ to 5th place at the Coupe de la Jeunesse in Cork. In 2009 she was cox of the U21 Women’s 8+ that took 4th place at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival, she won gold as cox of the JW8+ at the Coupe de la Jeunesse in Vichy, France and she took gold in the School’s Head, National Schools and Henley Women’s with Headington School to earn the crown of the ‘Triple’.
Lily recently completed a two-month Human Rights internship in Cape Town, South Africa which was a valuable life experience. This has since kick-started a thirst for travelling and seeing the world in those rare months away from rowing. She loves listening to and making music – she plays the piano and recorder to a high level – and dancing.
At the 2011 World Rowing Championships in Bled, Pamela won Gold in the LTA mixed coxed four with crewmates Naomi Riches, David Smith, James Roe and (cox), Lily van den Broecke.
In Munich at the first World Cup of 2011 Pamela raced in one of two GB LTAMix4+ boats to take gold with Germany in 2nd and the other GB boat taking bronze.
Until recently Pamela was on an army scholarship which saw her attend the Defence Sixth Form College Welbeck with a view to joining the Royal Engineers as an engineering officer. When this career path was cut short due to her disability, Pamela saw an opportunity in adaptive rowing which has quickly become her main focus.
She was first introduced to the world of rowing in August 2010 by her older sister Monica who has rowed internationally for GB, and she has progressed well, taking 2nd place at the British Indoor Rowing Championships in November 2010 and finishing 4th at the European Indoor Rowing Championships in January 2011.
Pamela enjoys participating in many other sports including basketball and rugby, and loves travelling – especially when it gives her the opportunity to surf or ski. Whilst at Birmingham University she captained the University’s award-winning cheerleading squad the Birmingham Pussycats.
Outside sport, she enjoys going to the cinema, reading, spending time with friends and eating out. She hopes to work with animals in the future.
At the 2011 World Rowing Championships in Bled, Naomi won Gold in the LTA mixed coxed four. The longest standing member of the British team, Naomi has been World Champion five times.
In Munich at the first World Cup of 2011 Naomi raced in one of two GB LTAMix4+ boats to take gold with Germany in 2nd and the other GB boat taking bronze.
Previously a keen swimmer, Naomi was a National Disabled Swimming Champion at the age of 12. She also competed for her local disabled swimming team at the London Youth Games at Crystal Palace for four successive years, winning silver and gold medals. She is registered blind.
Naomi was introduced to rowing whilst she was at the Royal National Institute for the Blind College in Worcester. She did not take it up seriously however until she attended an ARA Adaptive Rowing Awareness Day at the London Regatta Centre in April 2004. Just four months later Naomi was a World Champion in the LTAMix4+, taking gold at the 2004 World Championships.
She raced in the same boat class at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games and won a bronze medal.
Naomi won gold in the adaptive mixed coxed four at the 2009 World Championships in Poznan; this success achieved by a crew with two rowers and the cox completely new to World Level rowing that year. The crew had also taken gold at the Varese International and Munich World Cup Regattas.
Outside her rowing, Naomi has completed her studies for a BA in Metalwork and Jewellery Design.
At the 2011 World Rowing Championships in Bled, Dave won Gold in the LTA mixed coxed four.
In Munich at the first World Cup of 2011 Dave raced in one of two GB LTAMix4+ boats to take gold with Germany in 2nd and the other GB boat taking bronze.
Dave won gold in the adaptive mixed coxed four at the 2009 World Championships in Poznan; this success achieved by a crew with two rowers and the cox completely new to World Level rowing this year, David being one of those new members of the Adaptive Squad in 2009.
His first GB vest was at the 2009 Varese International Regatta in the LTA mixed coxed four where he won gold on both days. He raced in the same boat class for the Munich World Cup winning gold.
His rowing career was disrupted in 2010 when he was diagnosed with a tumour in his spinal column and had to have surgery to have it removed. After months of intensive rehabilitation he returned to the sport to become world champion again in 2011.
Dave is a keen sportsman as he has previously competed for Great Britain in Karate (1993-1999) and Bobsleigh (2002-2008).
At the 2011 World Rowing Championships in Bled, James won Gold in the LTA mixed coxed four.
In Munich at the first World Cup of 2011 James raced in one of two GB LTAMix4+ boats to take gold with Germany in 2nd and the other GB boat taking bronze.
At the 2010 World Rowing Championships on Lake Karapiro in New Zealand, James – along with his crewmates Ryan Chamberlain, Kate Jones, Kelsie Gibson and cox Rhiannon Jones, won a silver medal in the adaptive mixed coxed four. They narrowly led the race until the dying 100m when the Canadians surged to take the lead, crossing the line four-tenths of a second ahead of the British boat to win gold. Germany took the bronze. James was the only rower from the 2009 boat to race in New Zealand and has been a key member of the crew in every race since 2009.
Earlier in the season James won gold in the LTAMix4+ at the first World Cup in Bled. This followed the two gold medals he won in the same boat at the Varese International Adaptive Regatta in May.
James won gold in the adaptive mixed coxed four at the 2009 World Championships in Poznan; this success achieved by a crew with two rowers and the cox completely new to World Level rowing this year.
He was a new member of the adaptive squad in 2009 and his first GB vest was at the Varese International Regatta in the LTA mixed coxed four where he won gold on both days. He raced in the same boat class for the Munich World Cup winning gold.
James graduated from Oxford Brookes University in 2009 with a BA degree in Fine Art. When he has time he does some coaching at Stratford-upon-Avon Boat Club.
Club: Bath University Boat Club
Started rowing: August 2010
Ambitions: to represent team GB at U23 worlds and then Rio in 2016 and future Olympics
Previous sporting background: Played national league and national colleges basketball
Most looking forward to watching in London: the lightweight four and men’s singles
Most admire: Marcus Bateman and other Bath start athletes because it shows what can be done
Currently studying: Sport Science at the University of Bath.I
nteresting fact: half his family is American he’s hoping to spend a summer there at some point in the future traveling between family and over to the west coast
William Andrew King
Club: Rob Roy BC/Isle of Ely RC
Started rowing: September 2010
Ambitions: To get into the GB U23 squad next season and become an Olympic medallist in Rio 2016.
Previous sporting background: Played rugby for the South of England at U16 level and also The London and south east division as an U20.
Most excited about watching in London: Rowing, cycling and track and field (in fact, everything)
Most admires: Alan Campbell, “because he never gives up and you can tell he’s given it his all every time he comes off the water”.
Currently studying: Sports Science at Anglia Ruskin University.
Enjoys watching rugby, and has a twin.
Home town: Sheffield
Current club: Molesey Boat Club
Started rowing: 2007
Was told about the ‘Start’ program through a coach (Eddie Bryant) when I rowed for Doncaster Rowing Club
Previous sports: Junior Football
Rowing Achievements to date: Bronze Medal in an 8 at National Championships
Most excited about watching in London: Rowing, track and field and boxing
Most admires: Moe Sbihi, also from Molesey, because he inspired her at a talk at the club
She’s an officer in the Metropolitan Police
Home town: Derby
Current club: Molesey Boat Club
When started rowing: August 2010
Previous sports: netball, national level waterpolo, club level competitive swimming
Rowing Achievements to date: Finalist in National Championships U23 Single Scull 2011, Bronze 8+ National Championships 2011.
Most excited about watching in London: Beach volleyball
Most admires: Helen Glover, because she’s been through the Start Programme
Interesting fact: Learning to play the ukulele
Henry raced as cox of the men’s eight at the 2010 World Rowing U23 Championships in Brest, Belarus winning a bronze medal. Six weeks later he was the cox of the GB 2 ‘super eight’ that won the 2010 E.ON Hanse Cup in Rendesburg by 18 seconds – the first-ever British winners of the Cup in Germany.
Henry was born and brought up close to the Tideway. He started rowing at the age of 14 at Latymer Upper School Boat Club, initially under the leadership of Don McLachlan and Bobby Thatcher. Afterwards he spent 2 years at the University of London Boat Club coxing both the women’s and men’s squads.
As a junior Henry represented Great Britain at the Coupe de la Jeunesse in 2006 where he won gold as cox of the men’s coxed four.
In 2008 he finished 5th in the eight at the Brandenburg World U23 Championships, and in 2009 he coxed the same boat to take bronze at the World U23 Championships in Racice, Czech Republic.
When he isn’t coxing, Henry is studying Zoology at Imperial College London and has a particular interest in evolution and philosophy.
He enjoys watching films, spending time with friends and family, live music and eating.
Adaptive rowing made its first fully fledged international appearance at the World Championships in Seville in 2002 after a few ‘demonstration’ events had been trialled in previous years. It was decided in 2005 that rowing would be awarded Paralympic status and make its first appearance in Beijing in four boat classes, which are as follows…
Men’s AS (Arms and Shoulders) single sculls (fixed seat with a high back and strapping)
Women’s AS single sculls (as above)
Mixed TA (Trunk and Arms) double (fixed seat but with no back, strapping across the legs)
Mixed LTA (Legs, Trunk and Arms) coxed four (this boat contains athletes with minor physical impairments and visually impaired athletes, but only up to two VIs are allowed in each boat). It is not compulsory to have VI athletes as there is no limit on physically impaired athletes. The GB athletes racing today classify as follows:
Pam Relph: has juvenile arthritis in several joints with the most severe being her right hand, where the wrist and fingers are fused, leading to significant structural imbalances throughout her body.
Naomi Riches: visually impaired
David Smith: Was born with club feet, leading to the fusion of his right ankle and significant muscular imbalances throughout his body. In addition, he has neural damage in his left arm from his operation in 2010.
James Roe: visually impaired
Great Britain topped the medals table in Beijing with two golds, both in the singles sculls events, and a bronze medal in the coxed four. Athletes currently trialling for the 2012 team include the four athletes racing today, who are world champions, and Tom Aggar, Paralympic champion in Beijing and currently unbeaten internationally since the start of his career in 2007.
The Paralympic rowing will be from Friday 31st August until Sunday 2nd September at Dorney Lake near Windsor.
Start and Tall and Talented
The Start programme is a British Rowing initiative that searches for and develops rowers in the hope that they will become successful Olympians. Athletes in clubs, schools and universities are identified are tested for height, weight, armspan, strength and endurance and then once selected are developed by Start coaches in centres around the country.
Tall and Talented is a recent UK Sport Talent ID initiative involving a nationwide search for athletes that may be suited to either rowing or basketball. Male Olympic rowers are usually between 6ft 4inches and 6ft 8 inches tall and female Olympians are around 6ft tall.
Previous Start successes include: Olympic bronze medallist and world champion Anna Watkins and World Champion Alex Gregory.
Previous nationwide search Sporting Giants found World Silver Medallist Helen Glover and World Bronze Medallist Victoria Thornley.
If you or anyone you know are interested in an Olympic or Paralympic rowing career and you think you fit any of the criteria above then please contact the British Rowing offices.