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In high school rowing seemed daunting and inaccessible. Only ever picked as a goalie in netball for my height, I had decided that team sports, and sport in general, wasn’t for me by age 13 or 14. When the opportunity came around to try for the rowing squad, I went because my friends were going, and I had nothing better to do that lunchtime. From that day, I trained on and off the water almost every day until I left school and later relocated to Australia. I went off and tried some other things, including many ill-fated surfing attempts (why is it so hard to stand up??), climbing and hiking, but I missed having a structure to my training, and a community to support me.

 

I rediscovered rowing at Richmond RC via my uni three years ago, using it as relief from my hectic degree. At first I took it pretty easy, training a few times a week at most, not attending competitions. Over time I gained more strength and fitness which coincided with a new wave of students joining the club. Unfortunately, covid locked us all indoors, during which time I trained daily. Yes, I was definitely one of those people doing bicep curls with 2L bottles of milk – my family ended up drinking a lot of milk! When we emerged from our houses at the end of 2020, I was raring to go, jumping straight into a fast-paced preparation for the regatta season which our coaches guided us through, and ended with my first ever competition medal.

 
Before I started I thought that having an injury, being time-limited and not super competitive would mean I wouldn’t enjoy rowing at all, or that it wouldn’t for me. Coming back to it as an adult was admittedly challenging, but the feeling of being on the water, alone on a peaceful evening, or cutting through the river in a powerful crew boat, is 100% worth it. Be careful – once you start, it can be addictive!
Meet our Team: Lily Innes Irons

Meet our Team: Lily Innes Irons

My first introduction to rowing was during high school as a sports elective. Shortly after my introduction to rowing I joined my local club that had just reopened after 90 or so years of being closed. We didn't have any flash equipment, but we did have a hand full of...

Meet our Team: Xanthe Hadfield

Meet our Team: Xanthe Hadfield

Sport has always played an important part of my life, but It wasn’t love at first sight when I initially tried my hand at rowing at school. I was predominantly a competitive ballroom dancer, more concerned with getting blisters on my feet rather than my hands! After...

Meet our Team: Thais Umbelino

Meet our Team: Thais Umbelino

Thais joined TopRow in 2019 because she wanted a flexible job that would fit in around her studying. Now that Thais has graduated from university she has more time and wanted to take the opportunity to get more involved in TopRow Putney. Thais Learnt to row in Brazil...