Rowing Academy's Sarah Bonar becomes our first GB selection!
The Hartpury Rowing Academy has produced its first ever Great Britain international, less than two years after being introduced. Student Sarah Bonar has been selected to compete in the Women’s Junior Double Scull at the international regatta ‘Coupe De La Jeuenesse’ in Banyoles, Spain, which pitches GB rowers against competitors from across Europe.
Remarkably Sarah, who came through a tough five day selection event, had never taken any part in rowing before becoming a member of the new Academy in September 2010. She was initially spotted through the ‘Tall and Talented 2016’ campaign and then selected for GB Rowing’s ‘Start’ programme.
‘Start’ has the aim of taking young people with raw, physical potential and developing them all the way to Olympic standard. Sarah, from Cornwall, had no training centre locally but was offered the chance to relocate to Hartpury where she could combine her rowing development with her A-Level studies.
She now plans to move on to university, where she will continue to build her rowing skills. Of Hartpury, she says “The Academy has been great, providing strength and conditioning, physio support and top class coaching. Also, through the ‘Start’ Programme, I’ve had regular opportunities to test myself against more experienced rowers, which has really helped to push me on.”
Hartpury rowing coach Tom Pattichis commented “We are incredibly proud of what Sarah has achieved. This is a great success for her, personally, and for the Rowing Academy as a whole.”
The Rowing Academy is a joint initiative between the College and Gloucester Rowing Club, which has a fine tradition of producing international athletes, and Sarah’s selection follows the recent news that her academy colleagues, Hannah Mansfield and Lauren Williams, have been chosen to row for Wales.