Hartpury celebrates landmark Olympic selection for rowing alumni

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Hartpury is celebrating a landmark moment after five of its former students and Sports Academy staff became its first alumni to be named in a Team GB Olympic rowing squad. 

Sisters Charlotte and Mathilda Hodgkins-Byrne and Chloe Brew, who all studied A-levels at Hartpury, are among the 45 rowers selected to represent Team GB at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.

The trio were all members of the Rowing Academy at Hartpury – a national centre for British Rowing’s World Class Start programme.

More success came for Hartpury when former Rowing Head Coach Tom Pattichis and physiotherapist Steve Leonard won places on the Team GB rowing coaching team for the Olympics, which is scheduled to start on 23 July.

Tom Radcliffe, Hartpury’s Director of Elite Sport, said: “We’re absolutely ecstatic that Charlotte, Mathilda, Chloe, Tom and Steve have been selected for the Team GB rowing squad at the Tokyo Olympics.

“We’re extremely proud of everything they’ve achieved as members of the Hartpury family to win their places in the Team GB Olympic squad in their various roles and we wish them every success in Tokyo for what promises to be the experience of a lifetime.

“It’s a landmark moment for Hartpury to have former students and staff in the Team GB Olympic rowing squad for the first time – we couldn’t be more delighted.

“To see former students and staff representing GB in Tokyo will be a massive inspiration for our current and future students and staff, particularly those involved in the rowing programme and our recently launched Hartpury University and Hartpury College Boat Club.”

Charlotte and Mathilda Hodgkins-Byrne, who were among the first students to enrol on the rowing programme at Hartpury, have been named in Team GB’s women’s quadruple skulls.

Chloe Brew has been selected for the women’s eight coached by Tom Pattichis, who became a British Rowing high-performance coach following his role as Rowing Head Coach at Hartpury.

Steve Leonard was a key player for Hartpury University RFC and Hartpury College RFC – now Hartpury University RFC – as the team worked its way up through the leagues.

He was also a physiotherapist that worked within Hartpury’s Medical Services department, so he had a dual role.

Rowing students at Hartpury benefit from outstanding land-based training facilities, including a new £8.8 million Sports Academy, alongside water-based training at Gloucester Rowing Club’s £1.6million boathouse.

Student athletes, including those on the British Rowing World Class Start programme, are able complete the DiSE programme at Hartpury as long as they meet the relevant criteria.

The DiSE programme is a level 3 diploma qualification that is designed for student athletes identified by their relevant national governing bodies as having the realistic potential to achieve sporting excellence.

Picture: Charlotte Hodgkins-Byrne, Chloe Brew and Mathilda Hodgkins-Byrne have been named in the Team GB Olympic rowing squad

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