Meet new Leeds junior, Joe Bramham-Butts

We interviewed Joe Bramham-Butts of Prince Henry’s Grammar School, Otley about his new hobby, rowing


Tell us a little bit about yourself

I am 14 years old. I live in Rawdon. I like sport (rowing, rugby, athletics, especially the long jump, fell running), art and taking pictures. I dislike French. Not the French people, French language at school!


So you have a great engine and an explosive ability. Perfect for rowing. So what got you into it?

I was asked to try indoor rowing at the RowLeeds RowShow. I was then selected to row for the my school at the Indoor Champs and I won my event. I was told that there were now facilities in Leeds where I could learn to row on the water and a place I could cycle to locally. I did the Learn to Row course and have been a member of Leeds Rowing Club since June. It was a good time of year to start in case you fall in!


What exposure did you have to rowing before and what were your impressions of the sport?

I knew about rowing as I’d seen it on the Olympics, but I used to always think it was for posh people because of the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race. I thought it was only really for private schools. Now I see that it’s about getting everyone involved.

What's your favourite thing about rowing?

I like using the power in my legs. It’s quite fun. I just enjoy using my legs, they are my favourite thing to use.


How does training make you feel?

Happy. It hurts while I’m doing it but I then you’ve completed it and you get that sense of achievement.

How does racing make you feel?

It’s amazing, lots of fun. You have to be aware of where you are going and you’ve got crews ahead of you and behind you. Not everyone moves out of the way!


What would you say is the highlight of your rowing experience so far?

Being told that I have the potential to take it really far. I’ve never been told that before - that I could take it to a high standard.

What are your goals for this season?

I want to get my technique right.

Who do you look up to in the rowing world and why?

I look up to Jack, my teammate, because I want to be as good as him, or better, especially when we do our ergs.


If you could sum up rowing in one word, what would it be?




Do you prefer indoor rowing or outdoor rowing?

I prefer being outdoors as you can see what you are doing. Indoor is like doing the sport on a computer. You’re doing it, but not feeling it.



If you could share one top tip for someone starting out, what would your advice be?

It doesn’t matter if you fall in. Have no fear.

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