START in Yorkshire
"Just because you are not a world champion yet, does not mean you do not act like one."
At the RowLeeds Indoor Champs in March, British Rowing Coach, Matt Paul will be running a Talent ID event for the Yorkshire START programme.
If you are aged 14-22 and think you have what it takes to become an Olympic gold medallist, rowing could be your sport. You don't have to have rowed before but if you are tall enough and fit enough, and pass the test, you'll receive all of the support you need to become a world class rower.
We caught up with Matt to find out more about what GB START programme in Yorkshire is all about.
"GB START is a breath of fresh air within the sport of rowing. It looks to provide opportunities to talented athletes from all backgrounds rather than rely on the old school private educated and privilege club set up that swamps the Thames region. If an athlete is successful in testing, they are provided with world class support and placed into a tough and rewarding training environment that on a daily basis asks them the question "how are you going to get a step closer to the Olympic medal that you have been selected for today?". We don't shy away from this task, we embrace it and push the athletes to relish in this challenge.
Every athlete is treated like a high performance athlete from Day 1. One of our mantras within the coaching staff is "You can be world class before you obtain world class speed". By this we mean that just because you are not a world champion yet, does not mean you do not act like one. The program is tough, both in a sense of total time commitment and in its no nonsense, no excuse approach to performance delivery."
Does this sound like the type of programme you would relish? Do you think you have what it takes to become an Olympian? Do you want to be tested?
The next TalentID testing session takes place between 3pm and 7pm at the John Charles Centre for Sport in Leeds on the 20th March. You can apply here: https://www.rowuk.co.uk/talentid
Why not follow @yorkshire.start on Instagram to see more real life stories about the Yorkshire START athlete's journeys.
You can read more about British Rowing's START programme here: https://www.britishrowing.org/gb-rowing-team/rowing-for-gb/world-class-start/