"There’s is a huge amount of untapped talent in Yorkshire."
Rowing superstar, Andy Triggs-Hodge is back in Yorkshire helping to search for future Olympic champions.
At the Rio Games, Yorkshire rowers brought home three golds and a silver medal. The GB Rowing Team have decided the county is a pretty good place to prospect for gold and will be at the RowLeeds Indoor Championships on the 20th March conducting the biggest ever recruitment drive in the north of England.
Having taken gold at Beijing, London and Rio, Triggs-Hodge knows what it takes to win at the highest level. “We’re not looking for experienced rowers. We want people between the ages of 14 and 22 who have the two things we can’t coach: height and grit. Thankfully, there’s no shortage of that in Yorkshire.”
Leeds: a waking giant
With a fulltime GB coach, a £1.4 million state-of-the-art facility, and sport science support from the city’s universities, Leeds has everything needed to turn home grown talent into world class success. “Rowing in Leeds is unrecognisable. When I was growing up, there was no rowing in the city at all. Now we have thriving clubs for all ages.”
The GB Rowing coach for Yorkshire, Matthew Paul, is working across Leeds Rowing Club, the University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett to develop the more senior members of his squad. Paul has an enviable track record in developing raw talent. “For someone starting this year, Tokyo is a bit soon, but Paris is a realistic target. I am committed to making sure Leeds becomes a rowing powerhouse. There’s is a huge amount of untapped talent in Yorkshire. It’s my job to discover it.”
Taking on the public schools
To develop junior talent, Paul is working on an exciting new project with The Gorse Academies Trust - a programme for which Triggs-Hodge is an ambassador. With five secondary academies and the Elliott Hudson College serving over 6,000 students, Gorse has lofty ambitions to mix it with public schools in the Thames Valley.
The top-ranking college in the region, Elliott Hudson is launching a new post-16 offer in Boston Spa this September. For those who catch Paul’s eye, there’s still a chance to apply for their 2019 intake. Hodge is quick to point out how rowing sets up athletes for later life. “As someone who ended up at Oxford through rowing, I know first-hand how this sport can prepare you for the day you finally hang up your oar. At Gorse, it’s about excellence in sport and academia, with neither compromised.”
If you are between 14 and 22 and think you might have what it takes, Talent ID testing will be at the RowLeeds Indoor Championships, John Charles Centre for Sport on the 20th March. For more information and to apply, go to www.rowuk.co.uk/talentid.
Ben Cox, Director, RowUK
M: 07855 452927
With three Olympic golds, four World Championship wins and a Boat Race victory to his name, ‘Hodgey’ is one of Great Britain’s most decorated rowers. Raised in Hebden, North Yorkshire, Triggs-Hodge started rowing at Staffordshire University before going on to win the Boat Race with Oxford in 2005. Having entered the GB squad the year before at the Athens Olympics, Hodge was chosen for the coxless four in Beijing where he stroked the boat to victory. After winning again in London in front of a packed Dorney crowd, Hodge was struck down by glandular fever in the run up to Rio. He fought back from illness and qualified for the men’s eight where he took his third Olympic gold as part of a dominant GB display. He is now retired from rowing and works for Tideway, the company building a super sewer under the Thames. Triggs-Hodge is working with charities and businesses to build the legacy of a clean and active river for Londoners to enjoy. He is married with two children.
The Great Britain Rowing Team