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Junior Interregional Trials: A Chat with Oli & Wilson

Two of City of Sheffield’s juniors, Oli and Wilson, competed in the

Junior Interregional Trials this month, and won! Oli and Wilson will now be representing the region at a regatta later this year. We are immensely proud of them for such an amazing achievement, and this is what they had to say about the event...

Please introduce yourselves.

W: Hi, I’m Hari.

O: Hi, I’m Oli.

W: Shall I say my real name…. Hi I’m Wilson.

What were your thoughts going into the trial race?

O: It’s going to be fun! I thought we might win, we might not. If we did win, I didn’t know

what was going to happen. But now I do and it’s quite cool.

W: In the moment, I didn’t think about it as a really important race - just another regatta

type race.

Did you know what the outcome would be if you did win?

Both: No.

Wilson, you went to the singles trial race with another junior, how did this compare?

W: It was faster and done in a shorter amount of time and of course we won this one. This one we didn’t do any training with the coaches afterwards so yeah it was a bit different.

Oli, how did you feel during the race?

O: We didn’t push it enough. We got 300m left and it was like “there’s 300m left we’ve got to push now.”

How did that feel when you then realised you’d won by a decent margin?

O: If we’d pushed it we could have won by more?

W: We didn’t need to push it more…

O: I know but…

W: Yeah still…

O: We should have to push our limits Wilson!!!

W: It’s just a bit weird to me… I thought it was going to be a lot closer.

O: We’re going to have to do a lot more training.

How are you preparing for JIRR in April?

O: The plans that Rob has created for us to train and then we’re going to train more and do specific things to mean that we hopefully win. Which would be amazing. Did you know there’s three Thames clubs? Upper, middle and lower Thames!

We’ve got some juniors racing for the very first time this weekend. What advice would you give them?

W: Win. Don’t over think it.

O: Do your best.

How did you guys start rowing?

O: Are we talking full story? During lockdown we used to walk around the dam and my mum told me there was a rowing club there and that they were having an open day. So, I went and I started and didn’t stop.

W: I don’t actually remember… I think my mum just showed it me.

O: Was your mum just like “here’s a cool sport, do it.”

W: Yeah and I just took a liking to it very quickly.

What’s the best thing you’ll take from rowing (so far)?

W: Probably the friends and people you meet.

O: The friends we made!

And the worst thing?

W: The pain sometimes

O: The cold

W: That’s not that bad

O: No, the cold is the worst bit

W: It’s really not that bad

O: Arguably the worst bit. Well, the cold’s bearable but the very painful times when it’s cold and you’re doing a race piece that’s going to be a lap of the dam.

W: Or when you’re on the erg and going fast! Very fast.

Do you think you’ll keep rowing when you go to Uni and beyond?

W: Yes, I’d like to.

O: If I get into a Uni that I want that has a nice rowing club…

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