RUBC Celebrate #ThisGirlCan

In the run up to the University of Reading’s This Girl Can week we wanted to showcase some of the hardworking women who are part of our squad and the variety of people who get involved in rowing. There is a huge range in our athletes, from those who learn to row with us, to others who have been rowing for years and those who have aims to race internationally. Our womens squad continues to thrive every year and we would love for more athletes to join us. 


If you attend Reading University and think you’d be interested in taking up rowing at RUBC let us know or come down to our This Girl Can event at Reading University Boathouse on Thursday the 8th February between 12 and 1:30pm. 


A chat with some of the women of RUBC

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Hettie Horler: 

Hettie  started rowing with us just over a year ago and learned to row as part of our beginner squad. She quickly improved and was integrated into the senior squad this year.


How did you get into rowing?

I have always been a competitive player in sport teams throughout school, including hockey and horse riding. A knee injury from hockey prompted me to try something new. Upon arrival at Reading I discovered rowing as I’d heard it was a successful club. 


What has been your greatest achievement within the sport?

I was lucky to row in a quad at Henley Women’s in my first season, which was really exciting. 



What has rowing done for you? 

Being a member of the squad means we have to stick to a training programme and fit that in around our studies, so it’s really helped me to develop my organisational skills. Aside from that, the challenging nature of the sport means I push myself a lot further than I did before taking up rowing; this extends to my studies and really anything I get involved in!


Anything you’d say to someone taking up rowing for the first time?

Without doubt it’s an immense challenge, but you’re with others in the same boat and it’s incredibly rewarding when everything comes together! Initially, the early morning sessions were a bit of a shock to the system, but as I trained more and got involved with the squad I really started to enjoy it and the motivation I needed developed naturally. Being around like-minded teammates really spurs you on and changes your mind-set entirely even if like me you’re not a fan of early starts, the sport and the people will inspire you and the early alarms become a lot less painful! 




Lucy Ryan:

Lucy is our current women’s captain and in her second year. She took up rowing seven years ago at school and is now in her second year at the University of Reading studying maths. 


How did you get into rowing?

I used to be a swimmer and my school had a rowing club so I thought i'd give it a go and I was hooked straight away! 



What has been your greatest achievement within the sport?

My greatest achievements include winning Nat schools and Brit champs twice each, all in a coxed four. These included some of the closest races I’ve been in, winning the J154+ at schools by just 0.61 seconds! I’ve been selected to row for England 2 years in a row in a four, eight and then a double and a quad. I made it to the Saturday of Henley in 2017 in the Princess Grace Challenge Cup and topped off that season with a bronze at EUSA, my first proper taste of international racing.


What has rowing done for you?

Rowing has totally changed my life. It's taught me to push myself more than I could ever imagine. It's also helped me develop loads of skills such as communication, time management, organisation etc! 


Anything you’d say to someone taking up rowing for the first time?

If you're taking up rowing for the first time, enjoy it, relax and have fun! You'll make friends for life and hopefully achieve things you never thought you'd achieve.



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Charlotte Booth:

Charlie joined our coaching team last summer and since then has been an amazing asset to our squad. Prior to this she was part of team GB where she competed in the lightweight double, most recently qualifying for the Rio Olympics as well as winning a gold at the European Champs and a silver at the World Champs. 


How did you get into rowing?

I first got into the sport because my dad suggested I should give it a go. I had just moved to London after finishing Uni and wanted to join a sports club to grow my social network in my new home and my dad suggested giving rowing a try. Ironically I hadn't want to take it too seriously!


What has been your greatest achievement within the sport?

My greatest achievement in rowing was holding the world record in my boat class (lw2x), qualifying the boat for the Rio Olympics and getting a World silver medal in the process and being part of Team GB for the Rio Olympics.



What has rowing done for you?

Rowing completely changed my life. I met my husband, I've made so many life long friends, and I've ended up finding the job of my dreams - coaching! I also had the privilege of being part of the national team to train full time which allowed me to explore my physical limits which had always been a lifelong dream. Being part of the rowing community is like being part of an incredible family!


Anything you’d say to someone taking up rowing for the first time?

Relax and enjoy it!!

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Anna Smart