Countdown to the Olympics with rower Ben Board

Ben Board
Ben Board

I STARTED rowing when I was 11 years old at my local rowing club, Shoreham.

At 16, my coach, Gary Saunders, took me to the Junior Great Britain trials and I came 36th in the country – good, but not good enough.

So, I trained hard for a few years. I managed to get into Leander Rowing Club and that pushed me forward and last spring I went to a set of Great Britain trials and got myself a place in the GB team for the Munich International Regatta, which is held in Germany.

I then continued to row at Leander and went to my final junior trials and was given a place in the GB team for the “coupe de la jeunesse 2011” which is the under-19 European regatta.

I am 18 and currently going through the Great Britain trials again this year. Since it is 2011, these trials are for a place in the 2012 Olympics.

At the first set of trials, I was ranked ninth under-23 lightweight out of the whole of Great Britain.

Sir Steve Redgrave is a member of Leander and has been around the club a few times last week.

As a five-time Olympic gold medallist, he is the guy I look up to as I want an Olympic gold as badly as I want my next breath. As a Leander rower, I also want to leave a legacy as great as his.

I am currently still at college. I am doing an engineering degree at Northbrook College in Worthing and I am there Monday to Wednesday. On Wednesday nights, I travel up to Henley-Upon-Thames and stay and train at Leander for the rest of the week.

As the Lloyds TSB Local Hero for Shoreham, I was invited to a Worthing Olympic torch route announcement, where I met the mayor and talked to reporters and other sports men and women.

I really enjoyed the chance to promote the Olympic torch. I am hoping to do more events and really promote myself.

Search for Ben Board Rower on facebook to follow my progress.