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Grantham school pupil wins British indoor rowing title from his family home

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A King’s School student has won the British indoor rowing 500m title in the Year 8 age group category.

James Gleed, known to his friends as Jim, beat stiff competition from clubs across the country, including Henley, to emerge victorious in this virtual championship.

A member of Newark Rowing Club, Jim, took part in the national competition on Sunday, June 28, from his home in Staunton in the Vale.

James rowing from the office in his house (37528384)
James rowing from the office in his house (37528384)

His rowing machine was set up in the family office, with a fan to keep him cool and a laptop to virtually officiate his performance.

Having only started rowing last September, Jim is still a relative novice on the water. His time rowing outdoors was limited during the winter months, when the rowing club does
most of its training

He had just started rowing outside, with his first regatta coming up, before the coronavirus outbreak scuppered his plans. However, Jim has used his time in lockdown well. As well as studying, he has been exercising hard and setting really good times.

Jim’s mother, Andrea Gleed, used to row as well, learning on the River Thames. Luckily, the family purchased a rowing machine earlier in the year, meaning they didn’t have to compete with other rowers looking to buy equipment to continue their training in lockdown.

Andrea said: “He threw himself into setting his goals and doing some really good times.”

Jim only turned 13 in June but that did not stop him from becoming a national champion in his school year group.

Andrea continued: “We entered him in the championship, it was just a bit of fun.

“He was over the moon. He’s desperate to get back out on the water.

“He just needs to learn how to use his power and apply it on the river. His coach sent a message to say well done to James.”

Jim has not received his gold medal yet, which should be arriving in the post any day now.

Andrea said that “the organisers did well to put it all together.”

With single sculls already back on the water following lockdown, Jim is now hoping to be back on the water in the coming weeks with lockdown restrictions easing.

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