ROWING: Former Grantham school student take gold at British Junior Championships

Ashley Cowley
Ashley Cowley
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Former King’s School student Ashley Cowley won gold at the British Junior Rowing Championships held at the National Water Sports Centre, Nottingham.

Seventeen-year-old Ashley was taking part in what is the largest event on the junior rowing regatta calendar, with young men and women aged 13 to 18 years from clubs and schools from all corners of the British Isles battling for titles in all age groups.

Ashley and Oscar Bird competed in the Open Junior Double Scull event for 17 and 18-year-olds and fought off competition from St Leonards School, Durham, and St Neots Rowing Club to secure the gold medal and the title of Junior National Champions, from an entry of 35 crews.

Their success was all the more remarkable because they have only been rowing together for two weeks and, as Oscar is based in London, training sessions are difficult to arrange. However, they did not let this daunt them as they dominated the event over two days of racing, leading by over three boats length as they crossed the finishing line in the final.

Following the event, Ashley and Oscar were invited to represent England at the Home Countries International Match which took place in Cork, Ireland.

They rowed against crews from Wales, Scotland and Ireland, and were beaten into second place by just half a boat’s length by the Irish crew.