Callum Sullivan is 19 years old and started rowing through London Youth Rowing (LYR), at Globe Rowing Club. He joined after Googling how to get involved in rowing during the London 2012 Olympic Games. He has gone on to represent Great Britain at the Coupe de le Jeunesse regatta and the Junior World Rowing Championships. He is now studying Music at Cambridge University and will make his debut appearance in the Blue Boat at The Boat Race 2019.

Proud of his LYR roots, Callum recalls his rowing journey.

I became aware of rowing during the London 2012 Olympic Games. I was most impressed by the eights racing; eight athletes moving so perfectly in time seemed so unique in a sport.

I began to look for opportunities to row in my local area and came across Globe Rowing Club (GRC), run by London Youth Rowing coach, Maurice Coughlan. Though he will testify that I was not a natural and struggled to pick up the technique, I persevered and worked hard and was given all the facilities I needed through LYR.

My time at GRC gave me some of my greatest friends; there’s no sport quite like rowing for strengthening connections between people. It has also taught me to work harder, both in sport and in other aspects of my life. I genuinely believe rowing has helped me change my mindset to one which constantly looked to achieve more.

I have seen the huge impact first hand that London Youth Rowing and events like the National Indoor Rowing Championships (NJIRC), have on the lives of young people. It’s events like NJIRC that inspired me to train, and taught me the determination that ultimately earned me my selection for the Cambridge University Boat Race crew.

Having won the reserves race last year, the goal this year is to win The Boat Race, and then who knows! If you’d have told me I’d have been within touching distance of this great event back in 2012, I wouldn’t have believed you. But, I do know that through LYR and Globe Rowing Club, I developed most of the way to becoming the athlete I am today.

Read more from Callum and how he feels rowing has impacted his life, here.

LYR aims to get young people active and engaged in sport, opening access to rowing regardless of background, ethnicity, gender, sexuality or ability. For more information about LYR and to help support our programmes, sign up as a volunteer or donate now.

Photo credit: John Trigg
Banner image: Callum with three times Olympic Rowing Champion, Pete Reed at NJIRC 2019
Top left: Callum and LYR Globe Rowing Club coach, Maurice Coughlan
Middle right: Callum at NJIRC 2019
Bottom left: Callum preparing for The Boat Race 2019