Had you ever seen or heard of rowing before it came to your school?

I’d seen it briefly, but I was more interested in athletics. Once I started rowing I found it really addictive so I carried on.

Why is it such a brilliant sport?

You can always push yourself so much harder. You can always do so much better. When you get off a rowing machine and see a better time, it motivates you to keep going and keep training hard.

How do you find balancing rowing and school work?

I’m such a physical person, I can’t be sat still for too long. I have to get up and do something, so rowing helps in that sense. I’m able to use my energy productively. And then when I get home, I have to knuckle down and get on with my work. It’s a perk because it helps you completely get rid of any stress that you have before doing your school work.

What do you want to do in the future?

I’m studying Design Technology, Physical Education, History, French and Latin for my GCSE’s. And, rowing is definitely in my future. At the moment I’m working through small competitions, but I’m planning on finding a university that balances rowing and academics.

What sort of skills do you think rowing teaches you that helps in other areas of life?

I think teamwork skills are more useful than anything else. You have to learn to work together with the person you’re rowing with; everyone pushes hard together. It encourages you to do the same thing outside of rowing, it’s essential in every aspect of life.

Why is London Youth Rowing’s work so important?

I don’t think I would have got into the sport without London Youth Rowing. I defy the rowing odds! I’m a black, young teenager, who was originally interested in athletics. With London Youth Rowing introducing their scheme of work to our school, rowing was something I suddenly started to take a look at. When you go to competitions like the National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships – hosted by London Youth Rowing – you can see the diversity they’re bringing to the sport. I think it’s helped people just get into the sport and have a go at it. If you don’t get to try, you’ll never know where you’re going to get. It’s hugely important to encourage diversity into different sports, no matter what the sport is. I’m really grateful that London Youth Rowing’s done that for me.