York named as a British Rowing World Class Start centre

Olympic athletes take note… we are now one of only 10 British Rowing centres in the UK.

The University of York has been recognised as one of 10 British Rowing centres in the UK for the development of its World Class Start Olympic pathway programme.

World Class Start is a high performance training programme that identifies, trains and develops potential Olympic athletes, aged between 14-22, towards achieving a place on the GB Rowing Team.

In 2015, the University of York was named the British Rowing World Class Start centre for Yorkshire. British Rowing’s latest decision extends the status of the centre and continues the programme until March 2021.

Prospective athletes do not need previous experience in rowing, and are identified based on their physical attributes and willingness to work hard. Each centre employs a full time coach to work with athletes on their journey to becoming elite rowers.

City-wide collaboration

The University hosts World Class Start, but delivery is city-wide through collaboration with York City Rowing Club.

Athletes identified as suitable for the programme will develop their land-based training at the University’s York Sport Centre and Boat Club, while water-based training takes place from both the University and York City Rowing Club boat houses on the River Ouse.

York’s World Class Start centre currently has six athletes training to become elite rowers. Run by British Rowing coach Matthew Paul, the centre’s achievements in recent years include athletes winning national titles and catching the eye of GB Rowing Team coaches at Senior and Under 23 Trials.

One athlete, Stuart Hosie, has recently been recognised as Active York Sportsman of the Year. Stuart benefits from additional support as a University of York Santander Sports Scholar.

Sports investment

Keith Morris, Head of Sport at the University of York, said: “We were delighted to initially gain recognition as a World Class Start centre for Yorkshire back in 2015, but are even more so now the partnership has been extended. We believe York’s status as a regional centre recognises our close working relationship with British Rowing and supports the University and the York City Rowing Club’s investment in facilities and coaching support for rowers.”

Sir David Tanner, British Rowing’s Performance Director, said: “World Class Start plays such an important role in discovering future Olympic rowers. As part of the programme you’ll have access to one-to-one coaching, attend training camps and meet other athletes who dream of winning Olympic gold. Great Britain has a strong tradition of developing world-class rowers and with Start’s help you could be on the podium at the 2024 Olympic Games.”