Rower Kieren is on top of the world

Rower Kieren is on top of the world

Squeezing in training sessions for Sunday’s University Boat Race has proved to be something of a challenge for 17-year-old Kieren Emery, who will be rowing in the Newcastle Schools boat in the first race of the afternoon.

The young athlete from Tyne Rowing Club has just returned from Munich, where he won a gold medal in the coxless fours event, and a silver in the pair competing for Great Britain juniors. He is also a reigning World Junior Championship gold medallist in the coxless fours event, which he won in Beijing last year.

Kieren, who started rowing at the age of nine, and has been a member of Tyne Rowing Club for eight years, said: ‘Originally, I came along to the Boat Club just to have a go at rowing, but I took to it really quickly. Now, I’m focussed on trying to hold on to my world title at the Rowing World Championships in Linz, Austria, in July’.

Kieren will be rowing at stroke in the Newcastle Schools boat. As the first seat in the eight, the stroke sets the pace of the rowing, and the position is usually reserved for one of strongest members of the team.

His coach at Tyne Rowing Club, David Robinson, said: ‘Kieren has been a fantastic ambassador for the sport in the North East. I would definitely say he has the potential to row for the full GB senior team in the London 2012 Olympics.

‘All of the young rowers view taking part in the University Boat Race as an opportunity to further their rowing’, he said.

Keiren has been working closely with Durham University as part of the Centre’s push to reach out to regional rowers, and has been working with Durham University Boat Club as an apprentice coach under Wade Hall-Craggs.

Mr Hall-Craggs, Durham University’s senior rowing coach, commented: ‘We see our role as providing support and supervision to recognise and develop potential. It is part of our duty to the region.’

The 2008 University Boat Race takes place on the River Tyne on Sunday 11 May. Land- and river-based entertainment begins at 12.00 noon, with the first race of the afternoon – the schools’ eights – scheduled to start at 1.30 pm.