Olympic gold medallist trains Richmond rowers

Olympic Gold Medallist and double world champion, Andrew Hodge passed on his expertise to sixteen aspiring rowers from Waldegrave Girls School in Twickenham who were given the chance of a lifetime on Wednesday 13th May at Molesey Boat Club.

Andy, who is preparing for the upcoming Rowing World Cup and World Championship, took time out of his busy schedule to help the girls as they made a stake to be in Richmond’s team for the Thames Water London Youth Games Regatta.  Immediately following the training session, the girls got the opportunity to ask Andy about his successful career.

Commenting on the session, Andy said:  "I really enjoyed training the youngsters. It’s great to see such enthusiasm among the next generation of rowers and it gives me real confidence that London will produce a home-grown champion in 2012. I wish all the competitors at the Thames Water London Youth Games Regatta the best of luck."

Russell Findlay, Chief Executive of the London Youth Games, said "Our aim with the Games is to inspire more people to be involved in competitive sport.  It is great to have Olympians like Andy help us achieve this goal through visits like this which mean so much to the young people involved."

Louise Ollington , who will be coxing for Richmond at the regatta on 13 June, commented: "I’m really excited about the regatta.  I think this training session was really helpful and it was great to meet a famous rower like Andy who has won an Olympic Gold Medal."

Colin Sinclair, Head of Sport and Fitness at Richmond Council, who organises the borough’s teams participating in the Games, added: "It was a great experience for our team to get to work so closely with someone of Andrew’s calibre. This opportunity will help them prepare for the regatta in a few weeks and motivate them to compete to the best of their ability."

The Thames Water London Youth Games Regatta will take place on 13 June at the London Regatta Centre and the Royal Victoria Docks. The regatta returns to the Games after an absence of seven years thanks to sponsorship from Thames Water.  For more information go to www.londonyouthgames.org

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