Another talent search is on

GB Rowing Team coaches, led by Start Manager Steve Gunn, will be working hard in January as over 1000 Olympic hopefuls are put through their paces at three centres as part of UK Sport’s Tall and Talented programme.

Gateshead and Glasgow as well as Bath, Loughborough and Brunel (30 January) Universities will host testing for the programme which was launched by Olympic medallists Andrew Triggs Hodge and Katherine Grainger last Autumn.

Tall and Talented is the first in a series of talent identification searches for the Games of 2016 and beyond.  Successful contenders will be invited to further testing and could eventually progress to the GB Rowing Team’s already-proven talent development scheme – the Start Programme, supported by the lottery sports fund and sponsored by Siemens.

The Siemens-backed Start scheme has already enjoyed significant success.  World, Olympic or world cup medallist rowers like Annabel Vernon, Anna Watkins, Sam Townsend, Bill Lucas, Marcus Bateman, Charles Cousins and others have all come through the Start coaching and support service network to emerge into the senior GB Rowing Team squads.

Vicky Thornley has emerged to win a world U23 gold medal after entering the Start programme via UK Sport’s Sporting Giants talent identification initiative.

Tall and Talented applicants are all aged between 15 and 22 and are over 180cm (female) or 190cm (male) tall. They all believe they could have what it takes to represent their country  – not only in rowing but potentially in basketball.

In January those invited athletes will be put through their paces by sports scientists from the EIS backed by input from the GB Rowing Team.