The GB Rowing Team invites you on board

World Champion Katherine Grainger and Olympic gold medallists Mark Hunter and Greg Searle are giving the public a rare insight into the rigours of selection for the GB Rowing Team this year by inviting them to take their own trial on a rowing machine.

For the month of February the team is running The Nation on Trial initiative, sponsored by its high-performance partner Siemens. The team is challenging everyone to get fit in the build up to the GB Rowing Team Senior Trials, get on a rowing machine and take their own 2km trial to mark a big year for British sport while also raising money for the event’s charity partner, The Stroke Association.

2km is the distance GB’s top stars will race on the water at the Olympic Games this summer but for anyone aspiring to join the GB team the year-long selection process begins with a 2km test on a rowing machine and this is the public’s chance to have a go and win behind-the-scenes-prizes simply by taking part.

Anyone of any ability aged 16 and over can register on the event website www.nationontrial.org and access expert training advice on how to use a rowing machine as well as enjoy messages of encouragement from World Champions such as Grainger, Richard Chambers and 1992 Olympic gold medallist Searle.

The challenge is simple in theory – participants train and build up to rowing 2km as fast as they can on a rowing machine at a local gym or rowing club, getting fit in the process and reducing their risk of having a stroke by taking regular exercise.

Participants can record their time as many times as they like on the event website between 1 and 29 February which will show how they compare with friends and workmates as well as the entry standard for the GB selection process.

Grainger, 36, a three-times Olympic silver medallist and six-times World Champion aiming for her fourth Olympic Games said: “It’s our Olympic distance, it’s what we do all the time, it’s what we do for trials. We’ll be doing that in early March ourselves and then at the Olympic Games in July and August, so it’s a tough test.

“But I’ll also warn you it is very addictive, so once you get going, if you’re competitive, you will just want to keep improving. So good luck, train hard, race hard and enjoy it”.

The reward for anyone taking part is the chance to rub shoulders with the GB Rowing Team’s World and Olympic medallists as they will be entered into a prize draw to win a trip for two to watch the Senior Trials at the Olympic rowing venue, Eton Dorney.

The times for those aged 16-24 will also be assessed to see if anyone has the talent to be considered for the opportunity to train to be a member of the GB Rowing Team. The event could throw up a new generation of rowers destined for the GB Rowing Team as well as provide the chance for the nation to keep up their New Year get-fit resolutions.

The Nation on Trial will also be raising money and awareness for the event’s charity partner The Stroke Association with participants encouraged to get sponsored to achieve set targets.

Every five minutes, someone in the UK will have a stroke which is the leading cause of severe disability. The Stroke Association provides support for survivors and their families as well as funding vital medical research. Rowing can help reduce the risks of stroke as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Register now at www.nationontrial.org

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