St. Mary’s to pay tribute to former student at UIRS opener

The University Indoor Rowing Series gets underway at St. Mary’s University College this year, with organisers planning a special charity event alongside the main competition to honour a former student who died earlier this year.

Taking place on Saturday 16th November from 9am to 3pm, the main contest will provide racing for open weight and lightweight, male and female rowers. It will be the joint-first of 16 UIRS events across the UK, which will pit the best indoor rowers against one another for a place at the top of a nationwide leaderboard.

However, St. Mary’s will also be hosting a one-off charity event alongside its main competition this year, in memory of Bethan O’Brien – a second year Physical and Sport Education student at the university who died in August.

More than 20 members of the university community, including the Vice Principal, will take part in a relay, each rowing one kilometre on indoor rowing machines. Organisers hope to row at least 40km in total – the distance between Teddington Lock and Big Ben along the River Thames.

“Bethan was an active member of the St. Mary’s Rowing Club, and will be sadly missed at this event,” said Tegan Pickles, Sports Officer at St. Mary’s. “All proceeds from the charity event will go to ‘Get Kids Going’ – a charity supported by Bethan.”

Find out more about the 2013 University Indoor Rowing Series at