British Rowing announces seven new external selectors for the GB Rowing Team

The seven volunteers will form a crucial part of British Rowing’s new selection policy

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The women's eight at the World Rowing U23 Championships (Naomi Baker)

Following a competitive external recruitment process, British Rowing has appointed a team of new external selectors to help select the GB Rowing Team crews for the 2021-24 competitive cycle.

The seven volunteers will form a crucial part of British Rowing’s new selection policy, which will see squad selection groups featuring the British Rowing Director of Performance, the lead GB Rowing Team coach and the relevant external selector.

Their primary role will be to ensure that the decision making process adheres to British Rowing’s published selection policy and to provide a valuable ‘check and challenge’ function. The external selectors will also help to build on British Rowing’s organisational knowledge by ensuring that decision making principles are aligned across the Olympic, Paralympic, U23 and U19 programmes.

Director of Performance Brendan Purcell said: “The appointment of external selectors is an important step in our plan to move decision making closer to each crew by giving more autonomy to the respective lead coaches. We are delighted with the calibre and credentials of the successful candidates who will all bring enormous value to their respective squads.”

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The seven external selectors are as follows:

Olympic Women’s Sweep squad: Steve Turner

Steve is a former member of the GB Rowing Team who represented GB at the Seoul 1988 and Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games. He has held multiple C-Suite roles in his career after rowing.

Olympic Women’s Sculling squad: Eira Parry

Eira spent nine years as a British Rowing Talent Development Coach before setting up her own business High Performance Parenting in 2014. She is currently the England delegate and secretary of the General Management Committee of the Home International Regatta.

Olympic Men’s Sweep squad: John Hedger

John is a company director whose rowing experience includes being a British Rowing and World Rowing umpire, a member of the World Rowing Events Commission, and a current member of British Rowing’s International Relations Steering Group. He was previously Chair of the Multi-Lane Umpiring Panel, is a graduate of UK Sport’s International Leadership Programme and a Henley Royal Regatta Steward.

Olympic Men’s Sculling squad: Henry Llewellyn-Usher 

Henry is an army officer with 20 years military experience. He has previously rowed for Leander Club, Cambridge University and the Army.

Paralympic squad: James Harlow

James is an airline training captain whose rowing experience includes his current role as Chair of the British Rowing Events Committee.

U23 squads: Luke Dillon

Luke has spent his career in the public sector; outside of working hours he is a Helmsman at Chiswick RNLI. His rowing experience includes representing Great Britain at the Coupe de la Jeunesse, his current role as Chair of the Thames Regional Rowing Council and as a Henley Royal Regatta Steward.

U19 squads: Mike Martin

Mike spent 19 years as Master in charge of Rowing at Abingdon School before becoming Senior Depute Rector at Hutchesons’ Grammar School. He is the current Chair of British Rowing’s Junior Rowing Committee.

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