Leeds women's rowing team wins gold at British Rowing Masters Championship

A Leeds rowing club women's team have won gold at the British Rowing Masters Championship.

Friday, 18th June 2021, 4:45 am
Left to right: Kate Riley, Naomi Assame, Kate O’Connell, Steph Bew
Left to right: Kate Riley, Naomi Assame, Kate O’Connell, Steph Bew

Kate Riley, Steph Bew, Naomi Assame and Kate O'Connell travelled to Nottingham to take part in the championships at the National Water Sports Centre.

It was their first major race since the pandemic and despite being unable to train properly due to restrictions, they defeated all odds and won gold in the Women's Masters C Coxless Quad.

The women all work in the health and care industry and have had to juggle the challenges that Covid has brought.

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Once restrictions lifted, they aimed for two water sessions per week and two-to-three land-based training sessions per week.

The Leeds Rowing Club team defeated Twickenham, Putney Town and Trentham in a straight final.

Kate O'Connell, director of Leeds strategic workforce and health and care academy said: "“Myself and the three other members of the rowing crew are part of a friendly, supportive (and competitive!) Women’s Masters Squad at Leeds Rowing Club.

"We’ve been rowing together for a long time, and despite COVID restrictions creating an obvious physical training barrier, we stayed in close contact, and supported each other throughout.

"Rowing really has been a life-line for us during these last 15 months - it’s motivated us to maintain our physical health, promoted mental wellbeing, and provided friendship during an isolating time for many.

"I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved during such a difficult period of time; we’re absolutely delighted to bring home the gold for Leeds!”