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Head of the River

Written by Lara Al Amri- special thanks to Ainsley Woods and Beatrice Rogers

As another season comes to an end I sat down with Ainsley Woods (captain of the boats) first VIII and Beatrice Rogers first IV to hear their comments on a successful season. Loreto’s first VIII did an excellent job coming third this season, as this season hadn’t been the best for them. Their hard work, positive attitude and support from the schoolgirls and their coaches allowed them to achieve this.

Question: What made you decide to start rowing in year nine and why did you keep it up until year twelve?

Ainsley: “The reason I first started rowing was because a lot of people in year nine were signing up to row and I wanted to try something new. The reason I kept going was because I really liked the fitness aspect and the community that is developed through rowing.”

Question: How would you explain the rowing community?

Ainsley: “I felt that because we’re together so often with our very intense training schedule and regattas on the weekends, you just get to know all the girls from every year group so well. Especially within seniors you become closer with the coaches and rowers because it’s a smaller crew.”

Question: if you had one tip for keeping up with study while rowing, what would it be?

Ainsley: “I think just make the most of the time you have because you don’t have that much time. Having really good quality study time to do work really helped me.”

Question: How did you feel with the lead up to Head of the River?

Ainsley: “I was really excited since we came this term, I was so keen to finish another season! It’s a really great feeling to finish a season, but week before I was starting to get really nervous and it kicked in the night before.”

Beatrice: “To be completely honest with the lead up to Head of the River training was the worst as it was so hard, and everyone was so drained. When there was one week left everyone was a bit more excited for it.”

Question: how did you feel on the day, getting on the pontoon for your final race?

Ainsley: “I was still nervous but it was really good having a bunch of my friends and seeing girls from school come and support us.”

Question: Do you think that the community’s support had an impact on how you girls went?

Ainsley: “I think it made a massive difference, we did so well and the fact that our school had a small number of girls rowing compared to other schools but we had the most supporters. It was just so good to have so many girls there cheering us on, I felt so proud to be a Normo girl.”

Beatrice: “I was surprised with the turnout; it was so good seeing everyone there. I definitely think the community support made a difference on the day.”

Question: One thing you hope for to happen with rowing?

Ainsley: “I hope more girls give rowing a go, because you will be amazed with what you can achieve.”

Question: what made you decide to row again in year 12 after only rowing in year 8?

Beatrice: “I don’t know actually; I didn’t really have a reason. I just remember talking about it with Ainsley and seeing the nominations come out each year I thought it would be nice to pick it up again. so then I started thinking about it more seriously and my friends and myself decided to do it. I knew I had friends and a community I could join”

Question: How do you feel Normo went on the day?

Beatrice: “I was in the quad and we did really well although I don’t think the results reflect the effort we put in. we agreed that it was a really good race and we put lots of effort in however it was a shame that we didn’t place. We had new contenders in our race which made us a bit nervous because we didn’t know what to expect, but the race was good. It was also really nice having the coaches riding next to us.”


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