Chearsley rower Katherine George is representing Great Britain at the Under 23 World Championships in the Czech Republic.
She will be competing in the Women’s Double Sculls alongside Leander Club team mate Zoe Adamson in the event which started yesterday (Wednesday) in Racice and runs until Sunday.
Being only 19, selection is a huge achievement for her, as most of those she will be competing alongside and against are at least a couple of years older.
Katherine, who learnt to row at Cheltenham Ladies College is ideally suited to the sport as she is 6ft 4in tall.
Coming from a rowing family, with both her parents from tall families, her father Julian is 6ft 51/2in and also rowed very seriously in his younger days.
Katherine started to show promise as a junior (under 18) when her ergo scores were in the top five in the country and then she won the UK indoor rowing gold for sixth form girls in 2019.
Obviously everything was put on hold during the pandemic last year, but having deferred her entry to university she joined Leander Club’s development squad, with the aim of taking her rowing on to the next level, which it certainly seems to have done.
Katherine is due to go to Princeton University in America in August. While they wanted her for the rowing team, as it is a hugely important part of University sport in the USA, she has also had to pass their stringent entrance tests.
Peter Sheppard, British Rowing’s Chief Coach for U23s and Juniors said: “This is an opportunity for our under 23s to go out and show what they can do on the world stage again after two years without racing.
“I’m sure they will take the opportunity put in front of them and go out there to put a marker down with Paris in their sights.
“Everyone is excited to go racing again. Representing their country is a great honour and they value the opportunity that’s been put in front of them, particularly during these difficult times.
“The role of the clubs and their coaches cannot be underestimated through this challenging period. They have done the most amazing work in supporting and motivating these athletes and getting them race ready for Racice.”
These championships are a recognised stepping stone towards the senior Olympic team and many of the UK’s rowing team that will be competing in Tokyo later this month have competed, and won medals, at this level.