This Girl Can – April’s month of rowing: Former college student victorious in Women’s Boat Race

This month, AoC Sport has teamed up with British Rowing to promote the sport as part of our This Girl Can series of monthly activities.

And what better time to give rowing a go than after having watch Cambridge University claim victory in the Women’s Boat Race, and Oxford University emerge as winners from the men’s race.

Another great reason to get out on the water – or into the gym – is that you can follow in the footsteps of former Hills Road Sixth Form College student Imogen Grant, who was part of the successful Cambridge crew yesterday.

Here you can read Imogen’s inspirational story.

Name: Imogen Grant
Age: 21
College: Hills Road Sixth Form College
University: Cambridge University – Trinity College
Course: Medicine
Seat: Two

After studying A Levels at Hills Road SFC, Imogen went to Cambridge University to study medicine.

Although she took part in martial arts when she was younger, Imogen was relatively inactive throughout her time at college – but on arrival at Cambridge University she was tempted by the offer of free cocktails if she attended a rowing taster.

Having enjoyed the cocktails she felt obliged to go to the taster session and to her surprise, really enjoyed it. She continued with a ‘learn to row’ programme in the October of her first year, progressing to a development squad and her first regatta the following spring.

Since then she has built up to training for 11 sessions a week alongside her full-time studies, and she is now eligible to represent Great Britain based on her training scores.

After seeing the first Women’s Boat Race on the Tidalway in 2015, Imogen knew she wanted to be a part of the competition. Last year she raced in the Cambridge Blondie boat but this year she focused on achieving a seat in the Blue Boat. The last six months have been all about preparing for that.

Imogen is the youngest and the lightest in the crew and is still only in her third year at University, so has many more years to come as a medicine student.

Her amazing progression has led to her now being the fastest U23 GB lightweight single sculler based on recent scores. Because of that Imogen is now seriously thinking about a career in rowing and maybe making it to Tokyo

Inspired by Imogen’s story? Why not give rowing a go yourself as part of our April This Girl Can focus, and see where it could take you.