Could you be an Olympic rower?
Could you be an Olympic rower?

Have you ever dreamed of competing at the Olympic Games? British Rowing is actively looking for the next generation of Olympic gold medallists, and your journey could start right here in Kent.

British Rowing’s World Class Start programme is on the lookout for young people with gold medal potential to help hone into future Olympic legends, training out of Bewl Bridge Rowing Club.

Over a dozen athletes have gone on to win Olympic medals after graduating from the World Class Start Programme, with the likes of double gold medallists Heather Stanning, Helen Glover and Alex Gregory all coming through the ranks.

Gregory, who won Olympic gold in 2012 and 2016, said: “It was great to begin my rowing on the World Class Start programme. The coaches and staff were incredibly knowledgeable and really shaped my future success on the water.

“Having been a swimmer throughout my childhood, joining the World Class Start programme was an amazing opportunity to develop a talent I never realised I had and it ultimately led me to two Olympic gold medals and countless great memories.”

You don’t need any rowing experience to be accepted onto the programme, just a willingness to get stuck in, push yourself and achieve more than you ever thought you could.

Female rowers need to be aged between 14 and 22, with a minimum height of 178cm, while males need to be between 14 and 20 and at least 188cm tall to be considered for the programme.

Once there, British Rowing’s world class coaches can support you to become the best athlete possible and, hopefully, compete for Olympic glory.

Heather Stanning, who also won Olympic gold in 2012 and 2016 with Helen Glover, said: “The World Class Start programme gives young people the perfect platform to discover their inner greatness. I met some lifelong friends as part of the programme and the support I received from everyone involved as I developed my military career alongside the sport was fantastic.”

British Rowing’s Performance Director, Sir David Tanner, said: “The World Class Start programme plays such an important role in discovering future Olympic rowers.

“As part of the programme you’ll have access to one-to-one coaching, attend training camps and meet other athletes who dream of winning Olympic gold. Great Britain has a strong tradition of developing world class rowers and with World Class Start’s help you could be on the podium at the 2024 Olympic Games.”

Find out more about World Class Start and sign up for testing at