Oxford Brookes experts and Chancellor help make this year's Boat Race memorable.

Friday, 05 April 2019

Brookes Rowing news

While all eyes will be on Oxford and Cambridge Universities this weekend for the annual Boat Race, we’re pleased to report that Oxford Brookes have also been doing their part to make this a special race.

Recently called “the top rowing university in the country” by Sir Steve Redgrave, Oxford Brookes’ team of athletes and specialists have been helping out with everything from preparatory races to providing expert coverage.

You can always tell when you are working with high calibre athletes as they will always push themselves to their limit.

Dr Sarah Davey, Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science

To start with, Charlie Simpson and his team of rowing experts put two top athletes through their rowing paces for BBC Sport. Dr Simpson is a Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science at Oxford Brookes. In this piece, he and colleagues Dr Sarah Davey, Tom Phillips and Kiera Wilkinson provide expertise to former NFL star Jason Bell and GB Olympic gold medal winning hockey player Sam Quek. Watch the footage here as the two put themselves to the test to see if they would have what it takes to compete in the Boat Race.

Dr Sarah Davey, Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science, said of the experience: “We often test athletes to assess their physical fitness appropriate for their sport, but you can always tell when you are working with high calibre athletes as they will always push themselves to their limit no matter the challenge placed in front of them.”

Meanwhile, the Oxford Brookes University Boat Club have been providing top tier competition to both Oxford and Cambridge crews to give them some vital prep ahead of the big weekend. In the end, the Oxford Brookes teams emerged victorious over both other teams, but more importantly they provided them with a fiercely competitive warm-up. You can read more about the recent Brookes rowing successes here, including the recent win at the Head of the River race.

And on the day of the Boat Race itself, Oxford Brookes’ Chancellor Dame Katherine Grainger will be joining the live coverage on Sunday 7 April. Dame Katherine is an Olympic hero and has been Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University since 2015. As Great Britain’s most decorated female Olympic rowing with five Olympic medals and the first British woman to win at five successive games (not to mention Chair of UK Sport), her insight will be a keen addition to another memorable race.

Live coverage of the Boat Race begins on BBC One on Sunday from 13.20pm.