Sport & Exercise

Rowing at Edinburgh - providing pathways to success

Three members of Edinburgh's stand-out rowing programme have been selected for TeamGB for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. 

Edinburgh University Boat Club enables rowers of all abilities - from novice to Under 23 and beyond - to realise their potential on the national and international stage. EUBC is one of just six university High Performance Programmes recognised by British Rowing and supported by the National Lottery, as well as receiving funding from Scottish Rowing.

Image of Polly Swann, Lucy Glover and Maddie Arlett

The returning Olympian: 

Polly Swann. Medicine: Graduated 2019

Polly Swann learned to row in Edinburgh (George Heriots School) before starting medicine at Edinburgh. She took a break from her studies to pursue her rowing career, culminating in a silver medal in the Womens 8+ at the Rio Olympics. She came back to Edinburgh to finish her degree after the games. She had been carrying injury up to Rio, and much of her early time back at Edinburgh was getting her fit and healthy again, before she returned to the GB team in time for the 2019 World Rowing Championships. She will be racing in the Womens 2- with double Olympic Champion Helen Glover, herself making a comeback after taking time out post-Rio to have children. This combination last raced together in 2013, where they became World Champions. Polly and Helen will be coached at Tokyo 2020 by university of Edinburgh Alumni and former EUBC coach, Hamish Burrell.

Polly was inducted into the University of Edinburgh Sport Hall of Fame in 2017.

Polly Swann inducted into the Hall of Fame

The talented Junior:

Lucy Glover. Psychology: Due to Graduate December 2021

Lucy Glover started the sport at Warrington Rowing Club, where she had an outstanding junior career, winning Silver in W4x at the Junior World Championships in 2016, then Gold in the W4x at the U23 World Championships in 2017. She started at Edinburgh in 2017, and went on to win two further U23 World Championship medals in the W4x (Bronze in 2018, Gold in 2019) before making her senior team debut at the European Championships in 2021, winning Silver (again in the W4x). She has never been off the podium in 5 years of racing on the World stage.

The beginner:

Maddie Arlett. Bsc Applied Sports Science/Msc Strength and Conditioning: Graduated 2016/2018

Maddie Arlett started rowing as a fresher at Edinburgh in 2012, coached by Callum Lewis-Smith. By 2015, under the guidance of John Higson, she had made her first Great Britain team, finishing 4th at the U23 World Championships in the Lightweight Womens 4x. She was in the LW4x again at the U23's in 2016, finishing 6th. She made her Senior World Championship debut 2017, finishing 5th in LW4x in a crew that contained fellow EUBC Beginner Robyn Hart-Winks. Maddie won her first World medal by claiming Bronze in the LW1x at the 2019 World Championships, and will travel to the Tokyo Olympics as the spare.

These three women represent everything we want our club to offer: a route to fulfil your potential regardless of where you are starting. Whether you are a returning Olympian, a talented Junior, or a complete beginner, we will support you in your ambitions. Just like Katherine Grainger before them, these women will be an inspiration to everyone in the club, and especially all the young women who step through our doors.

Colin WilliamsonHead of Rowing

The Legacy of Success - Katherine Grainger

With Olympic silver at Rio 2016, gold at London 2012 to add to her silver medals from Sydney in 2000, Athens in 2004, and Beijing in 2008, as well as six world championships titles in her collection, Katherine is Britain’s most decorated female Olympic athlete and the first British woman to win medals at five successive games. Katherine only took up Rowing while at University. To round off a most exceptional 20 year rowing career, Katherine was named ‘Dame Katherine Grainger’ in the 2017 New Years Honours List for services to rowing and charity. 

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