By Matt 'Beagles' Beagley - Lead Coach, Junior section (WRCjnr.com)
Since 2002, Weybridge Rowing club has featured majorly in my life. From 2002-2009, I was an active rower who trained with great enthusiasm, all year round. Although winter training was never my favourite time of year, the hard work definitely paid off once regatta racing rolled around. And although I no longer row, I still enjoy keeping physically active.
For the past 6 years, I have completed 5 'big city marathons' - Paris, London, Chicago, Dublin, New York - raising money for multiple charities. What’s more remarkable is that I once could not run for more than 30 seconds! I am a big believer that with a bit of hard work and perseverance, people truly can achieve many of the goals they set themselves.
From 2008, I decided to take an active role in coaching. Initially I coached the younger juniors but have since gone on to teach all ages. This early coaching experience led to selecting my university courses, completing an undergraduate degree in Sports Development (2012) and a Sports Management postgraduate degree (2016), both at the University of Portsmouth. During my Masters, I became a Henley Stewards Charitable Trust coach, where my 2-year placement had me working with school children, getting them interested in the sport of rowing, both indoor and outdoor, at the Jubilee River Riverside Centre.
When I first joined the Club there were about 6 junior members. To see this rise to the numbers we have today is a real testament to my dad, Nick and Clive, who kicked off the 'junior renaissance' in 2005. This wouldn’t have happened, however, without the support of the Club Committee and captains throughout the years. 2009 onwards, we have been able to cater to athletes who have different aspirations, whether that be learning to row in a single, to those wanting to compete at National Schools, even GB Trials.
Since 2018, we have been fortunate enough to have Scott Cowie come on board to coach. He works mainly with the older juniors where he has been able to bring them up to the next level, having himself competed at Henley Royal, The British Championships and National Schools - and now a first-season coaching highlight with the J18 2- winning a bronze medal at the British Junior Championships.
More recently we have Kostas Didaskalou join us. He has been working with the J15 boys, who have been going from strength to strength. He brings a wealth of experience from his time as a Greek national rower. In the future, we hope to forge a partnership with the Hellenic (Greece) Rowing Federation, with the possibility of competing out there.
Whether rowing or coxing, we now have the structures in place that offer athletes continuous development year-on-year, making the step up smoother and less daunting. Discover more at bit.ly/WEYToDevelop
Favourite Boat? 4+/-, 4x- and 8+
Which Side? Bow-side
Ergo Music? Anything with a good beat, depending on what the workout is
Rowing Highlight? Winning the Novice 4+ with current GB rower Mat Tarrant
Coaching Highlight? WJ14 girls B final at National Schools plus many first time winners during the season