23/Apr/2014 - Last News Update: 07:00

Alan Campbell rowing for gold at London Olympics

Category: Northern Ireland

Published: 3rd Aug 2012 06:28:47

Alan Campbell first eased himself into a rowing boat back in 1996 while still at school.

He was inspired to take up rowing after watching Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Matthew Pinsent win pairs gold at the Olympics in Atlanta, and 16 years later he is aiming to end up on the Olympic podium himself.

Like Olympic silver medallist Richard Chambers, the 29-year-old is also a former pupil of Coleraine Inst.

When Prime Minister David Cameron came to Northern Ireland on Wednesday as part of his UK-wide tour to promote the benefits of the Olympics, his first engagement was at Bann Rowing Club which Campbell joined at the age of 16, training seven days a week on the nearby river.

Among those introduced to the prime minister was 90-year-old Bobby Platt, who coached Campbell in his formative years and created a rowing dynasty in the town.

At the age of 19, Campbell dropped out of university to pursue his dream of taking part in the Olympics.

By 2002 he was training at the Tideway Scullers club in Chiswick, west London. It was there that Campbell met his mentor Bill Barry, Olympic silver medalist in the men's four in 1964.

He made his GB debut at the World Under-23 Championships in 2003, where he finished eighth in the single scull.

A year later, he made his Olympic debut at Athens in the quad, and in Beijing four years on, he made the Olympic final where he finished fifth.

It has taken huge amounts of determination and sacrifices to reach the top of his sport, and he says he has put in many hours of gruelling training for London 2012.

"We have rehearsed every single second because we have done over 10 hours worth of training for every second, so every 36,000 times every stroke has been rehearsed," he added.

"The first 1,500 is all about doing the right thing, but the emotion will come in during the last 500."

He finished second in the semi-finals on Wednesday behind race favourite Ondrej Synek of the Czech Republic, and he is now well poised to win a first Olympic medal for Great Britain in the men's single sculls event since 1928.

Source:
BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2012. Alan Campbell rowing for gold at London Olympics [Online] (Updated 3rd Aug 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1444271/Alan-Campbell-rowing-for-gold-at-London-Olympics [Accessed 23rd Apr 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Shakespeare 'a cultural icon' abroad

    William Shakespeare is the UK's greatest cultural icon, according to the results of an international survey released to mark the 450th anniversary of his birth.
  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
  • GM seeks to bar some ignition lawsuits

    General Motors has asked a US court to bar some lawsuits relating to its recall over faulty ignition switches.
  • Alison Williamson: GB Olympian archer retires

    Veteran archer Alison Williamson will not bid for a record-breaking seventh Olympic appearance in Rio after deciding to retire from the sport.
  • Llanishen reservoir campaign plea to David Cameron

    Campaigners calling for a Cardiff reservoir to re-open will visit the prime minister to press their case to restore fishing and sailing there.
  • Worksop house death pair 'were stabbed'

    A man and woman found dead in a Nottinghamshire house were stabbed, it has been confirmed.