Gold medal winner learnt to row at Durham

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didn’t know what he was letting himself in for when he wrote his name down to take up rowing at the Freshers’ Fair.

A year after graduating from Durham, he is a world champion. Last month Warr won a gold medal in the World University Rowing Championships, representing Great Britain in the men’s eight – a monumental journey from learning to row as a novice in his first year at University.

And he is keen to encourage new students to follow his footsteps and get involved with University sport.

Warr told Palatinate: “If you have the slightest inkling that you might like a sport, just get down to the Fair and sign up. It was the best decision I ever made.”

And the rower is certain that the opportunities Team Durham gave him were fundamental to his success.

He said: ““There’s no way I could have climbed to such a high level in the sport without the coaching and support from Team Durham.

“My ultimate dream is to win Olympic gold.”

The excellence of our University’s sport was represented by the other former students competing in the Championships.

Fellow alumni Stewart Innes (men’s single sculls) won bronze whilst Barney Stentiford and Francis Highton (men’s coxless four) finished a respectable fourth. Trude Meyer (women’s single sculls) came 10th rowing for Norway.

Former Durham students also played a key coaching role at the Championships, which were held in September in France.

Grey College alumnus Pete Sheppard was lead coach for Great Britain, and former Durham University Boat Club President Franz Imfeld coached the men’s lightweight four, who won bronze.

To have such a large Durham contingent at a major international sporting event is incredibly impressive, and if this year’s new students show the same enthusiasm and willingness to get involved as did, the University will continue to develop world-class athletes.

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