A message from British Rowing Director of Performance Brendan Purcell

British Rowing Director of Performance Brendan Purcell gives his thoughts on his first regatta season in the job ahead of the 2018 World Rowing Championships


“I’m excited to be joining the team for my first World Championships since taking on the Director of Performance role at British Rowing in June.

“What I expected to see when I joined a team as successful as the GB Rowing Team was commitment and diligence. However, in my time at Caversham, I have seen so much more, with a real passion and commitment to the sport and its values from the athletes, coaches and support staff.

“The Chief Coaches Jurgen Grobler, Paul Thompson, Tom Dyson and Peter Sheppard work tirelessly to enable the athletes and coaches in their pursuit of ‘making the boat go faster’. As the leaders of the team, we work well together to share learnings and find solutions to challenges.

“Our world-class sport science and medical teams are also on the front line, working directly with athletes and coaches to help improve performance. It’s great to see their proactivity and their innovative approach to high performance sport, and the results that this brings.

“There have been some difficult moments this season, with injuries, illness and hard racing but the athletes have remained committed to the task at hand. Our U23 and Junior teams have enjoyed strong years on and off the water, with some truly exceptional results at World and European Championships, which bodes well for the future.

“We’re looking to finish the season well in Plovdiv to ensure we take momentum into the important 2019 season and have clarity on what we need to do in 2019 to qualify our boats to the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“We have the talent and personalities within the Team to continue forward confidently in our quest for success at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“And with the backing of UK Sport and the National Lottery we’re able to nurture the next generation of athletes – not just in the Senior squads, but also through the Junior and U23 programmes.

“Our goal, as ever, is to qualify as many boats as possible for the Tokyo 2020 Games, which requires a large, strong squad of rowers and for our coaches to continue working to find the fastest combinations across the boat classes.

“Thank you for your support throughout the 2018 season and here’s to an enjoyable World Championships.”