Rhubarb 2020

ST EDWARD’S r h u b a r b

Olympic rowers are increasingly becoming better known – not least as they have at times been the only medal winners at Olympic Games and World Championships. Which of these stand out for you as athletes and as human beings or perhaps both? I was very lucky to join the London Times in 1989 after Steve Redgrave had won his first two Olympic gold medals and was joining up with Matthew Pinsent as a pair. Sir Steve Redgrave I was first aware of Steve Redgrave when he was 14. He became an outstanding rower and a fast learner. He developed an outstanding physique for a rower. He also learnt how to make highly effective presentations and gave insightful interviews as well. Sir Matthew Pinsent I first noticed Matthew Pinsent when he was in an Eton under 16 crew that beat my Teddies crew at the National Schools’ Regatta. When he won his first Olympic gold in 1992, I was sitting next to his father in Barcelona. I got to know Matthew and his father quite well and we had a memorable afternoon some time later at Teddies when Matthew came to tea and spoke to the senior boys and girls of the Boat Club. They enjoyed it. Dame Katherine Grainger I first saw Katherine Grainger in the National Championships in Scotland and was impressed. She came down to England to join Mike Spracklen’s Women’s Great Britain squad. She then won her first rowing World bronze medal in 1997 and her last major medal was a gold in the London Olympics in 2012. We became good friends.


What changes have you seen over the years in reporting rowing and what persists despite the changes? What would be your advice for OSE currently trying to get into the world of sports journalism? You must be able to turn your hand to many things. Ideally start by reporting on any sports and keep hounding the local newspapers with your efforts. Enthusiasm will count for a lot in the long run. I was lucky – I never applied for a job, I was always approached or poached. But this had to be down to the fact that I was well known in my main sport as an oarsman, writer, administrator and coach. 1977 1st VIII: The VIII won at Henley and five went on to race in the Junior World Championships Final in Finland. Two subsequently rowed in the Boat Race, one for Oxford one for Cambridge. After the team won at Henley, Boatman Geoff Beesley was not happy to find the boat’s metal fin rudder was missing. It appeared three days later when the crew gave it to their Coach engraved with their names. It still hangs on the Coach’s study wall.

TOBY SMITH DINNER The School is delighted to announce that it will be hosting the re-arranged Toby Smith Dinner on Saturday, 8th May 2021. Toby (F, 1995-2000) tragically died in 2015 after a long battle with cancer. He was an inspirational character, who is greatly missed by everyone who had the privilege of knowing him. He was a hugely talented and successful sportsman, who excelled in a rowing boat and on the rugby pitch both during his years at Teddies and beyond. The Dinner had been scheduled for May this year, but had to be postponed due to Coronavirus. It will now be held at the School on 8th May 2021 and will be an evening of friendship and sport in celebration of Toby’s life and to raise money for a good cause. There will be a drinks reception with canapés on the Quad, a formal two course sit down meal in the Dining Hall and an after dinner speech by guest speaker, Sir Bill Beaumont, followed by a live band and dancing. Tickets will go on sale early next year. www.tobysmith2020.org


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