Monday, 06 August 2012
University students, who may have a newfound enthusiasm for rowing after Great Britain’s medal success in the Olympics, will benefit from the sporting legacy left behind by former Worcester student Tom Harris.
Five years after leaving the University, the rowing club that Tom established as a student is now thriving with over 40 members regularly competing at events all over the country.
Tom joined the University in 2003 as a Sports Studies with associated Health Studies student. A keen rower, he quickly established a new rowing club at the University with some donated equipment he came across at Worcester Rowing Club.
“When I came to the University there was no rowing club, so I joined the Worcester Rowing Club,” he said. “But I was keen to get a University club established and so I managed to get some equipment and a few people and it went from there.”
While at University, 27-year-old Tom gained his level 2 rowing coaching qualification and is currently completing his level 3 qualification. During his time at Worcester, Tom assisted the regional British Rowing Talent ID coach, who was based at the University, as well as competing at a high level himself and coaching Worcester Rowing Cub juniors.
Upon leaving university he took a gap year, travelling to Tasmania to coach rowing teams. When he returned to the UK, Tom secured a job as Boathouse Manager at The King’s School, Worcester, as well as being the school’s Junior 16 Boys coach, later progressing to senior boys’ coach.
While at King’s, Tom became a satellite coach with British Rowing’s ‘Start’ programme. One of his athletes reached final trials for the Great Britain Junior Team and has now secured a scholarship to Harvard University in the United States.
Tom spent four years at King’s School, over-seeing the development of a brand new boathouse, before leaving Worcester to take over his family’s property business in Surrey, where his girlfriend had secured a new job as a primary school teacher.
“Coming to Worcester gave me the drive and means to pursue my rowing and to make a career out of it,” Tom said. “There were so many opportunities to participate and coach.”
Glyn Harding, Senior Lecturer in Sports Coaching Science at the University, said: “Tom took the opportunities open to him to graduate in an interesting and valuable subject, to coach abroad and gain a level 3 NGB award that makes him highly employable. He is a credit to himself, his family, the University and King’s School. I am sure that his future will be extremely exciting and rewarding.
“I’m sure after Great Britain’s triumphs in rowing at the Olympics this weekend there will be even more students at the University who will want to try their hand at one of the UK’s most successful sports.”