A young Putney rower enjoyed a day he will never forget after winning the opportunity to experience a sporting masterclass from Olympic champion Will Satch.
Theo Metcalf, 15, was one of five young athletes to spend an afternoon with Rio 2016 men’s eight gold medallist Satch, learning the tips of the trade both on and off the water, as well as receiving top-class advice from the coaches at Leander Club, the world’s most successful rowing club.
The Invesco Perpetual Junior Rowing experience was a promotion conducted at regattas over the summer to offer young rowers the opportunity of a unique training experience at Leander Club.
In doing so, Invesco Perpetual hopes to inspire the next generation of rowing talent and to share the unique experience and insights of the world’s premier club for the benefit of grassroots rowing.
And for Metcalf, who rows for Tideway Scullers School, the day more than whet his appetite for a bright future within the sport.
“We came down to the club really early and went out on the water with the Leander junior athletes and did about 12km,” said Radley College pupil Metcalf.
“After breakfast, we went out again and did some technical stuff, before having lunch with Will.
“We went out on the water with him which was really good fun. Meeting the stars of your sport is much more accessible in rowing than it is in other sports like football or rugby, so it’s easy to get to know those who have done well.
“I got to hold his Olympic gold medal and it was really heavy, much heavier than I thought, and it was bigger than I expected.
“Rowing is such a difficult sport and takes a lot of hard work, and seeing the effort that has to go in makes you appreciate what coaches do for you.
“I love rowing because of the camaraderie involved. When you spend hours a day rowing with people, it brings you close together.”
And for Satch, whose gold medal added to his bronze medal from London 2012 in the men’s coxless pair, the day was as inspiring for him as it was for the young rowers.
“The Invesco Perpetual Junior Rowing Experience has primarily given these youngsters a look around Leander Club and an idea of what rowing is like down here in this beautiful, iconic area,” he said.
“Leander Club offers an awful lot to junior rowers. For me, it was a different club when I was here as a junior. I think I was the only one, and I think I’m the only one who has developed the whole way through which is very exciting.
“But now, it has opened up a massive grassroots section and it is great for the sport.
“With Invesco Perpetual’s backing, it means that youngsters like these guys can have this experience and it provides massive opportunities.
“It’s been a really inspiring day for me just to see the influx of these kids and to see how interested they are in the sport, and I’m going to take away an awful lot if I’m honest.”
Invesco Perpetual is the proud supporter of Leander Club. A 14 year relationship built on a shared belief that taking a long-term view, nurturing talent and being committed to excellence positions you for success. An approach that has made Leander Club the most successful rowing club in the world with 123 Olympic medals won by its members since 1908.