Norfolk rower pulls off shock at Great Britain junior trials
- Credit: Submitted
A sculler from Norwich Rowing Club has pulled off a shock win in the first round of a series of trials for the Great Britain junior team in 2014.
Steven Parsonage, 17, won the 5km water trial held in Boston, Lincolnshire at the weekend, beating 150 of the top boys in Great Britain.
He was up against some stiff competition but beat other GB rowers who were returning to the sport from last year.
British Rowing coach Katy Knowles said: 'The result raised a few eyebrows as the first trial is usually won by GB returners, to have someone pop up out of nowhere and win is highly unusual.
'Steven has rowed with the Norwich Rowing Club's junior squad since he was 12 and been given superb support and encouragement from the coaching team there.
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'In September he was selected to train on the England talent pathway after impressing with his raw power. Since then he has shown incredible determination, commitment, skill and athleticism, with huge improvements in all areas of performance.'
As well as studying for his A-levels in further mathematics, physics and general engineering at Notre Dame School in Norwich, Parsonage has a tough training schedule with 8 to 10 training sessions per week; five on water and up to five on land.
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Next he will attend the junior world potential training camp in Nantes, in the west of France, in December with other top candidates. The next trial is back in Boston in February, in the doubles.
Parsonage, from Poringland, is seeking sponsorship as he is expected to pay for all the GB camps and events abroad, on top of travel sports kit and race entries.
Knowles added: 'Over the year it costs at least £5,000 for essential racing, travelling, camps events and kit. He hopes to receive Sports Aid funding, but this will not cover everything.
'What with training and doing A-levels – he will not have time to work as well.'
Another young man from Norwich Rowing Club was also invited to the trials, after only a relatively short period of time.
Edmund Youngs did well to finish 82nd and demonstrated vast improvements by beating many that have beaten him in recent races.
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