Selkirk’s Maddie Arlett has been awarded one of the highest honours in Scottish rowing and is now looking to make waves on the GB circuit.
The 21-year-old from Ettrick Bridge picked up the Senior Rower of the Year title at the annual Scottish Rowing Awards and admits that it came as a huge surprise.
“It was such a privilege to even be considered for this award,” she said.
“I honestly didn’t think for a second I would win with the calibre of rower I was up against.”
A product of Selkirk High School Maddie only took up rowing when starting her sports science degree at Edinburgh University but has been hitting the headlines ever since.
Her long list of achievements over the past year include: British U23 lightweight champion in the double in 2014-2015 and 2015-2016; BUCS Head of the River - Gold in elite quad, Silver in elite 8; BUCS regatta- Silver in elite lightweight single, bronze in elite quad; attended an U23 GB development camp to Belgium; competed for U23 GB in Germany (second in lightweight double); Competed in the Senior GB lightweight quad in Rotterdam and won gold; came 2nd U23 in GB final trials; selected to represent GB for U23 World Championships (lightweight quad); 4th in the world at the U23 World Championships Plovdiv.
“My best achievement is obviously being selected to represent GB and competing against the world, finishing fourth U23,” she said.
“At the start of the year it was a huge task but I kept my head down and tried to improve at every opportunity. Representing my country had always been a dream from a young age so it is something I will never forget.”
A member of the Borders Athlete Support Programme (ASP) Maddie is keen to push onwards and upwards and already has plans in place for the season ahead.
“This year I am doing the whole GB trialing process again for my last year at U23,” she added.
“It still feels like a big task but now I will not be considered he underdog. I think I like that.
“Next up in my list is the Scottish Indoor Championships where you complete a 2000m piece on the rowing machine as hard as you can. I am going for a big personal best this year.”
And, while most of her training is done with her Edinburgh University team mates, Maddie is grateful of the support she receives back home.
“The ASP gave me goals to achieve throughout the year, kept me on track and also made sure I was able to train hard when I was home in the Borders,” she explained. “The support from back home is always a huge help to me.
“When I got my award my dad was there to see me collect it which was amazing! It was the first time he had worn a bow tie to an event and admitted it was worth it. He is a proud man.”