Maddie steers a course for GB senior rowing squad selection

The boat that I row - Selkirk's Maddie Arlett
The boat that I row - Selkirk's Maddie Arlett

Two-time GB World Championship rower Maddie Arlett hopes to sail towards the GB senior squad when Caversham hosts the GB Rowing Team Senior & Under 23 trials next weekend (April 14-16).

Maddie, from Selkirk, only began rowing when she left home to start a degree at the University of Edinburgh.

But the highly ambitious 22-year-old progressed quickly and made the GB under 23 team for the last two World Championships.

From next Friday to Sunday, the on-water part of the lengthy trials process reach the final stages at the Berkshire venue – and Maddie is ready for the task after making progress this winter.

“All training has gone to plan and I’ve definitely made improvements both physically and on the water,” said Maddie, who is trialling in the Lightweight Single Sculls.

“At the first trials, I got a PB on the 2k on the rowing machine and did well on the water.

“Then I did extra winter trials in December, which were a few 2ks, and I did better than I thought I would there, so it was really positive.”

This season is different in one major respect as Maddie has moved up to senior level. Although she is studying part-time, allowing her to accumulate as many as 14 training sessions every week, her main rivals for a place on the GB team are all full-time athletes. One year through her Masters degree in Strength and Conditioning, Maddie is among 150 students supported by Winning Students, Scotland’s national sports scholarships programme for student athletes.

Grateful for the financial support, Maddie explained: “Winning Students allows me to go to Strathclyde Park every week to train and go to competitions down in England to show my face more.”

She added: “This season all depends on these trials. “If I can reduce the gap on the senior girls, that would be great, but I would love to do more than that. There are three World Cups leading into a senior World Championships, so it would be great to try and get my foot in and go and compete in at least one World Cup.”