Earlier this year, the David Randall Foundation awarded a scholarship to aspiring British Rower, Jake Offiler and we are delighted to play a small part in his journey.
If you are looking for a story of an inspiring teenager then look no further than Jake Offiler. This young man has drive and determination in abundance and we recently caught up with him to find out what was happening in his life right now.
We discovered that not just content with Rowing competitions, breaking records and upcoming GB trials, Jake is also revising hard for his upcoming AS level exams in May! Still not enough? Ok, his bands first mini album is about to be released!!
We managed to pin him down for a few minutes to tell us more. Starting with the Rowing.
Jake recently won Gold in the quadruple sculls at Burway Head and followed that up with a further Gold at the Kingston Head of the River, again in the quad. Further success has come at the National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships where not satisfied with the title, Jake also recorded the fastest time of the whole competition including the year above.
The only disappointing row for Jake recently came at the National Schools “Head on the Tideway” where his quad came 8th. “Whilst this was disappointing, it was not a true reflection of our standard” said Jake “as it was by far the worst conditions I had ever rowed in”.
Jake has also recently completed a VO2 max test which he described as very painful but a great experience.
So what next? Over to Jake, “Coming up on the 23rd of April is the biggest set of GB trials for me so far, and I am very nervous. For the first time, I have to compete as a j18 when I’m still the year below”
This of course all comes at the same time as revision for Jake’s AS level exams which he sits in May.
Thanks to some further sponsorship coming from Sports Aid through British Rowing, Jake is just about to purchase an indoor rowing machine. This will allow at this critical time, for Jake to spend more time on school work, that he would otherwise have spent travelling to the Rowing Club for training sessions. Trying to balance cramming for exams without losing fitness is clearly a challenge and one that I imagine very few people actually appreciate. But it appears that young Jake is pretty good at this juggling act as he casually drops in, that his band is releasing their first small album on the 12th of this month. The band is called ‘The Switches’ and the EP is entitled Tuesday’s Chicken.
This was at Burway Head (Jake is in seat 3 – his usual position in the quad)
Jake at Kingston (sitting second from back again)
At the front this time (Stroke)
The ‘painful’ VO2 Max Test
Latest news from our other fabulous scholar – Ryan Crouch:-
“Training is tough, but good! After being back in the training schedule for a while now, I have recently got back to competing again.
The two competitions took place in Newmarket & Nottingham. These served the purpose of blowing away the cobwebs and to obtain a knowledge of where I currently stand.
I am off to Sheffield for Nationals at the end of this month,and then also at the end of July. Whilst Nationals this month will be used as another guide, the competition in July is the big one, as it is the Para Swimming World Championship Trials!”
We have some exciting news to announce today (17th January).
The trustees last night agreed to award TWO DRF Scholarships for 2017.
The first goes to Jake Offiler an aspiring 16 year old British rower. Despite only commencing Rowing in December 2014, Jake has won Gold at both the London Youth games and National Schools events.
Already on the GB pathway, he has a burning desire to be an Olympian and we are delighted to play a small part in his journey.
The second scholarship for 2017 goes to another inspiring young man.
Ryan Crouch is just short of his 23rd Birthday and is a competitive swimmer. His highest accolade to date is being a finalist in the S9 Freestyle event at the Paralympic Games 2016 in Rio.
Ryan is also a 4 x British Record Holder and hopeful of qualifying for the World Championships in Mexico later this year. Once again we are delighted to play a small part in his journey.
We intend keeping our website updated with both Jake and Ryan’s journeys for you to follow them as well.
Emily’s latest blog can be found here..
Emily (and Arkle Bear) have arrived in New Zealand.
You can read the first of her blogs here:-
Earlier this year we announced that we had awarded the David Randall Foundation scholarship for 2015 to Emily Ottaway.
Today, we caught up with Emily for a brief interview so that our supporters can get to know the girl behind the name. There are some pictures to follow soon too!
**Hi Emily, let’s start with how you became a triathlete?**
I come from a competitive swimming background but stopped when I started secondary school, then my mum started coaching Blackwater Tri club and suggested I join to improve my fitness, at first I only swam but then gradually started running and cycling too, next thing I knew I was racing at a world championship qualifying event and managed to qualify for the London world championships
**Tell us about your training schedule?**
Training as a triathlete isn’t easy as many others will tell you, you have 3 disciplines to train for and also have to put in strength and conditioning work on top of that so you end up clocking a fair few hours each week. That means plenty of early morning starts getting up at 4.30am to get to the swimming pool, I then normally find myself having a quick nap between lessons later in the day!
**What do your friends think about you being a triathlete?**
Some people get it, some people don’t. The normal question is, why!? But when you love any sport you just do what you have to do to be good at it. If you surround yourself with the right people who will always support you then you have a much better chance of succeeding.
**What is the best thing about being a triathlete?**
You can eat, pretty much, as much as you want and nobody will bat an eyelid!
**And the worst thing?**
Waking up early to train or to get to races that are miles away
**So what does a triathlete eat?** The bottom line is, A LOT! Because of all the training you burn tonnes of calories so you have to keep fully stocked up. Most of my friends know that if I get a bit grouchy chances are I’m hungry!
**What is the worst part of the triathlon?**
Definitely the cycle for me, all the way, I can confidently say cycling does not come naturally to me. The run and the swim I love.
**What is your proudest achievement?**
In my first year of competing in the sport qualifying for the world championships
**How did it feel to first pull on a GB vest?**
Amazing, nothing can describe it. Getting your kit with your name on it in GBR colours is one of the most precious things an athlete can own. You’ve earned that kit through hours and hour of training and that’s your reward.
**What is the favourite place you have competed at?**
Chantilly, France. Although the weather was absolutely horrible the backdrop was absolutely stunning, even in the stormy weather it looked amazing.
**Who is your sporting hero?**
Probably Jodie Stimpson, she’s been in the triathlon scene for a long time and is always pushing hard no matter what obstacles are thrown at her. I think that’s an important trait in an athlete. “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” kind of thing
**What is on your iPod?**
I have my pre-race playlist as sad as it may sound, including a bit of Eminem, Blonde and Disclosure
**What are you looking forward to most about NZ?**
Having the chance to completely focus on my training and development as an athlete.. and the scenery is a bonus!
**What will you miss most about home?**
The cold and rain.. (joking!) my friends, family and all the people from my club who have supported me throughout my time being a triathlete
**Finally, what does being supported by DRF mean to you?**
It’s fantastic, without this support I would have not been able to travel to New Zealand which is a key part of me improving as an athlete. As a Maldon girl and a Plume student I am really excited to be associated with everyone at DRF and am really motivated to make everyone proud.