LEAH SAUNDER'S BIOGRAPHY
Hi, my name is Leah Saunders and I am a 17 year old rower from Evesham Rowing Club. I learned to row at Evesham when I was 13 years old and have since fell in love with the sport and remained here throughout my career to compete regionally, nationally and internationally.
My first major national competition was in 2021 where I competed in a single scull at the British rowing Junior Championships, where I fought hard over three 2km races to eventually become the national champion. This win motivated me to become more serious about competitive rowing, and prompted me to train hard the following season with the intention of trialling for a place on the U17 GB rowing team for the chance to earn an international vest.
That following season I worked hard to improve my power and endurance, as well as neaten up my technique. Alongside travelling to many regional competitions with my club, I won national medals at events such as the Junior sculling regatta, Junior inter Regional Regatta, and British rowing Junior Championships. Competing at these high level events allowed me to learn how to cope with whatever conditions were thrown at me on the day, and valuable lessons on the best ways to manage nerves, so that last year when it came to trialling for a place on the GB team I was able to battle the wind and waves of the national watersport centre, and row my way to a place on the GB team..
I was selected to represent Great Britain in the Team GB vs Team France match held at the newly built Olympic Facility constructed ready for the Paris 2024 Olympic rowing. I was competing in my single scull and despite some incredibly high standard opposition, was able to come home victorious winning my first international medal.
I have recently decided to give coastal rowing a go - specifically the beach sprint format where you have to sprint down the beach, jump into your boat and complete a slalom course out to sea before executing a 180° turn and rowing back into the beach, jumping out your bot and sprinting back up the beach to hit your buzzer before you opponent in the adjacent lane. I found this rowing variation exhilarating and even trialled for the GB team in July, where I was selected to compete in a women’s coastal under 19 double at the Coupe De La Jeunesse (European) and World Championships in Italy. Having Recently returned home a European Champion and World silver medalist, I am excited to see where I can take coastal rowing in the future, especially since this newly emerging sport has just been announced as being included in the LA 2028 Olympic Games.
This year I want to focus on learning how I can improve further to try and continue competing internationally, so the support from Cass & Friends will allow me to attend GB rowing camps where I can be coached by the best in the sport and achieve my goals. Thank you CASS & Friends!