Meet the Exeter student rowing in this year’s Boat Race
This April, Oxford and Cambridge will take to the river Thames in the 156th Boat Race. For the first time since 1914, Exeter will have a student rowing in the dark blue boat. Ben Myers is also one of the youngest members of the team. We asked him about the challenges of preparing for the race – and his plans for the future…
Position in the boat
What first got you interested in rowing?
I wasn’t especially gifted at other sports, having tried quite a few! So when the opportunity arose to try rowing out at school, I leaped at it!
Had you rowed much before coming to Exeter?
I started rowing at Kingston Grammar School at age 13. Initially I didn’t take it particularly seriously, but by the time we started racing other schools the training gradually became more challenging. I definitely owe a lot to my coaches at school for providing encouragement and inspiration throughout my rowing career. However, I have undoubtedly progressed significantly during my time at Oxford. Even at the start of this year, a seat in the Blue Boat was only a very distant possibility.
What are you most looking forward to about the race?
The race will be the pinnacle of seven months’ training. Cambridge will be very strong, so I am eager to experience our crew’s peak performance in the coming weeks.
And what is the greatest challenge in preparing for it?
Of course, the main difficulty has been managing my time to fulfill all my rowing and academic commitments. The constant pressure to be at my best in two completely separate areas has been incredibly taxing.
What will you go on to do next?
In the immediate future, my focus will certainly shift towards academia, in preparation for finals in Trinity term. However, I still wish to row for Exeter in summer eights – college rowing definitely plays an important role in the continuing success of the university boat club.