River King Joshua The Thames!
Updated: Oct 4
By Ian Ross
The man who once declared that competitive rowing was something a little more demanding than perhaps it first appeared quite clearly had a point.
Of course, the voice of experience will always carry a good deal more weight than does the faint whispers of the novice - but that is wholly understandable bearing in mind the man who lodged the sentiment in the public's consciousness is one Sir Steve Redgrave, the most successful male rower in Olympic history after winning gold at five consecutive Games between 1984 and 2000.
Here at LIFE School we are fortunate to boast a rower with the enthusiasm and competitive edge of Sir Steve. True, Joshua from West Kirby has yet to fill a trophy cabinet with the glittering spoils of victory - but he's on his way!
At the tender age of 15, Joshua is already beginning to accelerate around his chosen sport's steep learning curve and if, as is traditional, commitment and raw talent can carry an athlete a long way his future may well prove to be golden.
Joshua is a member of the famous Grosvenor Rowing Club in Chester, one of the oldest clubs in Europe with a history which stretches back an astonishing 153 years to 1869.
"Like most boys my age I love sport and like everyone else it was a case of trying different things until I settled on the one I wanted to pursue," he said.
"I think most gravitate towards football but I realised early on that it wasn't for me. I moved into long-distance running and really enjoyed it. I then tried wind-surfing but falling into very cold water wasn't for me."
"Eventually I decided to travel to Chester and give rowing a go - I loved it from day one. I now go down to the Grosvenor Club twice a week to train both as a rower and as cox or Coxswain. The cox is a bit like the conductor of an orchestra - he or she sits at the rear of the boat and keeps it moving in a straight line and tries to ensure that the oars are swinging in sync," he added.
Joshua recently pitted his wits and skills against some of the finest Coxes in Europe at the highly prestigious Head of the River Race along the Thames Championship Course from Mortlake to Putney - which is, in fact, the Oxford v Cambridge Boat Race route in reverse.
In March of every year, 400 crews of eight compete against each other in what is termed a " processional " race which means that crews start one after the other at ten-second intervals. The winner is the crew which completes the course in the quickest time.
The Race is now one of rowing most popular and has grown significantly since the inaugural event in 1926 with more than 3,500 competitors - including our Joshua - taking part this year.
"I coxed both a female crew and a male crew. It was tough going but we did pretty well - in both races we finished midway which isn't bad at all when there were so many taking part," he said.
"One of LIFE School's objectives is for its pupils to combine education with sport. The idea is to have both a healthy body and a healthy mind," he added.
"Joshua is a real credit to our school. He is achieving in both academic and sporting arenas," said LIFE School CEO Alastair Saverimutto.
Congratulations Joshua from all your friends at LIFE School....we are VERY proud of you.