Rowing for Gold!

Sixth Form College student and rowing sensation, Megan Knight took part in the World Virtual Indoor Rowing Championships. After extensive training, she achieved silver for the 500m Women’s Under 19 race and gold for the 2000m Women’s Under 19 final. Meg has achieved the accolade of becoming a world champion! 

Formerly of Trentham Academy, Meg is a shining example of a Sixth Form College student, currently in her first year and balancing her academic studies alongside her passion for rowing. She spends her spare time training for competitions where she can average 25+ hours in her garage on a rowing machine covering many miles and lifting weights. As a member of the Sixth Form College Junior Elite Scholarship Programme, Meg receives a comprehensive programme of athlete support, which includes strength and conditioning reviews, nutrition and psychology workshops as well as complimentary gym membership. 

In December Meg took part in the Sixth Form Girls Virtual British Indoor Rowing Championships in both the 500m and 2000m races. These races were a qualifier for the Women’s Under-19 World Rowing Indoor Championships representing GB and Meg won gold in both.  

The World Rowing Indoor Championships took place virtually between the 23rd – 27th February 2021 where Megan competed in the Women’s Under-19 500m and 2000m race. The 500m race was held on the 24th of February where Megan took silver, narrowly missing out on gold by 0.5 seconds, it also saw her beat her previous British record setting a new world record with a time of 1:30:7. The 2000m race was held on the 27th of February where Megan achieved GOLD with a time of 6:58:7 which beat her personal best which she set at the British Indoor Rowing Championships by 6 seconds. 

Meg said “It feels surreal to have won the event and to be able to call myself a world champion. It still hasn’t completely sunk in. I am super happy, both races were U19s and the girl who won the 500m was 18, so I ended up setting a new world record for 16-year-olds in that event.” 

“The competition was very strong and something I haven’t really experienced before. I have never raced against athletes from such a wide array of countries. I particularly enjoyed the 500m, as it is typically a crossfit or powerlifting event, so was a good way to challenge myself against athletes who specifically train for that event (as a rower, my main event is 2000m).” 

Phil Mcpherson, Director of Teaching, Learning and Assessment commented Everyone at the Sixth Form College is incredibly proud of Megan’s recent performances. Winning a gold and silver medal at world level rowing is an amazing achievement that reflects her hard work, dedication and positive attitude to her training at Trentham Boat Club. We are very excited about continuing to support Megan’s future rowing career and academic studies as part of the college’s junior elite scholarship programme.” 

Due to the pandemic, Meg hasn’t had the opportunity to take part in competitive rowing in over a year, so when the race went virtual, she relished the chance to take part. Meg said “I enjoyed the event as I haven’t had the chance to race in person in over a year, so it was a good way to stay motivated, however, I was glad when it was over too because my nerves were so high before the races.” 

Meg has achieved greatness with her rowing in many ways, during lockdown she set a British record for 1 minute and matched the world record and has set a British record for 30 minutes for her age group. Her successes on the water with Trentham Boat Club and her crewmates include Gold at the National Schools Regatta and Silver at National Sculling Head which both took place at the Olympic Venue, Eton Dorney in 2019 and Gold at the British Rowing Championships which took place at Nottingham in July 2019. 

Meg dreams of one-day rowing for the GB squad and competing in the Olympics. Meg commented “I am currently trialling for the GB Junior Team, with hopes of representing GB in the World Rowing Junior Championships which are set to take place in Plovdiv, Bulgaria in the summer.” 

Wishing you the very best of luck Meg! 

2021 World Rowing Indoor Championships - Racing Day 3 - Saturday 27 February