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    Sara Parfett

    Rower

    Where are you from?
    Kent, but I now live in Putney, London

    Fun Facts

    • Favourite food

      - Poached Eggs on buttery muffins for sure

    • Favourite film

      - Hercules the Disney version

    • Favourite music

      - Anything with a good beat to train to

    • Favourite book

      - The last good book was Gone Girl

    • Dream Holiday Destination

      - Cuba

    • Who are the most important people in your life?

      - My parents

    • Favourite TV show

      - Peaky Blinders

    • When you aren't training, what are you doing?

      - Coaching rowing or finding new cafes for coffee and lunch with friends

    • Any other hobbies

      - I love cycling and I’m currently building my own bike, but I just love watching and playing any sports I can with friends.

    Background

    I am very sporty, and love trying out new sports or setting myself a new challenge. If I am not training or competing myself I like to coach or encourage others to have a go and push themselves. I have various sports coaching qualifications and I am working towards a role within public health in the future. But at the moment my crew and I are training in an eight working towards a regatta this weekend in Holland, Women’s Henley in June and Royal Henley in July, so this summer is looking very busy.

    I originally competed in swimming from a young age, following my brother into the sport. I raced at national level and continued at university level where I represented the University of Bath whilst studying for my Biology degree. At university I swapped over to rowing and I trained under the GB Start programme. It’s a great sport to get involved in as it has such a great community behind it, and like swimming it has different disciplines and events all year round to keep it interesting.

    I now row for Imperial College Boat Club in Putney London and coach rowing part time at Latymer Upper School in Hammersmith. I have also just been accepted at Kings College London to start my Masters of Public Health this September.

    Interview

    How did you get involved with rowing?

    I was at the University of Bath training with the performance swim team when I was talent spotted for the GB Start rowing trials. After I successfully passed the tests I was given a boat and taught to scull (the one with two oars, but we call them blades), regularly going on camps to Nottingham and training with other GB Start rowers from across the country. I have since moved to Imperial College Boat Club, where I learnt to sweep (the one with one blade) and I still love it, although I occasionally sneak back in the pool.

    Best Rowing or sport related achievement so far?

    The best so far has been winning the British Championships this year in the elite women’s eight. Although winning women’s Henley in a quad was pretty cool too.

    What are your ambitions for 2016 and beyond?

    In September I am starting a Masters degree at King’s College London, in addition to working hard on my course, I am excited to be competing at university events again, such as British and European university regattas. I also hope to improve on my previous performances at the GB national team trials and hopefully compete for my country again.

    Who are your sporting & non sporting role models and why?

    I don’t have any role models really as I respect all competitors and athletes at every level as you can learn something from everyone and use them to push yourself every day, and I apply this in both a sporting and academic sense.

    Tell us something that most people don’t know about you?

    I am ridiculously scared of clowns.

    Can you describe the feeling when you made a great improvement/achievement in your sport and what it was?

    I remember winning women’s Henley, it was quite a close final and being so focused throughout the race on what we were doing we weren’t sure who had won. At that moment I was in so much pain, my legs and lungs burning, but as soon as we were announced as the winners of this three day event, the pain disappeared and we were all ecstatic that we had won as a team. It was a great feeling albeit a bit emotional as we had all overcome either injuries or other obstacles that year to succeed.

    What are you top three sport nutrition tips?

    1. Eggs are your best friend
    2. Don’t eat seafood the night before a competition
    3. Don’t stress about your nutrition

    What are your top three training tips?

    1. Don’t ignore your body, if you need a rest day take it.
    2. Enjoy your training!!!
    3. Make small goals that lead in to your big season or yearly goal.

    Why do you use Beet It and how has it helped you?

    I use Beet It to enhance my performance for training and competitions. I had heard about the benefits of increased nitrate consumption and was keen to try it and I had good results on both the erg and the water with Beet It, so I have incorporated it in to my pre race routine.

    How important to you is it that it is natural?

    It’s great that it is 100% organic with no hidden additives, as when competing you need to know exactly what you are fuelling your body with.

    Have you tried the full range and if so which product do you use the most and why?

    I have tried quite a few of the products, and I love the Beet It Sport Shots and flapjacks as they are so easy to use and to pack for training and competitions. But the Beet It Sport Nitrate is great to have at home in the fridge to make up daily.