Golden girls inspiring Frazier's push for GB rowing place
Training under a banner of Olympic gold medallists Heather Stanning and Helen Glover has proven a huge inspiration for Frazier Christie, who is aiming to take the next step in his own rowing career this weekend.
The 20-year-old is a member of the GB Rowing Team’s Start programme at the University of Bath, as were London 2012 women’s pair champions Stanning and Glover.
“I joined the Start programme just after Heather and Helen left Bath but it’s been great to train alongside the banner of them that has been in gym since they won their gold,” said Christie.
“My ultimate goal is to represent Great Britain at the Olympics. The GB team has a good development pathway and in the short-term I want to get to the Under-23 World Championships [in Austria]. That would be a good stepping stone.”
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Christie can take a step closer to that goal on Saturday when he rows at the GB Rowing Team’s second winter assessment trials in Lincolnshire.
He is one of four University of Bath rowers selected for the trials and he was also invited to train alongside the British senior and under-23 squads in Spain last month.
“It was hard work training at an altitude of 2,300m but I got a lot from it,” he said. “It was also good for my confidence to know I’m considered one of the top guys.”
Christie also got some extra altitude training at Christmas in Kenya, where his father serves with the British Army.
Dan Harris, GB Rowing Start coach at Bath, said Christie has shown the sort of dedication needed to progress.
“He has a good attitude to training and is totally committed,” he said. “Because of that he is physically robust and physiologically he has stepped up massively.”
Christie started rowing as a sixth former at Prior Park College and now receives support at the University of Bath from a Santander Scholarship. He is also a Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) student.
He will partner fellow economics student Jack Cadman in a pair at the weekend and both will be aiming to secure invitations to the final senior trials in April.
The other Bath pairing sees mechanical engineering student Alex Wilding, who receives a Bill Whiteley Scholarship, row with Ben Jackson, a sport and exercise science student.
* Are you female aged 16-22 and at least 178cm? Or male aged 16-20 and at least 188cm tall? Want to get tested? Contact Dan Harris – email@example.com – to apply for the GB Rowing Team Start Programme.