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Herne Bay rower William White earns Oxford scholarship

William White, an aspiring young junior from Herne Bay Rowing Club, has been awarded a scholarship with St Edward’s School, Oxford.

White, 15, will board for three years in which time he will be coached, trained on an intense regime and with a view to compete at a high level, predominantly at National Schools and Henley Royal Regatta. He starts on 1 September.

William White has worked hard for his scholarship
William White has worked hard for his scholarship

For two months during lockdown, White was watched and evaluated via Zoom by the school’s senior coach, Jonny Singfield and master in charge of rowing Adam Moffat, whose initial thoughts of William were: "Powerful with reasonable technique who would be a great addition to the school and boatclub. His physiology is impressive and scores on the rowing machine are right at the top end for his age group.”

Initially pointed out to the school by Herne Bay Rowing Club member and ex-international rower, Daniel Ritchie, it was clear that William was a determined and focused boy who was prepared to work hard.

Herne Bay High School, where William attended until this year, has remained extremely supportive throughout the process giving extensive references, together with words of encouragement and excitement.

Jackie Wilson, head of Omega College at the local school was ”thrilled that Will has achieved this scholarship and we send him our best wishes for this next exciting chapter in his life. He will be missed by many staff and students but we look forward to following his career".

She added: “William is a natural sportsman and has displayed a real love for sport through the camaraderie he injects into his many sporting experiences.

"He also has the drive and desire to be the best he can, no matter what the obstacles are."

There are high hopes for Herne Bay rower William White
There are high hopes for Herne Bay rower William White

William’s father, Darren, is also the captain of Herne Bay Rowing Club.

He said: “This is an extremely rare opportunity and recognition of talent in a young athlete, a break that is often missing with so many talented individuals but also a testament to our great club.

"Herne Bay Amateur Rowing Club is not just one of the oldest sporting clubs in the local area but also one of the most grounded and stable environments to nurture young people.

"It takes children in and teaches them the skill of coastal rowing but more importantly, team spirit, comradery and respect for others."

This opportunity for William is something the club as a whole has achieved as we have given him the foundation, the pathway and the self-motivation to succeed.

William would like to thank all members of the club for their support, especially those volunteers that make rowing possible including the committee and senior members that run the club on a day to day basis. He would like to single out Keith Grove who has been a great coach and given him guidance through the past three years since he started at the club.

To join Herne Bay Rowing Club, visit hbarc.org.uk .

Read more: The latest sports news in Kent

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