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Alumna Lauren Irwin has been announced as part of Team GB’s 42-member rowing squad for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games this summer.

Lauren’s Olympic selection comes after an exceptional rowing season. Earlier this year, she was picked to represent Great Britain at the World Rowing Cup and came away with a silver medal, from racing in Varese (Italy). This was swiftly followed by a second silver at the European Championships in Szeged (Hungary). A third silver rounded off the success at Lucerne (Switzerland). 

It has been her dream to race at the Paris Olympics, and she will participate as part of the women’s eight (W8+) rowing team. She also makes history in becoming the first Olympian from Peterlee, County Durham. 

Team GB Chef de Mission, Mark England, commented: “Our rowers have posted some outstanding results this season and I am sure the crews will relish the opportunity to showcase their talent in front of their friends, family, and Team GB fans as they race the Olympic course at the National Olympic Nautical Stadium of Île-de-France in Paris this July.” 

Progression at Durham 

Lauren is originally from the town of Peterlee in County Durham. She attended local comprehensive secondary school St Bede's, and was initially encouraged to try rowing by her PE teacher. After switching from swimming to rowing at 13 years old, Lauren was subsequently invited to join the Junior High Performance Academy (JHPA) run by our coaches and students. The JHPA connected her to mentors Wade Hall-Craggs (British rower, Olympic sculler and former Ƶapp Boat Club head coach) and alumna Harriet Tebbs, who has recently been appointed Vice Principal at Josephine Butler College. 

She progressed to study Sport, Health and Exercise between 2016-19 as a member of the College of St Hild and St Bede, and continued to hone her skills through our Boat Club, under the tutelage of Ian Short and Wade Hall-Craggs. She took part in the U23 World Championships three times, winning gold in the women’s four in 2019. She also gave her time as a volunteer coach, and a junior high performance coach during her studies. 

After graduating, she was invited to row full time as a GB athlete in 2021 ready for the start of the new Olympic cycle. She makes history with her selection for Team GB, becoming the first ever Olympian from Peterlee.

Images courtesy of Team GB.

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