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Rising Star: Ella Bardsley-Taylor, Hartpury College

All Areas > Sport > Rowing

Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Friday, 10th June 2022, 13:00

Ella Bardsley-Taylor, left, with Megan Knight Ella Bardsley-Taylor, left, with Megan Knight

Impressive rower Ella Bardsley-Taylor is enjoying a summer of fun when it comes to her chosen sport.

The 18-year-old Hartpury College student has recently represented Great Britain at two top European events and was delighted to return home with a number of medals to show for her efforts.

The former Newent Community School pupil, who lives in Highnam, won silver in the quadruple scull and took bronze in the double scull at the esteemed Munich Junior International Regatta in May.

Later in the same month, Ella was one of only five Great Britain athletes to be selected for the European Junior Rowing Championships which took place in Varese, Italy.

And Ella, along with her partner Megan Knight, was on top form again. They competed in 30°C plus heat to win the B final by clear water and the in-form duo are now hoping to be selected for the Great Britain team that will be returning to Italy for the Junior World Championships later in the summer.

On the national stage Ella is making waves too, winning gold in the single scull at the acclaimed National Sculling Championships which took place on the 2012 Olympic rowing course at Eton Dorney.

The Hartpury sports science student was up against some of the best single scullers in Britain, yet managed to control the race from the start before unleashing an incredibly powerful burst of speed in the last 200 metres to win the event by three boat lengths.

Ella has certainly come a long way in a relatively short time.

“I started rowing at the age of 11 following a ‘Learn to Row’ week at Ross Rowing Club where my first goal was not to fall in,” she said, “but I quickly came to love the sport.”

“At Ross I had fun and some amazing experiences with a great bunch of people, including being part of a crew that set a championship record in the quadruple sculls while winning gold at the British Junior Championships in 2018.”

And she’s been having a great time since going to Hartpury in September 2020 too.

“I’ve loved every minute of being at the college and have made so many friends,” said Ella, who is also Women’s Rowing Captain at Hartpury. “For me it’s a place that provides an amazing opportunity for academic achievement alongside elite sporting excellence.”

Hartpury’s rowing programme is a unique joint initiative with the Great Britain Rowing Team’s ‘Start’ Programme and Gloucester Rowing Club, aimed at identifying and developing the next generation of Olympic rowers.

The Hartpury rowing athletes are certainly a dedicated group, training in the region of 10 times a week, typically rising before dawn to go training, studying through the day and returning to train in the evenings, and often competing at weekends.

As part of the ‘GB Start’ Programme, many of the athletes are also required to attend regular ‘GB Start’ weekend progress camps, where water and land-based testing is undertaken and assessed against performance development criteria established by British rowing.

Ella is proud to be Women’s Rowing Captain at Hartpury.

“The talent and expertise here is awesome, the level of the coaching staff and athletes within the programme is incredible, we support and inspire each other to push harder every day,” she said.

As well as studying for Sport and Exercise Science, Ella is completing the Diploma in Sporting Excellence programme, which covers all aspects of training and sports performance support to enable athletes to push themselves to the next level, the additional level 3 qualification designed for athletes who have the realistic potential to achieve excellence and are seeking to perform at the highest level.

Ella added: “I’m so looking forward to the rest of the year, including competing with my team-mates at the Henley Women’s and Henley Royal Regattas, and the British Junior Championships.

“In September, I’m hoping to become a Dual Career Athlete, studying for a Physiotherapy Degree at the University of Nottingham, while continuing on the Great Britain rowing pathway based at the National Water Sports Centre, also in Nottingham.”

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