Matthew Tarrant: Great Britain’s double world champion rower

WE TALK to double world champion Matthew Tarrant about his rowing career to date.

Matthew Tarrant

Matthew Tarrant first started rowing in 2005.


AS A CHILD Matthew Tarrant was encouraged to try as many sports as possible by his parents but it was through a family friend that he was first introduced to rowing. Within two years of starting out in the sport of rowing Matthew found himself representing Great Britain at the Junior World Championships.


In the last ten years Matthew has had some phenomenal success competing for his country and although disappointed on missing out on a competitive place at Rio was delighted to be selected as the spare for the team. Here he talks about how that experience has made him more determined than ever to get to Tokyo 2020 and how he intends to do it. Read on to hear bout some of his biggest inspirations in the sport and more about his experiences as an international rower who has rowed around the world.

When did you start rowing and who encouraged you to give the sport a go?

I was always active as a child and my parents were always pushing me to try new sports. I started rowing in 2005 through a family friend who suggested it would be a good way to utilise my size and strength. These are both handy assets for rowers to have and I’ve always been a big guy for my age.


Matthew Tarrant

Within two years of starting out in the sport of rowing Matthew found himself representing Great Britain at the Junior World Championships.


Tell us about some of your earliest successes in your sport?


I was fairly lucky to progress as quickly as I did in rowing. Within two years I went from complete novice to representing Great Britain at the Junior World Championships. The successes that meant the most to me in my early career were leaving my novice status behind, winning my first race and competing at the Junior World Championships in 2007 and 2008, where I won silver in the coxed four.


Matthew Tarrant

Matthew won silver in the coxed four at the Junior World Championships on 2007 and 2008.


Who have been some of your biggest supporters and mentors throughout your career?


My biggest supporters have been my family. They kept me in the sport, paid for kit and competitions and backed me when others wouldn’t. I’ve had many mentors in my career, three of which are Jon Beagley, who kept rowing fun in my early days and got me hooked; Paul Willcocks, who first noticed my talent and entered me into my first Great Britain trials; and Nick De Cata for my junior development, coaching me to win the first of many World Championship medals.


Matthew Tarrant

Matthew has continued to represent Great Britain for the last decade which has included being part of the team at the Olympics this year.


What do you see as your biggest accomplishments in the sport to date and tell us about some of your phenomenal successes on the world stage?


I’ve been fortunate enough to represent Great Britain for the past 10 years, from Junior to U23 and now Senior level. As a Junior my biggest accomplishment was winning Silver, as U23 it was becoming World Champion for the first time. As a Senior the good times just keep on coming! At my first Senior World Championships in 2013 I had the huge honour of stroking the coxless four which, for many Olympics, has been the flagship boat. The following year I raced in the Eight and we won Gold as underdogs at the World Championships, securing my first title as a Senior. Unfortunately, I was plagued with a virus and various niggling injuries throughout 2015, but came through to win the World Championships once again. 2016 was a rollercoaster year! I went from leading the World Cup series in the coxless pair to the privilege of taking part in the Rio Olympics.


Matthew Tarrant

After all the success he has had and only narrowly missing out on the chance to compete at Rio, Matthew is more determined than ever to make it to Tokyo 2020.


How close have you been to competing at the Olympics and how hard will you train to get to the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020?


I missed out on racing at the Olympics by 0.2 seconds after a year of close competition. Being a spare for Rio I got to witness the games from a different perspective. I had great fun winning the test event and I also got to train in multiple boats on the lead up to the games, hopefully helping my team mates to their amazing victories. It was such a great feeling to be part of such a successful team. This has made me more determined than ever to succeed at Tokyo in 2020. My training and preparation has already begun.


Tell us more about your daily training regime and how much you are out in a rowing boat?


A standard day for me is waking up at 6am to be in the gym for a weights session at 7.30am. Then I’m on the water for a session at 11am. After lunch my third session starts around 2.30pm and consists of either land training on the rowing machine or water for at least another hour. Mid-season we train 7 days a week with a full day off every 3-4 weeks.


What would your message be to those people inspired by your success and thinking of getting more active and involved in sport themselves?


Do it! Jump right in. Don’t be afraid to approach your local clubs or gyms and enquire about whatever sports you’re interested in. Not only will you be healthier for it but you’ll create new friendships and learn new things about yourself. Getting into sport has been the best thing I’ve done.

Find out more about Matthew on his website http://www.matthewtarrant.co.uk

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