Zoe McBride: New Zealand’s world champion rower

WE TALK to rower Zoe McBride, current world champion in the women's lightweight single scull, about her success in the sport and ambitions for the future.

Zoe McBride

Zoe McBride is the current world champion in the women’s lightweight single scull and a two times world champion.


ZOE McBRIDE started rowing when she was at school in 2009 after being inspired by the sport when watching the Olympics.


She was selected to represent New Zealand in the sport in 2012 and has since had phenomenal success which has included taking Gold in the Lightweight single at the World Championships this year and becoming a two times world champion.


In this exclusive interview Zoe talks to us about what keeps her motivated and her ambition to compete and be successful at the Olympics in 2020.


What inspired you to start rowing and who were your biggest supporters and mentors at the beginning?


I started Rowing through school in 2009. I was inspired after watching the rowing in the Olympics in 2008 and thought rowing looked like a bit of fun! I had a great coach through my school years, and Mum and Dad have definitely been my biggest supporters!


When did you start competing and what were some of the earliest successes you had in the sport?


I started competing in the summer of 2009, I was quite lucky to be fairly successful through my school years. Winning a bronze medal in my first season in the U15 double and going onto win some Gold and silvers over the next few years at the school national champs.


When did you first get selected to row for New Zealand and how did it feel to be representing your country?


I got selected to be in the New Zealand junior team in 2012, it was a very exciting time and an awesome opportunity to row at the High Performance center! Surrounded by NZ’s greatest athletes was incredibly inspiring!!


What have been your biggest achievements in the sport and tell us about some of the records you’ve set?


I have had some really good results over the last few years, which has been awesome! I had my first successful international year in 2014 where I won the U23 Lightweight double. In 2015 I was selected to be in the Elite lightweight single and also the U23 lightweight double. I won Gold at both of these events at their respective world championships, also setting world records in both of them to! This year I won Gold in the Lightweight single at the world Championships and become a 2x world champ, which was incredibly special.


Zoe McBride

Zoe has become used to being on the podium after a string of excellent races.


How often are you currently training and what competition is next in your sights?


We are in a break from rowing at the moment, for a few weeks so not in such full time training. But during the season we train two to three times a day six days a week.


We are moving into our national rowing season, so my focus is on the National champs at the end of February and Elite trials after that.


How do you think the sport and those involved in it can work to give more opportunities to people to give rowing a try?


I believe New Zealand has a awesome rowing system, we have lots of regattas at a school level which has many rowers entered! Maadi cup our School Nationals is one of the biggest events in the Southern Hemisphere!!


What’s your plan for the next five years and what are your biggest goals in your rowing career?


I hope to make the Lightweight double, which is an Olympic class boat, qualify it for the 2020 Olympics, and compete at Tokyo Olympics. My biggest goal is Olympic Gold.


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