Here you can find information profiles on some of our athletes, covering from their weight and height to why they started rowing and what USBC has given them.
Jonas Butvillas (Senior Man)
“My story is pretty simple; I am 6’7 and 105kg guy and I never rowed prior to Uni. I like to challenge myself but I have to admit that rowing was and still is the biggest challenge of my life pushing me every day. Aspiration, raw emotion, gratitude, pain and of course challenge. These were and are things that followed me every day and that is why I started rowing. It’s been quite a year for me and my crew going into BUCS champ A final in 4+ and now working hard for Henley. For me rowing is simple. You challenge yourself every day so that when the day comes you could challenge others. Looking into the future I have two goals in mind, get that sub 6 and join national rowing team. I also have one dream but I can’t tell you what it is, I guess we’ll just have to see if it comes true, after all, all I have is four years.”
Andrew Stevenson (Senior Man)
“I started rowing in my first year of University with no previous experience. My novice year of rowing was a great introduction to the sport, very enjoyable, and had the bonus perk of doing our pre-BUCS training camp at Lake Banyoles.
Moving into my second year of rowing, it has shown me the more competitive side which I found to be a tough, yet a very exhilarating experience. I have been able to push not only myself, but my crew mates and the Development Squad to the best of their ability.
My key aims for this year is to secure a seat in the top boat and push the bigger guys within the squad more and more on the ergs as I continue to PB. I am very excited for the big races of the year, such as BUCS Regatta, Met and Marlow, and of course Henley Royal.”….
Ellie Stevens (President/Senior Woman)
“I joined USBC in 2014 with no previous sporting experience. It was with Surrey that I was taught to row and I haven’t looked back since!
Rowing at Surrey is fantastic because it welcomes complete beginners to some of the most promising rowers in the country. I have learned everything I know about rowing through being part of USBC, and I have gone from joining as complete novice to being Women’s Captain and now President.
There are few sports comparable to rowing. It not only demands commitment, dedication, willpower and perseverance, but you also gain all sorts of transferable skills that can be used in both education and working life… There’s no better way to learn about team work and time management than being a member of a determined crew!
The University of Surrey Boat Club is becoming more and more successful every year, and I can’t wait to see what we can achieve in the months to come.”
Lizzi Hatch (Senior Woman)
“I began rowing in 2013 when I started studying at Surrey and joined USBC. To be honest, I was just looking for something else to do other than uni work, but its turned out to be quite a bit more than that! I rapidly realised what a great sport it is and it certainly satisfied the initial plan as I now spend more time rowing than on my degree (sshh).
Over the last few years rowing has given me some amazing experiences and challenges. Its brought some great people into my life and taught me a lot about myself. The endlessly demanding nature of the training grind combined with the reward from racing or achieving personal bests is something I didn’t foresee when I first started, but it creates an incredible love/hate relationship that you can’t escape! Rowing at Surrey has got better every year so far and I’m excited to be Senior Women’s captain for what will be the best is year yet for USBC.”
Kieran Dibley (Senior Man)
“I started rowing in 2014 for my local club, Sudbury. At this time, I was still playing rugby at club level and for my school. Early on I realised I preferred rowing so soon left rugby to channel my focus on rowing. Over the year I went on to win my first few races which inevitably got me hooked.
In 2015 I started at Surrey University and soon realised university rowing was in a different league to what I was doing before at club level and, therefore I quickly improved in all aspects of the sport. Soon going on to win my first race for USBC in the coxed four which set the tone for the rest of my year from competing in Champ 4+ at BUCS, winning at MET, and finally qualifying for Henley all before the second year of my rowing career has been my highlight so far.”
Charlotte Gill (Secretary/Senior Woman)
“I started rowing when I was 13 after being noticed by the rowing coaches due to my height and having been fairly useless at the standard sports offered at school I decided to go down to the river and give it a go. I quickly fell in love with the sport and worked my way into the first VIII by the time I was just 16. Following this I won championship medals and represented Wales at the Home International Regatta twice. Due to my love for the sport I chose to have a gap year coaching rowing which provided me with more experience and only increased my love of rowing. During this year out, I managed to reach the final of Henley Women’s Regatta in Club Eights which is one of the highlights of my rowing career so far.
I’m now a second-year Psychology student at Surrey and I’m a member of the senior women’s squad. I’m love being able to push myself to my absolute limits in training and being surrounded by like-minded people makes working hard a lot easier. My goal is to successfully trial for GB U23s and knowing other USBC members have achieved this gives me confidence it is possible. I’m excited to see where I can get to and what I can achieve as part of USBC while attempting to manage my degree and be the club secretary!”
Alex Law (Senior Men’s Captain/Senior Man)
Age: Old enough
Height: 2.078 yards
Weight: Getting heavier
“My rowing career began 3 years ago when I joined the club at the beginning of my first year at university and it has been an integral part of my life ever since
In that time, I have competed twice at Henley Royal Regatta, reached a championship final at BUCS, won several regattas and head races and I feel like I’m only just getting started.
Rowing is a sport to which you dedicate a lot of time and effort, but it helps me focus on my degree while getting a hugely satisfying payback and meeting some great people along the way.
There is no greater feeling than racing down the course, pumped on adrenaline and seeing the opposition behind me as I cross the line ahead of them.”
Jasmine Bone (Senior Woman)
“I started rowing in Cornish pilot gigs when I was 12, then switched the sea for rivers and a sliding seat when I started my undergrad degree at Bath. Continuing with my postgrad EngD at Surrey, I couldn’t stay away from the water and signed straight up to USBC.
Rowing has always been a big part of my life, and Surrey has only increased my love for it. Training hard and competitive racing gives the chance to keep pushing myself. I was worried the training would be too full on with working full time at my placement sponsor, but it provides a great way to relieve stress and keep focus and organised. What better way to clear your head than on the water?
I’ve loved being a part of such a strong squad of likeminded girls, culminating in racing down the course at Henley Women’s Regatta. Although we just missed out on qualifying the eight this year, this has only increased my drive to push harder next year and achieve even more as a squad. I can’t wait to see what more we can do! Weekends would feel wrong without being in a boat with these girls.”
Megan Pearson (Novice Woman)
I started rowing when I joined Surrey University in 2016. I came to university with the intention of trying a sport which was new to me and one which would challenge me – rowing is undoubtably challenging. I have never challenged myself as much as I have done with rowing and there are no boundaries, you just keep pushing yourself until you cannot push any further. Consequently no training session is an easy one but success is never achieved with ease.
My first year of rowing has been incredible and has continued to get better as the year has gone on with many good performances and wins along the way. To top it off, at the end of the season we qualified for the Academic 4+ at Henley Women’s Regatta. This makes every stroke on the erg and every 5am training session worthwhile – the feeling of accomplishment I’ve had at each of these events is without a doubt one of the best feelings.
At USBC I have been pushed by both my squad and coach to achieve my potential and I couldn’t have asked for anything more. I’ve had doors opened which I never knew existed, for example the GB Start rowing programme which aims to find the next generation of GB rowers. Looking back to this time last year, I never expected to be rowing, let alone trialling for a chance to train and compete with Team GB. This proves that anyone can be exposed to such exciting opportunities even without previous experience. I cannot wait to see where rowing is going to take me in the future and I will continue to push myself to maximise my chance of success.