Kate Furber


Year of Birth 2000

Hometown Claygate

Nationality British

College Hertford

Undergrad/Graduate Undergraduate

Year 2021

What are you studying? Archaeology and Anthropology

What is the most interesting part of your course? Do you have any professional or academic plans after? I love learning about the diversity of the human condition and how different cultures approach 21st century problems. My course is extremely varied and I also love how one day I’ll be learning about how the mammoths went extinct, and the next about Roman art. I hope to be able to advance my academic career by studying for a Masters in Applied Anthropology at Leiden Univeristy after I finish at Oxford.

Future ambitions? I would love to be a diplomat. The thought of getting to travel around the world meeting new people and helping countries improve fills me with excitement.

How do you balance rowing and academic life? A strong network of friends is crucial, also plenty of sleep. I also like to sit down at the end of a Monday (rest day) and plan out what my week (both training and academic) is going to look like in my written diary. Seeing everything on paper really helps me to map out when the busy parts of my week will be, and when there will be any quieter times and opportunities to work.

When did you start rowing, and why? I started rowing seriously when I joined Oxford in 2018. I was recruited by our very friendly college boat club captain at our Freshers Fair because of my height and have never looked back.

What was your first club? Hertford College Boat Club #fearthedeer.

What is your favourite part of rowing for Oxford? The respite training gives me from academic life, as well as the friends I have made throughout the development squad/training programme.

What’s your rowing history, and what has been your biggest achievement so far? Honestly - probably sticking with the summer training plan. The training load, challenges (Including erging a marathon and getting a 5k running PB) were all very new to me, and as someone who has not always been ‘sporty’ I was amazed at what I showed my body could do. Before OUWBC, I would have to say that my biggest rowing achievement was bumping to third on the river in Torpids 2019. Hertford really were the underdogs and the feeling of bumping Oriel in front of our boathouse was unforgettable.

Have you raced in the Boat Race before? No.

Your favourite race so far? Any of the Summer eights races 2019 when Hertford stormed down the Isis in the sun, towards endless amounts of Pimms at the finish line.

Do you have any race day habits or superstitions? Lucky sports bra, red jelly baby before the start of the race - the colour is very important!

Your sporting idol? My dad. His commitment and enthusiasm is truly inspiring and he has been my biggest supporter since I began rowing in first year.

If you could have any sportsperson in your crew, who would it be? Katherine Grainger. Need I explain why?

What gets you through a tough session? Do you have a mantra, rituals? The thought of some tasty food afterwards and a nap. I also like to remember and repeat to myself my grandad’s mantra - the harder you work, the luckier you get (thanks Grandad).

Any hobbies, other interests outside rowing? Painting and cooking. When you eat as much as I do you’ve got to learn to cook some decent things for yourself.

How do you motivate yourself and your teammates, especially with Covid restrictions? I always try and remember that everyone is trying just as hard as you are and that we are all working towards the same goal. I also always try and keep a positive and humorous tone at training - it’s easy to get caught up in the seriousness of the training regime and intensity, so laughter really is key.