Joe Gellett


Year of Birth 2000

Hometown Teddington

Nationality British

College St Anne’s College

Undergrad/Graduate Undergraduate

Year 3rd

What are you studying? Chemistry

What is the most interesting part of your course? Do you have any professional or academic plans after? I really enjoy learning about how the topics we are taught are linked to new developments in the chemistry field. I find this helps to keep it interesting as it shows how chemistry is still growing. I particularly enjoy the practical side of the subject and being able to spend time doing lab work.

Future ambitions? I would love to be selected for the boat and have the chance to race in the Boat Race. Also competing at Henley is something that I would really like to do. I would like to stay in the chemistry field too.

How do you balance rowing and academic life? I often write lots of things down on post-it notes and stick them to my wall or desk, so I can have a visual reminder of everything important. I also write a lot of to-do lists, as they assist with keeping track of when all my deadlines are happening and how they are going to fit in with training. Making sure I get enough sleep is also really important for being able to balance rowing and academic life.

When did you start rowing, and why? I started coxing in 2013 when I joined my school rowing club. I didn’t really enjoy any of the other sports that the school offered, and I remember really enjoying watching rowing at the London Olympics in 2012. As I was quite small, the coaches suggested that I should try coxing, which I found really fun to do.

What was your first club? Hampton School Boat Club.

What is your favourite part of rowing for Oxford? I feel like joining one of the university squads has been a great way of continuing on the sport at a high level and getting the opportunity to race competitively again. The competitiveness within the squad is something that I really like, as it helps keep everyone growing and developing as an athlete.

What’s your rowing history, and what has been your biggest achievement so far? I have mainly competed at races aimed at school rowing, with the main races of the year being National Schools Regatta and School’s Head of the River. Since joining Oxford, I have now also taken part in bumps racing, which was a whole new experience like nothing I’d ever done before. I think that one of my biggest achievements has to be winning the J16 championship eight at NSR, as the year before we were leading most of the way but lost the race in the last 250 meters, which was devastating, so to be able to win the race the following year was amazing.

Have you raced in the Boat Race before? If yes, when? No, I haven’t had the opportunity to race in the Boat Race yet.

Your favourite race so far? I don’t really have a favourite boat race, as I haven’t had a chance to compete in one yet, but I did really enjoy watching the 2019 Boat Race.

Do you have any race day habits or superstitions? Not really, just going over the race plan about a hundred times in my head to make sure I remember it properly.

Your sporting idol? Katarina Johnson-Thompson.

If you could have any sportsperson in your crew, who would it be? Heather Stanning.

What gets you through a tough session? Do you have a mantra, rituals? Keeping focused on the end goal can really help with getting through the session as it puts it all into perspective. Also, rowing being a team sport is very beneficial as you can use your teammates as motivation.

Any hobbies, other interests outside rowing? I used to compete nationally in tumbling, which is a type of gymnastics, before university but had to stop as it was too big a time commitment. I like to use my free time to watch films with my friends.

How do you motivate yourself and your teammates, especially with Covid restrictions? Trying to keep the sessions as fun as possible, and keeping everyone interacting is important, especially over the lockdown period.