Costi Levy


Year of Birth 2001

Hometown London

Nationality British/Italian

College Exeter

Undergrad/Graduate Undergraduate

Year 2nd

What are you studying? BA Philosophy and Spanish

What is the most interesting part of your course? Do you have any professional or academic plans after? I have a year abroad in Spain/Latin America in 202223. I hope to live in Madrid or Seville, and cannot wait to live independently abroad and improve my language skills.

Future ambitions? I would love to become a theatre director or playwright. I also hope to travel a lot.

How do you balance rowing and academic life? Time management, staying relaxed, spending quality time with friends.

When did you start rowing, and why? Aged 14 as a school sports option. I was asked to cox because I was short, and really enjoyed it.

What was your first club? St Paul’s Girls’ School, soon followed by Tideway Scullers. At Tideway Scullers I was in the women’s squad, and coxed the juniors and masters occasionally.

What is your favourite part of rowing for Oxford? The high performance and highly motivated nature of the squad. Everyone is there to pull hard and get faster, with the aim of beating Cambridge in April. The people on the squad are also what make the team so special. Not only have I made friends for life, but I love being surrounded by people of different ages who are doing all sorts of different things in Oxford.

What’s your rowing history, and what has been your biggest achievement so far? I started coxing as a J15 at SPGS-BC, where I was the 1st cox at SPGSBC. The highlights at SPGSBC were winning Quintin Head in J16, and reaching the semi-finals in the J4+ at HWR. I also coxed for the TSS Women’s Squad throughout school. I was the 2nd eight cox, and coxed Women’s Head. We were one of the top 2nd eight crews who raced. I was invited to GB juniors final trials in 2018. My experience on the Tideway and coxing women was a great experience for OUW. I started rowing with OUW in 2019, and won Upper Thames Head and Fours Head 2019. I then raced the Brookes, Nereus and UL fixtures in the Blue boat in 2020.

Have you raced in the Boat Race before? If yes, when? I was selected to cox the Blue boat for 2020.

Your favourite race so far? Four’s Head 2019. We set off on a really strong rhythm, overtook a few crews, and won the womens 4+ event. It was my first race on the Tideway with OUW, so it was great to come away with a good result.

Do you have any race day habits or superstitions? I typically eat a peanut butter, banana and jam sandwich before boating for the race. Just before the race starts, I spend a few moments taking deep breaths. Lining up for the startline at a race can be nerve-racking, and I find it important to recentre myself before the race starts.

Your sporting idol? Tom Daley. I admire his motivation and positive attitude.

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

What gets you through a tough session? Do you have a mantra, rituals? Being surrounded by a group of strong and hard working women. If it gets tough, I also remind myself how many tough sessions I have done in the past, and that facing challenges in training will make me a a better cox.

Any hobbies, other interests outside rowing? Theatre - I have directed four plays and written two. My most recent shows were a production of A Doll’s House, and A Deed Without A Name. I also run for pleasure - I ran a half marathon a couple of years ago, and plan to run a marathon in the next few years.

How do you motivate yourself and your teammates, especially with Covid restrictions? It is essential to create a positive and fun training environment. We spend time together outside of training - be it in person or online. Rowing with my closest friends makes sessions so much fun. Keeping in mind our joint goal of beating Cambridge in April is also important.