Megan Stoker


Year of Birth 1997

Hometown Peterborough

Nationality British

College St Peter’s College

Undergrad/Graduate Masters

Year 2020

What are you studying? Research Masters in Women’s Reproductive Health

What is the most interesting part of your course? Do you have any professional or academic plans after? Conducting novel research is definitely the most interesting part, and as my research is working on anti-cancer therapeutics, it’s a very relevant and exciting area to be contributing to. I’m planning to transfer onto a DPhil from my Masters.

Future ambitions? Winning the Boat Race and making it through some rounds at Henley Royal Regatta. But mostly just trying to get as good as I can get at rowing. Otherwise my ambition is to enjoy my time here at Oxford and get some solid work done.

How do you balance rowing and academic life? It helps to get into a routine of rowing at certain times and organising time in the laboratory around that. It may mean working late at night to get it all done so it is a challenge but giving time to both is very rewarding and worth the hard work.

When did you start rowing, and why? I started rowing when I was 14 after visiting Oxford to watching the bumps racing and thereafter getting into watching the Boat Race. The atmosphere and the excitement just sold it to me.

What was your first club? Peterborough City Rowing Club.

What is your favourite part of rowing for Oxford? Being part of a team who are all committed to give their best and who are always supportive.

What’s your rowing history, and what has been your biggest achievement so far? I rowed for four years at Peterborough City Rowing Club, racing locally and nationally with some races at Henley Women’s and junior trials so I leaned to love the 1x. Then I rowed during my undergraduate degree at University of Bath for 2 years, had a year out for injury and then I started rowing again in my final year before Covid hit. During this time we got to semi finals of Henley Women’s, a silver BUCS medal, local wins and lots more experience in national racing. I would say my biggest achievement so far is winning the indoor British champs this summer, winning the open and U23 2km and the U23 500m the following day. It was completely voluntary, in the middle of lockdown when it was hard to train, done in my bedroom and when I hadn’t done a 2km since pre injury so mentally it was a big challenge and it paid off. Hoping to see some big achievements on the water this year.

Have you raced in the Boat Race before? If yes, when? No.

Your favourite race so far? BUCS regatta is always a lot of fun!

Do you have any race day habits or superstitions? I wear flame socks for every race, picked up from my crew in Bath.

Your sporting idol? Katherine Grainger. I had been rowing for about 6 months on the water when I watched the rowing at London 2012 Olympics and watched her amazing race in the double which really inspired me to strive for high performance in the sport. Also the fact after 3 Olympic silvers, she still wanted that gold medal and kept on going until she got it.

If you could have any sportsperson in your crew, who would it be? Jessica Ennis-Hill - she can do every other sport so why not row too!

What gets you through a tough session? Do you have a mantra, rituals? Knowing all the girls in front and behind me are pushing through their pain so I need to back them up and keep going. As rituals go, just count down the strokes and split up the pieces.

Any hobbies, other interests outside rowing? Unfortunately between rowing and work, time for hobbies is very limited, but anything involving food I am a great fan of so cooking and baking is definitely a favourite.

How do you motivate yourself and your teammates, especially with Covid restrictions? Supporting each other’s mental wellbeing is really important to us and helps keep us motivated and happy. Whether it’s Zoom socials, Zoom training, walks together or coffee dates, we make sure we’re all still connected as a squad.