Emily Twinn


Year of Birth 2002

Hometown Abingdon

Nationality British

College St Edmund Hall

Undergrad/Graduate Undergraduate

Year 1st

What are you studying? English and French

What is the most interesting part of your course? Do you have any professional or academic plans after? I’m really interested in learning to read Old English, and drawing parallels between different texts, eras and even languages. Also translation and the way in which the translator has an impact on the text really interests me.

Future ambitions? I’m not entirely sure yet, but I’d love to find a way to use my subjects to help people, and of course continue coxing.

How do you balance rowing and academic life? A LOT of timetables - so I know that I have enough time to fit in the work and the training. I set several alarms every morning and make sure that when I do have time to work, I keep procrastination to a minimum. It’s tricky when the two do occasionally clash, but the tutors are really understanding and the coaches always know that academic work comes first.

When did you start rowing, and why? I started rowing in 2015 because I loved the river and wanted to try a different sort of team sport (and the stash looked amazing).

What was your first club? Abingdon Rowing Club, although I moved to City of Oxford in 2018.

What is your favourite part of rowing for Oxford? Working with the team and coaches - their commitment amazes me all the time and I learn a lot from them every session. The team is very close and the atmosphere is really supportive, everyone definitely pushes each other to be their best.

What’s your rowing history, and what has been your biggest achievement so far? My first regatta was in June 2015 (Egham), and since then I have raced (first as a rower, then as a cox) at British Junior Rowing Championships, National Schools Regatta, Henley Women’s regatta and the Head of the Charles. The Head of the Charles was definitely my biggest achievement as it is a huge challenge to steer.

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

Your favourite race so far? The Head of the Charles - racing in a new country and against different crews and on the course was a great experience as well as a challenge and I would love to do it again some day. It was also the first time that I had been to America AND been in a Hudson eight, so it was a really exciting week.

Do you have any race day habits or superstitions? The only one that’s really stuck is that I’ve got a necklace that I wear every race day - my best friend from my first rowing club has the other half. Also, I still believe the race always goes better when I’m wearing sunglasses, and high fives on the start are a must.

Your sporting idol? I really admire Zoe de Toledo and Phelan Hill.

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

What gets you through a tough session? Do you have a mantra, rituals? I always find that a long shower, hot drink or talking/hugging it out afterwards really helps. Also, it’s important to remember that everyone messes up sometimes and sometimes you’ve just got to accept this and move on. Talking to the coaches or rowers about what went wrong or wasn’t working afterwards and how we can improve this always helps as well, and reminding ourselves that bad sessions are inevitable sometimes, we just need to get better the next time.

Any hobbies, other interests outside rowing? I play the guitar, spend a lot of time with my friends and family and spend an unhealthy amount of time on Spotify (plus a lot of reading of course). I also used to play squash and would like to pick that up again in the future.

How do you motivate yourself and your teammates, especially with Covid restrictions? Keep reminding ourself of the circumstances that we are in, and that it’s OK to mess up or have a bad day. The strength that everyone has shown so far makes it clear that they are capable of continuing to push themselves and each other.