3 MIN READ TIME

Charlotte Wittram

Club OUWBC

Year of Birth 2002

Hometown Poole

Nationality British

College Lincoln College

Undergrad/Graduate Undergraduate

Year 1st

What are you studying? Engineering Science

What is the most interesting part of your course? Do you have any professional or academic plans after? I love solving problems in the world around us using scientific knowledge to build or develop something new. The team project aspect of engineering is something I look forward to during and after my course, as well as discovering the many disciplines that make up my chosen subject.

Future ambitions? To use engineering to help people and the world around us, especially when technology is affecting all aspects of life including sport. I want to maintain rowing as a constant in my life in the future too. Going into an aspect of engineering that helps people, for example the biomedical or the energy sector is an ambition of mine.

How do you balance rowing and academic life? Time management is key and strict routines of sleep, nutrition, work and socialising help keep the mental and physical sides of rowing balanced with other commitments. It’s good to work hard and enjoy the sessions, as well as the well-deserved breaks afterwards.

When did you start rowing, and why? I started rowing in Lower Sixth, as I had access to a river and a boat club at Can-ford School. I had rowed indoors before, but had never had the chance to try rowing on the river. I was immediately drawn to the team aspect of the sport where people come together to work hard physically, but enjoy the reward of speed after.

What was your first club? Canford School Boat Club.

What is your favourite part of rowing for Oxford? The hard working and supportive atmosphere from the coaches and girls is fantastic. You feel that working hard to achieve the goal of winning the race is always mutual, and the commitment of all the girls is uplifting, whatever session we are doing. I love the fact that whatever the weather, session length or set of lockdown rules, the drive of the team does not falter.

What’s your rowing history, and what has been your biggest achievement so far? Highlights of my rowing career so far have been trialling for the GB 2020 season, and becoming the Boat Club Captain for the girls’ squad 2020 at Canford. My biggest achievement so far is being part of the OUWBC squad. The highlight would be getting into the Boat Race.

Have you raced in the Boat Race before? No.

Do you have any race day habits or superstitions? I listen to motivational music before getting into the boat, it gets me into the zone for the race ahead and steels me for the challenge. Gutsy lyrics are the way to get your mind onto what needs to be done, and reminds you to enjoy every stroke on the way.

Your sporting idol? Katherine Grainger - I read her autobiography during lock-down and it helped me continue training independently for the season ahead. Her long rowing career is an inspiration to rowers around the world and her commitment to her sport is truly amazing.

If you could have any sportsperson in your crew, who would it be? Sir Steve Redgrave, his reputation precedes him, and it would be an honour to race with him.

What gets you through a tough session? Do you have a mantra, rituals? I work hard for the crew around me, who I know are all pulling hard and rowing through the sessions and races with me. This gives you that extra push, especially in situations like Zoom 5k tests in lockdown where we were training in isolation.

Any hobbies, other interests outside rowing? Artwork, reading, social volleyball, doubles tennis.

How do you motivate yourself and your teammates, especially with Covid restrictions? You have to think of the gains we are all trying to make. Zoom calls and socials really help to connect the team togther socially, and also provide a motivational boost when it comes to training physically hard in isolation on ergs, or doing weights sessions in our rooms. Having the end goal in sight really gives you a mental step up in these unpredictable times.


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