Callum Sullivan

Club CUBC Men

Year of Birth 1999

Hometown Greenwich, London

Nationality British

College Peterhouse

Undergrad/Graduate Masters

Year 1st

What are you studying? MPhil in History of Art and Architecture

What is the most interesting part of your course? Do you have any professional or academic plans after? I am studying English architecture of the 17th Century. The most interesting work is trawling through archives that rarely get examined. Sadly, this will probably be my last year of academics before I start my career.

Future ambitions? My main athletic ambition beyond this season is to learn to lift heavier weights. I’d also like learn to play the piano better.

How do you balance rowing and academic life? I set small goals, make sure I’m enjoying both and I stick to eight hours of sleep as a minimum.

When did you start rowing, and why? I started in 2012 after watching racing at the Olympic Games. I was particularly impressed by Katherine Grainger and the victory of the men’s four. I was pretty average in school sports (D-team rugby) but thought I might do better in rowing. Also, one of my bestfriends wanted to give the sport a go and we found rowing was a good way to let out our competitive angst.

What was your first club? Globe Rowing Club.

What is your favourite part of rowing for Cambridge? Team-mates. We are so lucky as a team to have so many fantastic athletes and people in the programme - I have learnt so much from training alongside these guys and gained lots of great friends.

What’s your rowing history, and what has been your biggest achievement so far? At Globe I was part of a crew that made the quarter finals of Henley and I got some international racing experience for GB as a junior. Since coming to Cambridge I have had two big achievements, winning the Boat Race in 2019 and winning the U23 world championships in the men’s eight in 2019 also. Before that, I won the Goldie race, and made a Henley final with the club. Being selected to lead this team as President six months ago, was my proudest achievement. This team has given me so much, so I’m hoping to use this opportunity to give back to the club.

Have you raced in the Boat Race before? If yes, when? Goldie 2018, Boat Race 2019, Selected for Boat Race 2020 (cancelled).

Your favourite race so far? My favourite race to be in was the final of the 2019 U23 world championships. We got a big margin early on and had a great view for the rest of the race. When we crossed the line it felt like we had executed a great race. The victory was particularly enjoyable as it was being held in Florida, so it was a great trip that ended with beating the Americans on their home soil. My favourite race to watch is the 2007 Boat Race. Oxford almost break away twice in the first half of the race, but Cambridge hang on both times and row through to win in style.

Do you have any race day habits or superstitions? I like to shave, and condition my hair. It is essential to look good in order to feel good, which (I find) makes me go fast.

Your sporting idol? Roger Federer. What a career.

If you could have any sportsperson in your crew, who would it be? Michael van Gerwen. He always delivers under pressure.

What gets you through a tough session? Do you have a mantra, rituals? I have two main strategies, the first is to keep smiling and learn to enjoy being in a place of hurt. The second is to set small goals - they add up before you know it.

Any hobbies, other interests outside rowing? Cooking, particularly with potatoes (not that I’m any good at it). Also, all things musical: going to concerts and playing music.

How do you motivate yourself and your teammates, especially with Covid restrictions? I encourage the guys to keep training fresh, for example by shifting the focus every few days. Look forward to the tough stuff; and if you feel like training is getting the better of you, remember why you love doing this sport at this club.