Ollie Parish

Club CUBC Men

Year of Birth 2001

Hometown Putney, London

Nationality British (+ Canadian)

College Peterhouse

Undergrad/Graduate Undergraduate

Year 2nd

What are you studying? Engineering

What is the most interesting part of your course? Do you have any professional or academic plans after? Mathematics and Information Engineering.

Future ambitions? I’m in the second year of my four-year degree so at this point I’m just focusing on getting good grades and rowing fast on the water. I’d love to row and win the Boat Race this year, and hopefully also for the last two years of my degree.

How do you balance rowing and academic life? I’ve always tried to create good relationships with Director of Studies and Supervisors. This means arriving on time and doing the set work to a high standard consistently. I’ve also found that it’s very important to work well when you have the time. Focusing on being as productive as possible when you have the energy so that there is some leeway for times of high training load or stress.

When did you start rowing, and why? I went to rowing camps in 2013. My father inspired me to start. As president of Crabtree (the Cambridge alumni boat club) he introduced me to rowing at a young age. I think it was inevitable that I would start as soon as I was big enough.

What was your first club? St Paul’s School Boat Club.

What is your favourite part of rowing for Cambridge? The squad atmosphere at CUBC is fantastic. Every day I’m excited to get to the boathouse and see the guys. It really makes even the most stressful days at Cambridge fun and interesting.

What’s your rowing history, and what has been your biggest achievement so far? Rowing for St Pauls, winning the triple and a gold and silver at the junior world championships.

Have you raced in the Boat Race before? If yes, when? Not yet. I would have been Goldie stroke seat last year. I’m gutted to have missed out on racing. But that makes me only more hungry for it this year.

Your favourite race so far? Junior worlds eight final 2018. Close racing ended in a tight finish. We just edged out the USA for gold. They had always been very fast out of the blocks throughout the championships so when we were up going through 500m we were supercharged. Their sprint in the final 300m was unexpected and almost caught us but we held on for a 0.4 second win.

Do you have any race day habits or superstitions? The night before I try to visualise the race and go over the whole thing in my head. It makes it seem much more attainable. This also allows me to really prepare for any eventuality. Other than that I try not to think about the racing. Often I listen to music to take my mind off it.

Your sporting idol? My father, who rowed at Cambridge and in the GB Olympic squad. A huge inspiration for me from a young age.

What gets you through a tough session? Do you have a mantra, rituals? Love it, time to push it on.

Any hobbies, other interests outside rowing? Coding competitions with my brother.

How do you motivate yourself and your teammates, especially with Covid restrictions? Everyone is in the same position. It’s a chance to get an edge on the competition, both within your own squad and on others in the rowing circuit. If we can deal with these circumstances better than them then that’s an advantage we wouldn’t want to give away.