Joshua Bowesman-Jones


Year of Birth 1999

Hometown Tatenhill

Nationality British

College Keble

Undergrad/Graduate Undergraduate

Year 3rd

What are you studying? Chemisty

What is the most interesting part of your course? Do you have any professional or academic plans after? I find coordination chemistry particularly interesting, especially rotaxanes and catenanes. That’s not only because of the complexity of their synthesis but also their potentially novel applications within nanomedicine and drug delivery. As for plans after Oxford, I’m currently applying for internships to see if something like asset management is for me. But beyond that, not really.

Future ambitions? It is my last year to trial for U23 GB and so a big ambition of mine this year is to be selected for the world championships. Perhaps I might also stand for President of OUBC next year.

How do you balance rowing and academic life? I don’t procrastinate and I have a relentless work ethic which means I can use my limited time more effectively. It does come at a cost to a social life but that is what Trinity term is for.

When did you start rowing, and why? I started in September 2012. School were running taster sessions so my parents suggested I give it a try and it turned out to be a lot of fun.

What was your first club? Radley College Boat Club.

What is your favourite part of rowing for Oxford? Ultimately I think it is the guys in the squad. Being surrounded by a good group each year makes turning up every day easy and it’s great to have such a network to lean on when things get tough in the cold months of January and February.

What’s your rowing history, and what has been your biggest achievement so far? I rowed for Radley for five years, spending the last two years in the 1st VIII. I only just made it into the eight for Henley in my last year as I had sepsis and pneumonia. We lost out in the final to Scotch College. I was then selected to stroke the Coupe JM4+ and we went on to win at Hazewinkel in Belgium. In my gap year I rowed for Avon rowing club whilst working in New Zealand where I competed in their National Championships. In my first and second years at Oxford I was selected for Isis which would be my biggest achievement to date.

Have you raced in the Boat Race before? If yes, when? Yes 2019, 2020 (cancelled).

Your favourite race so far? I guess even though we lost, my first race will always be the one I remember.

Do you have any race day habits or superstitions? Not really. I just listen to my music and then get into the warm up with the crew. Just making sure I’m internally focused.

Your sporting idol? Chris Froome.

If you could have any sportsperson in your crew, who would it be? Ollie Wynne-Griffith.

What gets you through a tough session? Do you have a mantra, rituals? I try to remember that it is just a part of the process and this is how I earn my seat. An internal focus as well as making sure I’m rowing as well as possible helps.

Any hobbies, other interests outside rowing? I like to cycle a lot, especially track cycling. I also play the trumpet when I have time in the off season.

How do you motivate yourself and your teammates, especially with Covid restrictions? Everyone is in the same boat at this point and remembering that helps. Also, that every session will make me better and that Cambridge aren’t taking time off so neither can I. To be honest, erging on my own helps instill a more savage mentality but looking forward to being back out on the water does give a light at the end of the tunnel.