Matthew Jones


Year of Birth 1999

Hometown Marlow

Nationality British

College St Hugh’s

Undergrad/Graduate Undergraduate

Year 3rd

What are you studying? Economics and Management

What is the most interesting part of your course? Do you have any professional or academic plans after? Seeing the way which my degree has real-world applications and learning a similar syllabus to the MBA students. Being able to work with experts in their fields where their work is the seminal piece in the area is fantastic. The ability to debate with your tutors each week also gives incredible insight into each topic.

Future ambitions? To be a British Army Officer.

How do you balance rowing and academic life? It helps give me a schedule and I feel more productive when I am rowing. It forces me to structure my time. The early mornings means you can get work done as you’re awake way before any of your non-rowing friends so there’s peace and quiet before any chaos starts.

When did you start rowing, and why? When I was 14, because my siblings both rowed. Watching rowing at London 2012 and the history GB has in the sport also inspired me to take up rowing. Beyond that there was the fitness aspect. My school had been quite successful so a few of my mates started at the same time. The training was only a few times a week then - they start you off slow and before you know it you are training twice a day.

What was your first club? Sir William Bor-lase’s Grammar School Boat Club.

What is your favourite part of rowing for Oxford? Getting to row with the boys and everyone’s different experiences. Knowing that everyone in the squad is a great rower as well as managing their tough workloads is impressive and you’re all in the same boat - quite literally. The chat is simultaneously exceptional and extremely poor and the group chats provide great entertainment no matter where you are or what’s going on. It has been a great asset during the second lockdown.

What’s your rowing history, and what has been your biggest achievement so far? I came 2nd at the Heineken Roeivierkamp in Amsterdam.

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

Your favourite race so far? I capsized in a time trial once and was still able to qualify for the final, coming second which was funny.

Do you have any race day habits or superstitions? I like to keep to myself and have my music going. I usually wake up early and go for a walk and get into the mindset needed. I don’t really have any superstitions.

Your sporting idol? Roger Bannister, a product of Oxford University and a man who achieved exceptional things both academically and in his academic endeavours.

If you could have any sportsperson in your crew, who would it be? Anthony Joshua - the man is an absolute unit and who wouldn’t want him in your boat? Put him in the middle of the boat and I’m sure you would fly.

What gets you through a tough session? Do you have a mantra, rituals? Counting strokes and knowing that your crew-mates are equally putting themselves into a hole. I break everything down into manageable chunks and focus on what’s in front of me.

Any hobbies, other interests outside rowing? During term, there isn’t much time for anything other than rowing and your academics but I enjoy cooking and reading. My main source of procrastination is reading the news and doing sudokus, it helps me trick my mind into thinking I am being productive.

How do you motivate yourself and your teammates, especially with Covid restrictions? We have group chats going to stay in contact which are hilarious. We have also had some socially distanced meet-ups for lunch and so on. I’ve been rowing with Joe at Hugh’s so it’s been good to have someone to see in person. When you’re both training together it keeps you sane. We have done a few ergs with the speaker blaring in the middle of college grounds which I’m sure everyone loves. It’s made better by the fact we have to erg next to a busy café in college…