Henry Pearson


Year of Birth 2001

Hometown Woking

Nationality British

College Balliol

Undergrad/Graduate Undergraduate

Year 2nd

What are you studying? Computer Science

What is the most interesting part of your course? Do you have any professional or academic plans after? My favourite part of Computer Science is how relevant the topics we learn about are in the world today. It is a constantly evolving subject with many different applications and I enjoy using the skills I learn to work on my own personal projects. After I leave university I would really like to work somewhere exciting. The dream situation would be to go either to a startup or the R&D department of a tech company. But I am very open to new experiences and willing to learn on the job.

Future ambitions? I would like to row in and win the Boat Race. Beyond that I would just like to be stimulated and work in something that makes an impact on the world. But I don’t have anything particular in my mind at the moment.

How do you balance rowing and academic life? For me, it is about making compromises across all areas of my life. In an ideal world you would be able to complete all the training performing at maximum potential all the time and at the same time complete all of your academic work, but often this isn’t realistic. I make sure to do enough work that I am confident in all my subjects and prioritise the right sessions to peak for in rowing.

When did you start rowing, and why? I started when I was 14 years old because I knew a few people who did it and it seemed fun and also I wanted to get into better shape.

What was your first club? Eton College Boat Club.

What is your favourite part of rowing for Oxford? There is a very good community spirit among crews. During last year in particular I had a really good time training and spending time with the 3rd VIII where there was slightly less pressure than with some of the higher crews. This year I have enjoyed being a bit more competitive, and look forward to some side by side racing on the water.

What’s your rowing history, and what has been your biggest achievement so far? I have been rowing for five years - four of which I spent with Eton and one with Oxford. At school, I earned three Schools’ Head medals, three National Schools medals and was in two Henley finals, winning one of them. I then went on to row for GB in the JM8+ at the junior world championships in Tokyo where we got a bronze. At Oxford I spent one season rowing in the 3rd VIII, but unfortunately didn’t get to race because of Covid.

Have you raced in the Boat Race before? If yes, when? No - it got cancelled because of Covid.

Your favourite race so far? My champ 4+ final at National Schools’ Regatta 2018. We had been beaten by St Paul’s the day before in the eight by a big margin but we managed to turn it around the next day and beat their four by over six seconds.

Do you have any race day habits or superstitions? I like to wear rugby socks for racing - I have a few pairs to switch between.

Your sporting idol? LeBron James.

If you could have any sportsperson in your crew, who would it be? Joe Middleton (St Pauls 2021) - moves boats like no one else and is great fun.

What gets you through a tough session? Do you have a mantra, rituals? Nothing for on the water - a bit of Kanye West helps me get through the ergs though.

Any hobbies, other interests outside rowing? Coding, Mario Kart or a quiet beer with friends could feature on any given night.

How do you motivate yourself and your teammates, especially with Covid restrictions? I try to think mostly about the short term and get motivated for the next challenge - be that the next erg test or race.