Oliver Perry


Year of Birth 2000

Hometown Crowborough

Nationality British

College Lady Margaret Hall

Undergrad/Graduate Undergraduate

Year Second

What are you studying? Classical Archaeology and Ancient History

What is the most interesting part of your course? Do you have any professional or academic plans after? Political history in fifth century BC Athens and the rise of Christianity in the third, fourth and fifth century AD Roman Empire are the two areas that I find most interesting. Seeing how the past influences the modern world is fascinating and something that appears repetitively in these periods. I would love to do a Masters in either of these areas after I graduate.

Future ambitions? Unsure as of yet.

How do you balance rowing and academic life? You have to be very structured with your time and constantly have a plan in your head for how to distribute it. Getting work done earlier in the day is always more effective than trying to start an essay after a session when it’s cold and dark. The trickiest part is probably juggling a social life with training and essay deadlines because it can be easy to get bogged down with both of these. Covid has made that element even harder.

When did you start rowing, and why? In 2014/5 I was recruited by someone in the boat club who said they thought I could be good at it. I loved the first few sessions and stuck with it.

What was your first club? Eton College Boat Club.

What is your favourite part of rowing for Oxford? It has to be the Boat Race. As a cox, it’s the race where you have the biggest impact. I would say more years that not it is the cox who determines the outcome of the race. This brings with it an immense amount of pressure to perform on the day but also a huge reward if you get it right. The Tideway is such a challenging place to cox - there is always something that needs your attention and that means that there is always something to do better which makes it far more exciting than a 2k course.

What’s your rowing history, and what has been your biggest achievement so far? I coxed at Eton College for five years, spending my last year in the 1st VIII. Winning the PE at Henley in 2019 has to be my biggest achievement so far, especially as we were a long way off being considered favourites or even contenders to make a race on the weekend.

Have you raced in the Boat Race before? If yes, when? No, I was in the Blue boat in 2020 and gutted that the race didn’t take place. Trial eights in 2019 and the fixtures in 2020 are the closest I have got to the real thing. I’m excited for the opportunity to race this year.

Your favourite race so far? It is tough to call between the Eton-Shiplake race on the Saturday of Henley, where we proved ourselves to be worthy contenders for the PE or the Brookes fixture where we were the first to beat Brookes in three years in the worst conditions I’ve ever raced in.

Do you have any race day habits or superstitions? I get quite superstitious about kit - if I win a race with a particular piece of kit then I’ll wear it again for the next one.

If you could have any sportsperson in your crew, who would it be? Constantine Louloudis, obviously.

What gets you through a tough session? Do you have a mantra, rituals? Not wasting an opportunity. Especially in the coxing seat where it’s easy to make a mistake and let it bring you down for the rest of the session - just having the ability to talk yourself out of that while in the boat is a big help.

Any hobbies, other interests outside rowing? Long distance running when I get the chance.

How do you motivate yourself and your teammates, especially with Covid restrictions? Not getting the opportunity to race the Boat Race in 2020 has left me wanting to win next year even more. That in itself is enough to motivate me. This year’s race will be the culmination of not just this year’s training but last year’s as well.