Jo Matthews

Club CUBC Women

Year of Birth 2000

Hometown Dorking

Nationality English

College St Johns

Undergrad/Graduate Undergraduate

Year 3rd

What are you studying? Medicine

What is the most interesting part of your course? Do you have any professional or academic plans after? As part of my intercalated year (in Physiology, Development and Neuroscience), I am doing a research project on the quantitative analysis of leukocyte motion patterns. I am looking forward to moving into the clinical years of medicine, and starting to experience the more patient-focused part of the degree.

Future ambitions? Winning the Boat Race, and eventually qualifying to become a doctor.

How do you balance rowing and academic life? Getting lots of sleep so you can make the most of the little time you do have to work efficiently.

When did you start rowing, and why? I started rowing in my first year at St Johns, because it was a very popular club. Also my Dad rowed for St Johns when he was at university, so it was nice to follow in his footsteps.

What was your first club? Lady Margaret Boat Club.

What is your favourite part of rowing for Cambridge? I get to push myself to be the best I can every day, academically, physically and personally, surrounded by amazing friends and teammates.

What’s your rowing history, and what has been your biggest achievement so far? I learnt to row at my college in my first year at uni, really enjoyed it, and then did the CUWBC development squad at the end of the academic year. My highlights from the first year include getting blades in Lent bumps, rowing in Nottingham, and then being at Kingston with the development squad. I decided to trial for the squad in second year and loved it. My highlights were racing at Fours Head, trial eights, and then Quintin Head, along with camp in Banyoles. Being surrounded by such talented rowers helped me to push myself and I learnt a lot in that year. I am now back for my second year trialling, and I’m looking forward to more racing as well as returning to my college boat club to row in May bumps, before summer racing.

Have you raced in the Boat Race before? If yes, when? 2020 Blondie Colours.

Your favourite race so far? Quintin Head 2020.

Do you have any race day habits or superstitions? I have a specific playlist I like to listen to while I get ready to race, and I drink coffee.

Your sporting idol? Katherine Grainger.

What gets you through a tough session? Do you have a mantra, rituals? A good playlist, and knowing that these are the sessions that count, and will make you faster.

Any hobbies, other interests outside rowing? I love road and track cycling, and did some racing before I started university. This is lucky because we have been doing a lot of it as cross training during lockdown.

How do you motivate yourself and your teammates, especially with Covid restrictions? Knowing that one day things will be back to normal, and that we want to be in the best possible shape we can be when that day comes.