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The GB Rowing Team is giving people from the south coast a rare insight into the rigours of selection for 2012 by inviting them to take their own trial on a rowing machine.
At the end of this month the team, including local rower Alison Knowles, is launching The Nation on Trial initiative, sponsored by their high-performance partner Siemens, for everyone to get fit in the build up to the GB Rowing Team Senior Trials, get on a rowing machine and take their own 2k trial to mark a big year for British sport while also raising money for the event’s charity partner, The Stroke Association.
2k is the distance GB’s top stars will race on the water at the Olympic Games this summer but for anyone aspiring to join the GB team the year-long selection process begins with a 2k test on a rowing machine and this is the public’s chance to have a go and win behind-the-scenes-prizes simply by taking part.
Anyone of any ability can register on the event website www.nationontrial.org and access expert training advice on how to use a rowing machine as well as enjoy messages of encouragement from World Champions such as Katherine Grainger, Richard Chambers and 1992 Olympic gold medallist and 2012 hopeful Greg Searle.
The challenge is simple in theory – participants train and build up to rowing 2k as fast as they can on a rowing machine at a local gym or rowing club, getting fit and reducing their risk of suffering a stroke by taking regular exercise.
Participants can record their times as many times as they like on the event website which will show how they compare with friends and workmates as well as the entry standard for the GB selection process.
Grainger, 36, a three-times Olympic silver medallist and six-times World Champion aiming for her fourth Olympic Games said:
“It’s our Olympic distance, it’s what we do all the time, it’s what we do for trials. We’ll be doing that in early March ourselves and then at the Olympic Games in July and August, so it’s a tough test.
“But I’ll also warn you it is very addictive, so once you get going, if you’re competitive, you will just want to keep improving. So good luck, train hard, race hard and enjoy it”.
The reward for anyone over 16 taking part is the chance to rub shoulders with the GB Rowing Team’s many medallists and 2012 hopefuls. The times for those aged 16-24 will also be assessed to see if anyone has the talent to be considered for Rio in 2016.
Anyone entering The Nation on Trial, rowing 2k and posting their time on the website will enter a prize draw to win a trip for two to watch the Senior Trials at the Olympic rowing venue.
The event could throw up future rowers for the next Games in Rio 2016 or it could be the nation’s chance to keep up their New Year get-fit plans as the year turns onwards to February.
And it will also be raising money and awareness for the event’s charity partner The Stroke Association with participants encouraged to get sponsored to achieve set targets.
Every five minutes, someone in the UK will have a stroke which is the leading cause of severe disability. The Stroke Association provides support for survivors and their families as well as funding vital medical research. Rowing can help reduce the risks of stroke as part of a healthy lifestyle.
Register now at www.nationontrial.org.