Tell us about yourself and your involvement in rowing
My name is Benjamin Pritchard (29) from Swansea, South Wales. I have now been involved in rowing for 5 years having represented British Rowing at the Paralympics in Tokyo in 2020.
How did you start rowing, what made you want to start?
I started rowing as part of my rehabilitation in Stoke Mandeville - first as a tool to help build more back strength and core control and then as an outlet for my competitive mindset. From there, I joined City of Swansea Rowing Club where I took my first strokes on the Water. The rest they say is history!
What do you enjoy about rowing?
I love being out in nature, even on those cold wet Welsh winters! For me it gives the same feeling as when I used to cycle in the country lanes. You can be working near your maximum capacity but there is tranquillity all around you.
I also feel hugely empowered by rowing, as when I get in my scull and push off the landing stage, I actively watch the wheelchair disappear. This may seem a strange thing to say but it gives me a huge sense of freedom!
How has rowing impacted on your life?
Rowing has had a huge positive impact on my life, whilst difficult at times - I would thoroughly recommend anyone that wants to try an outdoor sport and enjoys trying to find their new limits then rowing is the sport for you!
Any advice to someone considering learning to row?
My biggest advice is just to give it a go! You’re not going to be an Olympian or Paralympian on the first stroke - but who knows where it can take you! The rowing community is very friendly and most clubs are very inclusive to everyone so why not just go down and give it a go!