What does it take to represent and win gold for your country? Determination, training and at least two school lunches was the message from recent Old Bedfordian and British rower Connor Sheridan (07-18).
Connor, a former Bedford Prep boy himself, joined Y7 and Y8 boys for a special assembly on Thursday 13 September. Connor, who has won one bronze and three gold medals for Great Britain to date, shared his story and some of the highlights from the recent Junior World Championships.
Aged 11, nobody would have picked Connor out to be an international rower; he was overweight and not sporty. However, in Y7 he joined the school rowing club and discovered his sport and passion. At the age of 16, he was certain that rowing was his future, and he was determined to give it his all. Within the year, through hard work and dedication, he earned his place in the 1st VIII, rowing with boys up to two years older. The rest, as they say, is history, but not in reality. To get to the top takes real effort. From being at school first thing for training, being the last to leave every gym session, eating early lunch and normal lunch in order to take on board the 6,000 calories needed, as well as training after school. To ensure that you are always the fastest, you have to work the hardest and make every improvement you can, however incremental.
In his inspirational message, Connor told the boys that he did not believe in natural talent—hard work is what it takes to win. Whatever each boy’s interest, they should aim to be happy and proud of what they do by giving it their all.
Connor, who received multiple offers from the top rowing universities in the UK and USA, will start next week at Oxford Brookes, which he believes has the “best rowing programme in the world.”
We encourage all of our boys to believe in themselves and work hard. You never know where it will take you.