AN INSPIRING young team of rowers paddled their way to the podium at the UK’s top junior competition.

Trafford Rowing Club joined crews from across the country for the British Rowing Junior Championships at the National Watersports Centre in Nottingham.

Four crews were entered by the club made up of J14 girls double of Michie Goodridge and Olivia Bradley; the J15 girls squad of Lottie Kelly, Olivia Smithson, Ellen Hardispy and Cara Loates, coxed by Michie; the J16 girls single of Rebekah Court and the J16 double of Albert Whistance and his partner George Windsor from Warrington Rowing Club.

The rowers got off to a fantastic start on Friday as Michie and Olivia Bradley battled their way to 9th place out of almost 70 competitors.

Sights on Saturday were set on securing top 12 finishes for all the Trafford crews in the time trial in order to qualify for Sunday’s finals. In challenging conditions, with strong head winds and a choppy Holme Pierrepont lake more akin to a rough sea rather than Bridgewater Canal the rowers were used to, the team put in stellar performances. Rebekah stormed to to fifth and the J15 squad to sixth in their time trials. Albert and George did not make the finals cut but finished first in the D final.

On Sunday the J15 squad faced off against their rivals from NorthWest Circuit Trentham, Henley and Marlow rowing clubs to scoop a bronze medal in a dramatic 2000 meter final. Rebekah also looked set for a podium after setting off well and came home with an impressive fifth place.

Head coach Leon Langmead said: “We want to build Trafford Rowing Club to be a force to be reckoned with over the next few years and hopefully this will inspire the next generation of rowers into the club.

"Rowing has a reputation as an elitist sport but it is accessible to all and Trafford have shown that we can be competitive at the highest level.

"We are looking to build the squad and have a rowstart course over summer for children aged 12 to 16.”