My name is Oliver Talbot, I have been a member of Leicester Rowing Club since I was 11. I was inspired by the Beijing Olympics to go and try out a new sport and ever since then I have been involved in rowing.
Initially when I started, I was a part of the junior squad and for 6 successful years of competitive rowing at all levels and winning races I decided to focus on my education. However, I didn't want to leave the sport as it had become so much of my life and made so many friends at the club, I decided I wanted to give more back to my club. That is when I decided to become a volunteer coach so that I could help pass on my knowledge and help others enjoy the sport the same way I did. I started off with our clubs' recreational rowers' group, this group was comprised of people of all ages who wanted to get active, enjoy a new sport and make friends.
I loved seeing the group expand from a small group of individuals up to a large respected group of the club and seeing the ways they all grew in both their skills and friendship. Whilst I was helping the recreational squad, I saw the constant need for coaches for the large junior squad and I decided to start volunteering for the juniors and to give back the squad that supported me for all my years. I found this so rewarding seeing the new juniors come in who didn't have any experience of the sport like I used to be and developing rapidly into racing crews and seeing them go all for their first ever races. With this I decided to take the step forward and get my British Rowing Level 2 Coaching qualification so that I develop my skills further so that I can push everyone who I coached further in their abilities to reach their full potential and to create a safe and secure environment for them to do so.
I am delighted to have been selected for a grant from the Joe Humphries Memorial trust. This will funding will help my towards my Level 2 Coaching qualification.
Simon Taylor, Inspire lead, said: ' Oliver is the perfect candidate for our awards , both personally excelling but just as importantly seeking to help others . We wish him every success."