Burke shines with silver at Junior Rowing Championships

Isobel Burke
Isobel Burke

Isobel Burke picked up a brilliant silver medal in the Peterborough Junior Rowing Championships.

Burke, from Caldecotte, braved searing temperatures and strong headwinds throughout the heats and the semi-final along the 1,000m course, booking her spot in the final against some of the best rowers in the country.

Isobel's silver medal

Isobel's silver medal

In a very competitive final, she was only beaten by a second by GB rower Poppy Shipley.

Isobel trains at Action4Youth Rowing Club, a very small club based on Caldecotte Lake North, which is operated by Action4Youth, a Buckinghamshire based charity. She currently competes in Bedford Rowing Club colours, where she is also a member and predominantly trains with her doubles partner, Ellie Cooke. At the beginning of the month, Isobel and Ellie competed in the WJ15 double sculls at Peterborough to come a very creditable second after staving off fierce competition in the heats.

John Smith, Isobel's Coach and Head Coach at Action4Youth Rowing Club said: “Everyone at Action, especially myself, is hugely proud of Isobel’s first medal in a single scull, particularly against such tough competition.

"She works extremely hard in training, setting the example for all the junior rowers at A4Y as well being a very talented rower. With more training and further development, she has the potential to represent GB in the future.

"Since I took over as Isobel's coach in mid-April, she has made some significant changes, not just to her training plan, but also in her attitude towards how she competes, focusing more on the enjoyment. This has allowed her to perform to such a high standard recently.

"While the club is currently experiencing some difficulties in terms of funding and having nearly closed down in early April, we are in talks with Milton Keynes Rowing Club about a potential merger in September to host the juniors, so that we can resource and create our own talent pathway for national squad contenders like Isobel right here in MK.”

Midge Blake, Isobel’s mum said: “We are very fortunate to have Caldecotte Lake on our doorstep and a brilliant trainer in John, who has previously coached two athletes who have gone on to row for GB. Rowing is a fantastic sport for young people to get involved with, whether it’s for fun and fitness or if they have international aspirations.

"The Club was at risk of closure recently due to lack of funding, which is why we want it to be integrated as part of MK Rowing Club, hopefully to give it more long-term security.”

Isobel will be competing again on 21 and 22 July at the British Junior Rowing Championships at the National Watersports Centre in Nottingham.

If you would like some more information as to how to get into Junior Rowing at Action4Youth Rowing Club, either get in touch with Ann Smith by either emailing caldecotte@action4youth.org or search for Junior Rowing in Milton Keynes.