Former Stantonbury Campus student Cameron Forsythe admits he could not be in a better place to try and achieve his dream of rowing at an Olympic Games.
Born in Milton Keynes, 17-year-old Forsythe now resides in Henley, where he is a stone’s throw away from his training base at the acclaimed Leander Rowing Club.
The most successful rowing club in the world, having helped its members accrue over a hundred Olympic medals, Leander provides state-of-the-art facilities and world-class coaching.
With the likes of Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Matthew Pinsent having both pulled on the famous Leander colours, Forsythe is certainly not short of motivation.
And while still balancing his studies at Henley College with training, the former Milton Keynes Rowing Club member has already enjoyed a busy start to the season, including competing at the British Rowing Championships earlier this month.
Competing in the open quad sculls, Forsythe and his team finished second in the E final, while Leander’s A boat took overall honours in the A final.
And Forsythe admits getting the chance to go up against the very best could only be a good thing for his progression.
“Rowing at Leander means a lot to me, the high performance atmosphere and training with a big bunch of determined and well-focused athletes is really important,” he said.
“It makes achieving a lot easier when everyone is trying to reach the same goal and there’s so many of us.
“Leander gives us so many opportunities as junior athletes to compete and reach our optimum potential. They support us in our education, and help us loads with our rowing, our races, and our race fees.
“Our rowing timetable is fitted in with our school timetable, so our school comes around our rowing.
“The senior championships was a big competition for us because it was the U19 quads, so we’re juniors and we were competing above our age group.”
Next year’s Olympic Games in Rio will come too soon for Forsythe, although Tokyo 2020 could well be a possibility.
And with plenty on the horizon between now and then, he knows he has lots to aim for.
“My long-term aim is to reach the Olympics, but short-term, it would be the junior World Championships,” he added.
“My granddad got me into rowing when I was about 14 and I won the National Junior Indoor Championships and then from there, I came to Leander. I just want to keep progressing and see how far I can go.”
As Leander Club launched their ‘Row to Rio’ campaign Cameron Forsythe spoke of Leander’s place as the most successful rowing club in the world, with 111 Olympic medals won by its members.