International rower joins St Paul’s as coach
Representing the Great Britain Rowing Team, the high-performance arm of British Rowing, Rachel competed at the highest level in her home country for six years with the hopes of ultimately making the Olympics.
Sadly, a back injury cut her chances at Olympics short, but her passion for the sport remained. Channeling her sporting expertise into coaching, Rachel landed her first job at Melbourne Girls’ Grammar School in Australia. Moving across the world and taking on a new role was a huge decision at the time, but one that Rachel says has been the most rewarding.
“It was a big move accepting a coaching role on the other side of the world, but it was the best decision I could have made. Once I got a taste for coaching, I knew my commitment to helping others achieve their goals was just as strong as my own had been as an athlete,” says Rachel.
Once her stint in Melbourne was complete, in 2015 Rachel moved to New Zealand to take on the Director of Rowing position at Samuel Marsden Collegiate School, Wellington. It was here she played an integral role of developing the school’s rowing programme which then led to several successful seasons at North Island Secondary Schools' Regatta and the New Zealand Secondary Schools' Rowing Championships over the following two years.
Anticipating her next move, Rachel knew she needed to be near the Waikato, the rowing hub of New Zealand, to further her coaching career. She took on a Development Coaching role at St Peter’s School, Cambridge in 2019 where she coached the U15 and U16 girls’ squads to North Island Secondary Schools and podium finishes were achieved.
Alongside coaching at St Peter’s, Rachel also spent time coaching the New Zealand Defence Force where they competed against other Commonwealth Nations at the Henley Royal Regatta, England.
To maintain her world class coaching status, Rachel is part of the Rowing New Zealand Career Coach programme. This is a new initiative offered by Rowing New Zealand to develop coaches with ambitions to progress to the international stage.
Rachel begins with St Paul’s Collegiate School in term three as the new Director of Rowing, alongside her teaching aide work within the Learning Enhancement Unit.
“I’m really excited to build on the success of rowing and to be part of the community at St Paul’s. I aim to create a space and programme that will allow everyone to have a go at this rewarding sport.”
She begins her teaching diploma in January and will be working towards becoming a secondary school teacher. Outside of coaching and teaching, Rachel is a multisporter and is currently training for her second attempt at Coast to Coast in 2022, a 243 kilometre challenge made up of a bike, kayak and running race completed over two days.