ROWING: Medal double highlights the potential of Hinchingbrooke School pupil Poppy

Poppy Shipley with her British Indoor Championships medals.

Poppy Shipley with her British Indoor Championships medals. - Credit: Archant

A Hinchingbrooke School pupil has emerged as a major rowing talent – little more than a year after taking up the sport.

Poppy Shipley, 15, has been handed a place on the GB World Class Start programme which is aimed at nurturing potential Olympians of the future.

The 2024 Games in Paris are the long-term goal for the Brampton girl who continued her rapid progress in the sport with a medal double at the recent British Indoor Championships.

Shipley, who sampled the sport for the first time in the summer of 2016 when going along to Huntingdon Boat Club with friends, won silver in the WJ15 500m event and captured bronze for the five-minute category.

Shipley said: “I only tried rowing because two of my friends from school did, but I loved it straight away. I was very pleased to be selected by GB for the World Class Start programme.

“I had to do a fitness test against some other rowers who were older and bigger than me, but I was the fastest in the group in some of the test and was able to lift the most weights.

“It was great to win the medals at the British Indoor Championships. I wasn’t expecting them as I have never taken part in a competition like that before.

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“I used to go track cycling in the velodrome, but this was very different.

“I was the fastest girl indoors at my rowing camp at Eton in the summer, but there weren’t as many people rowing or watching there!

“I just want to keep doing my best and making as much progress as I can.”

Shipley is also a keen hockey player and swimmer. She is a ‘sport leader’ at Hinchingbrooke School and does lifeguard training at the Splash Academy.

Shipley’s family are looking for sponsorship to help her sporting journey. Anyone interested can make contact with the Hunts Post to in the first instance.