THERE’S not too many people get to live their dream but Joel Cassells is getting pretty close as he continues to excel on the water.
Times Sport caught up with Bann Rowing Club’s rising star before he headed off to represent GB in the U23 World Championships in Austria this week and he admitted he cannot believe how well things have gone for him since moving to Oxford Brookes.
“I can’t really take it all in if I’m being honest,” said Joel.
“It has been an incredible season for me and the icing on the cake has been selected for the Lightweight Four for Linz.
“This is the next journey for me and I’m determined to give it my best shot. I’m really excited by it all.”
Joel is clearly thriving under the training at University, but he also has some pretty impressive mentors to call on.
“Yeah the training at Brookes has helped me incredibly,” he said.
“It’s very tough but I enjoy it. I also get to see a lot of Alan (Campbell) and Peter and Richard (Chambers), probably more now than I did when I was back home.
“They are the first to offer advice and help which is great because they have been there and done it. It’s also great for me racing in the Lightweight Four, which is such a competitive section, to have Peter Richard to call on.
“They have been able to give me wee bits of advice to try and boost my percentages which is vital when it comes down to the smallest margins.
“I’m also in constant conversation with Seamus Reynolds and Stephen Smyth from back home. I know they are always there for me and give me great support like everyone from Bann and I can’t wait to see them all again next month.”
Joel has had a pretty impressive season to daye with his University crew.
“We have performed really well at the big regattas this season in the first eight,” explained Joel.
“I think we’ve caught a few people by surprise at just how fast we are.
“We showed up really well at Henley. We were the first University to enter four boats in the Temple Challenge Cup.
“Our boat was really fast, but unfortunately we were knocked out on the Thursday by the eventual winners.
“They only beat us by half a length, which was disappointing, but that was the closest anyone got to them so we can take a lot of heart rom that and use it to build on for next season.”
Joel has been training hard, even in this heatwave, which has come at the right time ahead of the Championships. “It has been great for us as that’s exactly what it’s going to be like in Austria,” he added.