Hannah Scott loving life as prepares to live out Olympic dream

Hannah Scott reckons Team GB’s fun-loving quad scullers can laugh and joke their way to Tokyo 2020 glory.

Friday, 11th June 2021, 10:33 am
Updated Friday, 11th June 2021, 11:13 am

Coleraine ace Scott was one of 45 rowers officially selected in the British team in a women’s crew with Lucy Glover and sisters Mathilda and Charlotte Hodgkins-Byrne.

The quartet soared to silver at this year’s European Championships and will be bidding to outgun the Dutch and German boats in Japan.

Scott knows they can’t take themselves too seriously and believes inter-crew camaraderie can be a springboard for success this summer.

Hannah Scott (second from left) is off to Tokyo 2020. PICTURE: Izzy Cooper, British Rowing

The 21-year-old, one of over 1,000 athletes on UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded World Class Programme, said: “You don’t have to be miserable. We’ve been working on that a lot and feel like that’s a real strong element of our crew.

“We want to keep doing what we’re doing and trust what we’re doing is right. We are allowed to have a bit of fun with our youthful element.

“We definitely take ourselves very seriously, but not to the point where we’re in misery all the time.

“Since having this crew, I’ve really found my feet and am allowing myself to have fun. We are some of the younger people in [British Rowing] building, and I think people enjoy it as well because we add a bit of spice to the whole thing.

“We’re on average the youngest boat by quite a bit, but that element has been really fun and we’ve really used that to our advantage.”

Scott’s career on the water has been powered by UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded World Class Programme that allows her to train full-time, access the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering technology, science and medical support.

She’s been juggling that training with a degree at America’s prestigious Princeton University, with her studies shifting online through lockdown as the Northern Irish ace endured a turbulent few months.

Scott is a double silver medal winner at Under-23 level but propelled herself to the senior big time with that result at the Europeans – behind Netherlands – in April.

GB’s quad scullers sparkled on the Varese water and Scott reckons the team’s versatility can make them real contenders in Japan.

“I think it’s been a really good balance,” added Scott, who is bidding to add to the 864 Olympic and Paralympic medals won by Great Britain and Northern Ireland athletes since the advent of National Lottery funding in 1997.

“Charlotte and Mathilda’s experience coupled with Lucy and my freshness has brought the fire that we need to bring up the performance again – and I think that showed at the Europeans.

“It’s a really good balance of experience and freshness and fire. We don’t really know what we’re getting in to and we’re wiling to take it on the chin, but I love the dynamic.”

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