Scowen aims for Slovenian gloryBy David Wright
July 28, 2011
If guts and determination are the key ingredients for success, then Samantha Scowen will be flying the flag for Wokingham in the London Olympics.
The 24-year-old (pictured right) is fast making a name for herself in international rowing.
She is currently preparing with the Great Britain team for the World Championships in Bled, Slovenia, from August 28 to September 4.
Scowen partners Yateley’s Nick Beighton in the TA (Trunk and Arms) mixed double scull.
And they know that a good performance will boost their chances of competing in the London Paralympics in September next year.
Scowen went to Ryeish Green School and then Thames Valley University, where she completed a Foundation Diploma.
She wasn’t sure where to go from there, but was eventually drawn into rowing.
And she took to the sport like a duck to water.
“It all happened very quickly,” she said.
Within six weeks of joining the GB squad, she took part in a World Cup meeting in Munich and amazingly won a gold medal rowing with James Roberts.
Scowen returned to Germany earlier this year and, with Beighton, won a bronze medal, which was a great start for such a new pairing.
She is now looking for glory in Slovenia, but her big aim is to qualify for the London Paralympics.
She trains six days a week – at GB’s rowing headquarters at Caversham and in the gymnasium at Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre.
In their specially adapted boat, she has struck up a good partnership with Beighton.
Commissioned from Sandhurst, he is a serving captain in the British Army, but was seriously injured in Afghanistan in October 2009.
Amazingly, he bravely put the life-changing injuries behind him by quickly starting to learn to walk with prosthetic legs.
Beighton also took up rowing as he wanted to prove to himself that he could achieve something different in life after being injured.
He first sculled at Guildford Rowing Club 12 months ago and made such quick progress that he was drafted into the GB squad.
And Beighton justified his selection by winning bronze with Scowen in Munich.
The tough 29-year-old is a passionate rock climber, having been part of expeditions to the Himalyas, Andes and Alps.
He has another mountain to climb to qualify for the Paralympics but, with the equally courageous Scowen with him in their boat, he has every chance of succeeding.
GB, sponsored by Siemens and Lottery funded, are sending a strong squad to Slovenia.
Performance director David Tanner said: “In terms of rowers and support it is as strong as we have ever sent to the World Championships and hopefully we can come back with some medals.”