Åsa Lofstedt

"I started rowing at Newcastle University in September 2016 having had a successful rowing career as a junior and wanted to attend one of the top rowing universities to pursue my rowing career. Throughout my first year I battled with an ongoing back injury and after surgery decided I couldn’t continue however still wanted to be involved with the Blue Star and came back in 2017 as a coach.

With a really strong novice programme at NUBC, I was keen to help out developing our new rowers. Whilst doing this I learnt the importance of giving clear and simple instructions along with positive feedback followed by an improvement. This led me to getting to know the coaches much better and after a few months I was asked to be assistant coach to the lightweight programme at NUBC.

Due to lack of coxes (hence this recruitment drive!!) another challenge was thrown at me. Despite my physique not being the most suited to coxing (almost being 6ft!) I wanted to help the squad out as much as I could. My rowing career learning to row on the Tideway paid dividends at the Head of the River Race in 2018 when we raced to 28th and the 3rd fastest NUBC boat, only 3 weeks after I started coxing! Being a rower really helped my gauge what people wanted to hear during a race and studying civil engineering has taught me to always strive to be better, so I was keen to learn and continually develop. During that summer, I coached the novices to a Bronze at BUCS and qualified for HRR in a Temple 8. Despite being one of the only girls in the men’s squad I learnt to be confident in myself and that everyone has something unique to bring to a boat.

Åsa coxing at Henley Royal Regatta

I have huge respect for everyone racing on the water and enjoy being a small part of such an amazing club. Coxing has brought me closer to all my friends and despite all the early mornings and blizzards it has been very rewarding and I’m excited to see what the 2018/19 season brings."