Rosa Millard: 2023 Boat Race crew member

Why/How did you get into rowing?

My dad asked me (forced me!) to cox his masters four when I was eight. As time went on he slowly got me into coxing, then rowing, something which at the time I found deeply tedious, but now I am incredibly grateful and nostalgic about my first few years at the Lea.

Name of first rowing coach?

Dick Millard

What’s your rowing history, and what has been your biggest achievement so far?

Started going down the Lea at age 8, I coxed until I was 13/14, then started rowing. Rowed there until I was 17. Then moved to Tideway Scullers. Biggest achievements: GB France 2018 HOR4s winner and course record holder two years in a row (2018/2019); Racing the Saturday of the Diamond Jubilee Challenge Cup 2019; 15-length victory Lightweight Boat Race 2022, 3.5-minute course record; 3 gold medals at BUCS.

How do you balance rowing and academic life?

Early bedtimes, designated down-time away from rowing or academics, and caffeine.

Who is your rowing idol?

Orhan Kephalas, Paul Carter, Dick Millard. All old-time rowers (they will hate me for saying that) who inspire me to keep things simple and speak my mind.

Who would be your dream team eight to row with from everyone in the history of rowing?

Orhan Kephalas, Paul Carter, Dick Millard, Chris Drury, Jasper Parish, Grace Prendergast.

Have you raced in the Boat Race before?

Yes, I stroked the lightweight women to a victory of 15 lengths in the 2022 Lightweight Boat Race.

Have you ever been at school/ university/on a team with anyone at ‘the other place’?


Your favourite race so far?

All of BUCS 2022 was pretty epic, it was great fun showing the rest of the UK the calibre of women’s rowing at Cambridge. Especially the lightweight women, who won all the crew lightweight events at BUCS.

What is the best place you have ever rowed?

The Tideway is pretty awesome. You never know what you’re going to get in terms of conditions, so I think it makes for excellent technical rowers.

Where would be your dream place to row?

The Tideway.

What do you feel is your greatest achievement through rowing, be it accolades or something more?

Making lifelong friends at every club I have been at and making a small change in each of these clubs for the better.

Obviously, it’s long hours and hard work – what inspires you to keep rowing?

My friends. The team. My incredibly competitive personality….

What has been your most embarrassing/funny rowing moment?

Getting a 30-second time penalty for swearing at Wallingford 4s and 8s Head when I was age 12 coxing.

What is your favourite sports quote?

“Everyone’s hurting, whoever wins is who can hurt for the longest.”

What is your favourite movie about sports?

Cool Runnings.

How does being an athlete make you a better person?

Time management, dedication, and teamwork that isn’t replicable in any other environment, or even many other sports.

What are your strengths, as a person and as an athlete?

You will always know what I am thinking, I am fairly blunt, be that a good or bad thing, but keep things down to earth and can remove emotion from professionalism in the boat.

How do you handle missing out on activities with friends because of your athletic schedule?

They think it’s insanity. If I had the true feeling of ‘missing out’ they wouldn’t be my friends. I know my friends will be my friends no matter what my commitments in rowing.

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