Hannah Scott: Coleraine rower enjoying 'whirlwind of a year' as she balances sport and studies

Hannah Scott and Heidi Long
Hannah Scott (front) and Heidi Long won a World under-23 silver medal in Poznan in 2018

By her own admission, the past 12 months have represented something of "a whirlwind of a year" for Coleraine rower Hannah Scott.

The 21-year-old has been balancing her remote studies with training as part of the Great Britain Olympic squad.

To top it off, she will be part of the GB women's quad sculls crew which will compete in the European Championships in Varese, Italy, this weekend

"It's been crazy. I'm still balancing university and rowing," said Hannah.

Scott is a member of the Bann Rowing Club which has kick-started the careers of decorated male rowers Alan Campbell, brothers Richard and Peter Chambers and Joel Cassells.

Now it is the turn of the women from Northern Ireland to make waves as part of a GB squad taking part in its first competition since the 2019 World Championships.

Scott joins compatriots Rebecca Shorten, Holly Nixon and Rebecca Edwards in being selected for the regatta which offers a chance to stake a claim for places at this summer's rescheduled Tokyo Olympics.

Hannah Scott
Hannah Scott is a product of the successful Bann Rowing Club

Scott, a double-silver medal winner for GB at under-23 level, will be the first female rower from the Bann Club to compete for GB at senior level.

"I'm proud to be from Bann Rowing Club. It's in my blood. And I appreciate having some Northern Ireland company in the GB squad. They're brilliant and so hard working," Hannah told BBC Radio Ulster's Sportsound Extra Time.

"Hard work will beat talent if talent doesn't work hard. That is engrained into us at Bann.

"It's all about the mental approach and how you train. That's how you get there."

'Not feeling any pressure'

Scott had Paris 2024 on her mind 12 months ago as she studied at Princeton University, where she is a member of their highly-successful collegiate rowing programme.

However, when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, Scott was allowed to return home to Coleraine and continue her studies online before moving to Caversham in the autumn when she received an invite to train with the GB Olympic squad.

Scott starts the season in the women's quad sculls alongside Mathilda Hodgkins-Byrne, Charlotte Hodgkins-Byrne and Lucy Glover.

"My plan before the pandemic was to graduate from university in 2021 and have a real good go at Paris 2024, then go from there, but it's kind of all come at once," she explained.

"I've been given an opportunity to make the team but I'm not feeling any pressure.

"I'll just go out, enjoy it, have fun and see how it goes. It's a great opportunity and it's been great so far but I need to push forward myself."

You can listen to Nigel Ringland's full interview with Hannah Scott on Sportsound Extra Time on BBC Sounds.

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