Holly Dunford, WJ18 World Champion of Molesey Boat Club, receives SportsAid One-to-Watch award
World junior rowing champion Holly Dunford of Molesey Boat Club received the SportsAid One-to-Watch award last night. Holly will also benefit from a grant of £1,250 to help her achieve her goal of a place in the GB U23 rowing squad. We spoke to Holly as she set off for school this morning after the awards, clearly still excited about her evening. At the awards, she sat on a table hosted by former World Champion, Sarah Winckless MBE and met Olivia Carnegie-Brown and Jesse Eddie.
Holly Dunford at 3 with the Molesey W4x at Head of the River Fours 2017
Holly Dunford won gold for Great Britain at the World Junior Rowing Championships in Lithuania this summer with Zoe Adamson of Gloucester Hartpury in the women’s double. She also has three first-place finishes in the single sculls at the GB Rowing Team Junior trials under her belt and set a new national JW18 record on the erg. Earlier in November she competed for Molesey in the W4x at the Fuller’s Head of the River Fours, coming 4th in the division.
Holly is currently in her final year studying for her A Levels at Heathside School in Weybridge, Surrey. She was inspired to row by the 2012 London Olympics and joined Walton Rowing Club aged 12yrs. At 14yrs she moved to Molesey where she is now coached by Helen Taylor. Neither of her parents’ row but she has inspired her younger brother and sister to take up the sport.
Zoe Adamson & Holly Dunford with their Junior World Rowing Championship medals in 2017
“School are really pleased for me and have been really supportive. I am training 6 days a week at the moment. So weekdays I am at the club at 4.30pm for 2 hours then Saturday 7.30-12.30 and Sundays 7.30 to 9.30. Sometimes it can be difficult to get the school/rowing balance right but I manage alright. I am quite a good student so the main problem is time management.”
Although still at school, Holly has an October birthday so just too old to qualify as a Junior in 2018. Her goal for the 2018 season is to make the U23 team. “I think it’s realistic but there’s more technical work to be done on the water and strength work in the gym. After school I would like to get a place at my first choice, Edinburgh University to read Geography next year. They have a great set-up there and it would give me the best chance of making it as an U23 athlete”.