Bearsden rowing starlet in the running for elite GB squad

Inverness 2013_Kathleen-2 golds
Inverness 2013_Kathleen-2 golds

A ROWER from Bearsden is the only girl from Scotland to be selected to train with the elite junior GB performance squad – which is used to select future Olympians.

Although 16-year-old Kathleen Castell is too young to compete in the Olympic Games in Brazil in 2016, she recorded some impressive wins at junior level last year including the British Junior under-15 and under-16 titles.

Kathleen will head down to the assessment this weekend at the National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham, where she will be up against top young rowers from across the UK.

The Boclair Academy pupil, who is currently juggling exam revision with her sporting commitments, said: “Obviously I am really looking forward to it, but there is a certain amount of nervousness as well.

“It will be the first time I have taken part in such a selection and I will up against some really good people.”

Kathleen is more used to competing in the double skull event with her rowing partner, Helena Davidson, but in Nottingham she will be assessed to compete in a boat with four or eight other rowers.

Alistair Browne, who has coached Kathleen for the last three years at The Glasgow Rowing Cub, said: “She is a very dedicated rower and has as good a chance as anyone else to be selected.

“She is still very young and this is only the first step for her, but I definitely see her as a bright hope for the future.

“She will be looked at as part of a team that will be 
assessed for world events and possibly even the Olympics.”

Kathleen was invited to go along to the camp after some good results earlier this year.

In January she won silver in the Scottish Indoor Rowing Championships at Heriot Watt University and she also set a personal best of 7mins 44.9secs for the required 2k in a very close race.

Following the training camp the next big competition for Kathleen is Strathclyde Park Regatta between April 27-28.

This is followed by the National Schools Regatta in Nottingham between May 24-26, then one of the biggest events in the rowing calender – the Scottish Championships in June.

It will be a busy year for the rower (right) as she is also aiming to be involved in the Home International Regatta in July.