Aghalee man now eyeing spot at Olympics after clinching Euro rowing victory

A Northern Irish rower has spoken of his hopes for the future after scooping an Under-23s European Championship medal.

Tuesday, 7th September 2021, 4:40 pm
Updated Tuesday, 7th September 2021, 5:10 pm
Nathan Hull and Callum Dixon showing off their first place medals

Nathan Hull, 22, from Aghalee, has returned to Northern Ireland after a weekend of rowing in Poland.

Rowing with Callum Dixon from Twickenham Rowing Club, the pair came first place in the U23s Men’s Double Sculls –four seconds faster than second place, Greece.

The GB pair didn’t get to compete in the World Championships due to Covid-19.

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Nathan started rowing after watching the 2012 Olympics.

He then went on to take part in a summer scheme at Portadown Boat Club, and is now “hoping to progress further, hopefully to the Paris Olympics in 2024”.

He went with the main aim of trying to “come back stronger” as he’d “put in a good block of training for it”.

Leading up to the competition, Nathan trained for 21 hours a week.

He has been supported by the university, Sport NI, SteviesWay Pilates, and the Mary Peters Trust.

He also speaks highly of Steven Donovan from Portadown Boat Club, Mick Desmond from Queen’s University Belfast, and Helen Brown from Twickenham Rowing Club.

Covid safety measures were in place and masks had to be worn at the contest.

The Aghalee man said: “On the podium, usually someone from the country would give us our medals – but we had to give ourselves our own medals.”

Rowers would usually trade kits with other countries, but Nathan said they were advised that this too was off the cards.