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Girl on the River

Patricia Carswell

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Patricia Carswell, aka Girl on the River, loves to row and loves to talk, so it makes sense that in her podcast she'll be chatting to guests from all around the rowing and sporting world about anything and everything to do with rowing. Always informal, occasionally silly, sometimes serious, often informative, she delves into questions such as how athletes become champions, how to promote diversity in sport, the secret to staying alive on an ocean, how to improve your erg score and what to do ...
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S3 Ep.4 If you heard my interview with Andy Triggs Hodge last year you may remember him talking about the brilliant charity, London Youth Rowing, which does fantastic work changing young people's lives through rowing. I was keen to get one of their coaches on the podcast to talk in a bit more detail about their work. So step forward Lawrence Farqua…
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S3, Ep 3. As many of you know, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018, and had a mastectomy, chemo and immunotherapy, and since then I've been on a bit of a mission to inform people about things they might need to know about the condition. Which is why I was so thrilled when Napoleon Griffin agreed to come on the show. As both a rower and a mal…
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S3, Ep.2 It would have been lovely not to need to do this interview, but sadly our rivers - and the River Wye in particular - are in crisis, and as rowers and river-lovers you ought to know what's going on. So today I'm talking to Charles Watson, founder of charity and campaigning group, River Action UK, to find out what's wrong with our rivers and…
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S3, Ep.1 A very warm welcome back to the podcast for season 3. I'm really delighted to introduce you to Kate Lindgren, my latest guest, who is a member of Peterborough Rowing Club and a passionate sculler. Having lost her sight as a young woman, she only came to rowing later in life but has taken to it with an enthusiasm that can't fail to be infec…
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S2, Ep. 6 In all the excitement of the Tokyo Olympics, it's easy to forget about the team supporting the athletes. Behind every medal and record and personal best, there's a huge network of people making sure the athlete performs at their best. Which is why I was so delighted to talk to this week's guest - Wendy Martinson, OBE - who is the lead nut…
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S2 Episode 5 Camilla Hadland has a voice that many of you will recognise. Having started rowing as a junior at a small club, she won a place in the U23 Women’s 8 and competed at the World Junior Championships in 2010, where they won Britain's first ever women’s gold medal at that event. After university, where she was President of her university bo…
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As soon as I heard about Row to Recovery I knew I wanted to talk to Robin Winkels, who founded it. Robin is a rower who, as a result of one phone call in 2014, ended up founding a charity that provides rowing for people who are undergoing or have had treatment for cancer. It's a subject close to Robin's heart after several members of her family had…
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Before I go any further, I want to say something to my male listeners. This episode is for you, too. If you're a male coach working with female athletes, it's an absolute must-listen, but even if you're not, assuming you have a wife or a mother or a daughter or a sister or a female friend, or if you belong to a club where there are female athletes,…
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This episode is one that was especially thrilling to make, as it was the first one I actually recorded face to face – out in the open, hence the background sound of the river rushing by and the birds singing. Which is really appropriate as my guest, Angela Jones, spends almost as much time in the river as on dry land. Angela is a wild swimming spec…
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S2 Ep.1 Welcome back to Girl on the River for Season 2 – it’s so good to be back! I’m absolutely thrilled to bring you the first episode in my new season – an interview with Adrian Ellison, who coxed the 4+ to a gold medal at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles (the first of five gold medals for crew member Steve Redgrave). Adrian is a brilliant …
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Ep. 18 In the final episode of Season 1, I'm delighted to bring you the umpires of this year's Boat Races. It's a particularly historic year for the Boat Races, for two reasons. First of all, it's not being held on the Thames, as it usually is, but instead in Ely on the Great Ouse (partly for covid reasons and partly because Hammersmith Bridge is s…
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Ep.17 Ian Rivers has spent his life seeking adventure. From a childhood he describes as "feral" right through his career in the SAS, he's always looked for the next challenge, and his life hasn't been short of incident. He's sailed oceans and climbed mountains, been kidnapped in Syria (and escaped, using just the natural world to help him navigate …
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Ep.16 It's very apt that I should have the amazing Pete Reed on the show this week, as things are really ramping up for the Race the Thames challenge which starts on 22nd March. Pete is front and centre of the fundraising, alongside his former crewmate Andy Triggs Hodge (who I interviewed a few weeks ago here) with his Paravengers team. For those w…
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Ep 15. One of the things I miss most about rowing is the post-rowing chat over coffee, where we just shoot the breeze about rowing, interspersed with plenty of gossip, a bit of serious discussion and a lot of silliness. Which is exactly what this episode is all about. Rachel Freedman and Tara Morgan are passionate rowers and rowing coaches. They're…
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This year is a year like no other, and for the first time in its history, the Women's Head of the River Race, or WEHoRR, is being held over Zoom, on rowing machines, spin bikes and other variations on the theme. In this bite-sized episode I explain everything you need to know about how it's going to work and how to get involved #NotWehorr2021 If yo…
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Ep. 14 This week is Eating Disorders Awareness Week, so I was absolutely thrilled that Dr Carolyn Plateau was able to join me on the podcast. Carolyn is a senior lecturer in sport psychology at Loughborough University. She has a particular specialism in eating disorders and disordered eating in the athlete population and has developed an online tra…
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Ep.13 I'm still pinching myself that yet another rowing legend has come on the podcast. This time it was my honour to welcome Andrew Triggs Hodge - three-time Olympic champion, multiple World Champion and Boat Race winner. Despite his incredible rowing prowess, Andy is ridiculously modest (and really good fun) and we had a great chat. We talked abo…
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Ep.12 What a joy it was to have Eira Parry on the podcast! A former GB Rowing coach, teacher, founder of High Performance Parenting and stepmother to an Olympic athlete, Eira has seen the life of young athletes from all sides and has so much wisdom to share with anyone involved in the lives of young athletes, whether as coaches or as parents. She h…
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*Trigger warning * this episode contains discussion of mental health problems and suicide. This is by far the most significant episode I've broadcast to date. Not because my guest is a household name - in fact you probably haven't heard of him. Nor because he's had a stellar career - he's a 17-year-old school student (although he has wisdom and ins…
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Ep.10 Steven Dowd insists he's just an ordinary guy. But once you've listened to this episode, I think you'll agree that he has shown himself capable of extraordinary resilience in the face of monumental challenges. Hit by a spinal cord injury at the age of just 37, he has used it as an opportunity for growth and connection. Oh, and he also has the…
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Ep 9. The more I talk to elite rowers and coxes, the more I understand the importance that sport psychology plays in creating the best performances both on and off the river. That's why I was so delighted when expert in sport psychology, Chris Shambrook, agreed to come on the podcast. We had a fascinating chat, covering: Chris's path into sport psy…
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Ep 8. Most of us have done a little bit of charity fundraising at some point in our lives - we've maybe run a 5K or given up alcohol for a few weeks or completed an erg challenge. Most of us haven't raised £42 million for charity. My guest this week, the amazing Bernie Hollywood OBE, has done just that alongside an incredibly demanding career as a …
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Ep 7. I wanted to start the year with a really special guest, and my goodness, that's what I've got for you! Frances Houghton MBE has represented GB in rowing at five Olympic Games. She has won three Olympic silver medals, four World Championship gold medals and one European title. She's also an incredibly thoughtful person who's collected an amazi…
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Ep 6. In the final episode of 2020, you're the interviewer! Girl on the River answers questions sent in by listeners, turning her mind to issues such as her best moments of 2020 (and yes, there were some!) and how she'd spent £10,000 on the sport of rowing. The rowing kit people I mention are Queen B Athletics - my all time favourite women's kit! T…
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Ep 5. I promised you a special guest for the Girl on the River Christmas Special, and my goodness, I've delivered. In an exceptionally feel-good episode, four-time Olympic champion and Celebrity Masterchef finalist, Sir Matthew Pinsent, joins me to talk about: The ups and downs of 2020 Pinsent family Christmas traditions Being defined by rowing Loo…
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If you had to select an 8+ out of biscuits, what would they be and in what order? This was the fiendishly difficult question put to Girl on the River when she invited questions for her Ask Me Anything episode. So huge was the topic, she decided it merited an episode all of its own. After extensive testing, seat racing and public consultation, as we…
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Ep 4. How did you sleep last night? If you ever have a bad night's sleep, this episode is for you! James Wilson, aka The Sleep Geek, is a sleep expert and an advocate for poor sleepers, who works with everyone from governments to football teams, helping people like you and me get a better night's sleep. He firmly believes that there's loads anyone …
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Do you lean back too far at the finish? Or overreach at the catch? Girl on the River does both! At just 5'3" she suffers from Small Rower Syndrome which makes her compensate for her height with both of these faults. In this bite-sized mini-episode Girl on the River discusses some top tips and tricks to stop her from doing both of these things, whic…
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Ep 3. Sue Anstiss is not one of those people who spent 2020 sitting around making sourdough and eating banana bread (though I'm guessing she'd approve of leaping around doing PE with Joe). Instead, she's been busy working towards a world where women's sports are treated equally and girls and women throw themselves into exercise and sport with enthu…
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In a bite-sized mini episode, in advance of the British Rowing Indoor Championships, Girl on the River talks about: Where to watch the BRIC Entering the League if you haven't signed up for BRIC Warming up with Jess Eddie Making a race plan (including some wisdom from Sir Matthew Pinsent) BRIC is being streamed live on the British Rowing website her…
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Ep 2. Why would anyone row the Atlantic, risking sharks, jellyfish, storms and waves the size of a house? And why, in particular, would a 50-something lady with a rare form of pneumonia take on such an extreme challenge? Could it be a cunning plan to avoid a season of erg tests or is there more to it than that? In this second episode, Girl on the R…
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Ep 1. In the very first interview of the podcast, I'm joined by the fabulous coxswain, Zoe de Toledo - super-cox, Olympic silver medalist, World Champion, Boat Race survivor, medical student, coxing educator and mince pie connoisseur. She's someone I've wanted to meet for years, and she totally lived up to expectations. We had a great chat about al…
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Introducing Girl on the River, the Podcast! This trailer tells you everything you need to know about the podcast and when and where to find it. At Girl on the River, the Podcast, I'm going to be chatting to guests from all around the rowing and sporting world about anything and everything to do with rowing. Guests will include Olympians, Atlantic r…
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