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Durham University

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Student news

Ellie Hizzett wins Coach of the Year Award

(17 April 2019)

As Durham University Boat Club head into their Easter pre-season, we are delighted to announce that Fresher Rowing Coach, Ellie Hizzett has won the Coach of the Year award for Educational Development. Ellie, who learned of her award in December, was pitted against nominees from all over the country before picking up the award at a dedicated awards ceremony in Henley, held last month.

Learning to row 

Ellie is the DUBC Fresher’s Coach, Learn to Row Coach, Junior High Performance Coach and Sculling camp Lead Coach. She also helps with coaching at local schools; St Leonards School BC, Durham School BC and Cambois BC.

Ellie’s phenomenal role in developing participation in rowing normally begins at the start of the academic year with the University’s annual Learn to Row scheme. Over an initial three week period, Ellie coaches between 300-500 beginner athletes six times per week, with sessions running from 7am to 9.15pm. The vast majority of these students then go on to row for their respective colleges and in December 2017, ninety coxed fours were entered into the Durham Novice Cup.

High-level rowing 

Ellie not only has a major role to play in the mass take up of rowing but is also key in increasing participation in the sport at a higher level. In 2018, she extracted 26 athletes from the Learn to Row scheme to form Durham University Boat Club’s Development Squad who went on to have a very successful season under Ellie’s leadership. They won silver and bronze at the North East Indoor Rowing, BUCS Head 2018 – Fastest MB8+, WeHORR 2018 – Novice Academic Pennant and BR Sculling Festival 2018 – MB1 x Gold.

Dedicated to the cause 

In addition to having four of her athletes selected for the BUCS Talent Training Camp, Ellie gave up her own holiday to run a similar style camp back in Durham for three other Development athletes, one senior athlete and two local juniors. Six of these development athletes have now been selected to be a part of the senior programme for the next academic year. The previous year’s students who started in the development group were very successful themselves with one gaining senior GB trials just one year after being introduced to the sport.

Developing local talent 

Ellie is also very heavily involved with junior development in the North East and aside from coaching juniors at school and club level she also runs a junior high performance academy for talented athletes which gives them the opportunity to make use of the University facility and coaches, this runs over a six week period and covers a multitude of different topics. It also gives the students the opportunity to be mentored by a University athlete, giving them an insight into University life as well as senior rowing. This programme has been praised highly by athletes and parents alike. As if this wasn’t enough, Ellie also leads on the Team Durham Holiday Sculling camps, these range from a Learn to Row type set up to a high performance residential camp.

Ellie always goes above and beyond to develop athletes as individuals as well improving rowing in the area and we are very proud of the work that she puts in year after year and the results that speak for themselves. We are looking forward to what this year will bring for Ellie and her students.

Congratulations Ellie!