#NSRmemories What does NSR mean to you? Jess has been rowing since her school days, she has enjoyed a long international GB rowing career, as a junior and senior whilst at university and beyond. Her rowing career highlight is the Silver Medal from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Here she recalls some key wins at NSR with her twin sister Alex and how friendship trumps rivalry. We are thrilled to know NSR still means so much to her! And as ever, she has some thoughtful advice for all the juniors missing their rowing today. Here I am with my twin sister, Alex Eddie. In 2003 we won both the Championship W2- and championship W2x, an achievement I still harp on about in any rowing talks I give. National Schools' was and still is the pinnacle of our racing year, all training was geared towards it and winning it meant you could proudly say you had beaten the very best. Winning the double title in 2003 alongside my sister is something I'm massively proud of, and ranks up there with my later rowing medals.
Coming 4th in the J14 double sculls in 1999 was a turning point in my entire career. We limped into the Holme Pierrepont pontoon with tears streaming down our faces and vowed to come back next year to win gold. Which we did, claiming the J15 W2x a year later.
One of my best friends, Natasha Townsend (Page), whom I later raced with in Beijing and London Games, and I had a memorable race in the WJ16 1x. She outshone me, and after crossing the line to take Gold she started cheering for me. A very angry Jess crossed the line with a Silver and a very bruised ego. We still talk about it to this day! We represented Durham ARC in every single National Schools', loading up the trailer and travelling down to Nottingham for 3 days was one of the best memories of my sporting life.
I encourage every junior rower to remember the struggle we are going through, all of the home training, restricted exercise each day, motivating yourself without your teammates and bottle it up for the start line of the regatta next year. Every single rower is going through the same thing together right now, from juniors to Olympians and we will get through it by looking forward but also remembering how much it means to us and the memories we are yet to create.