(For confidentiality, the name "David" has been substituted to safeguard the student's privacy.)

David is a high-achieving student at his school, who broke the school record for rowing and is an academically and musically talented individual. During this interview, David discusses his accomplishments in rowing, reflects on his setbacks and challenges and outlines his future goals.


David is a Year 11 student at a boarding school. Recently, he broke the school record of a competition for 2km, with a time of 6:29.1, which was around 3 seconds faster than the previous school record that stood for 14 years. Breaking the school record was at the start an underwhelming feeling for David, but he slowly realised the significance of it over time. This achievement motivated David to continue his strong work ethic of training 6 times a week and achieve greater in the future.

Challenges and setbacks

Despite his success, David did find it challenging to balance rowing with his scholarly affairs and musical responsibilities. David has achieved a Diploma 1 for both piano and double bass and has been awarded the Academic Award of the Year. His devotion in areas of academics, music and sports meant that time management could be difficult for him.

Overcoming challenges

David tackled the challenges of balancing rowing, academics and music with his organisational skills and ability to remain composed when faced with difficulties. He emphasises the importance of not panicking when things don’t go as planned, but instead facing it with resilience and determination. He believes that enjoying what you’re doing serves as a propeller for him to move forward in times of adversity.

Some of the top rowers in the world such as Moe Sbihi, have contributed immensely to David’s success. They served as a role model to David, inspiring and encouraging him to maintain his discipline in all aspects of life.


In the future, David aims to continue breaking school records, win the National Schools' Regatta, and be selected to represent his school as the first 8 for Henley Royal Regatta, which is a prestigious rowing event held annually on the River Thames. However, David also stresses his focus on achieving high academically in sciences and accomplishing his aspiration of becoming a physicist.