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Indoor Rowing 'A Boost for Mental Health'

25th February 2020
Health-booster: Action from the Irish Indoor Rowing Championships. Health-booster: Action from the Irish Indoor Rowing Championships. Photo: Liam Gorman

Indoor rowing champion, Graham Benton lent his support to row 2,020 miles for Row Britannia Sports Relief at the University of Greenwich, yesterday.

The former world and European rowing champion added his rowing miles to the university’s tally, in aid of mental health awareness.

Row Britannia is an inclusive mental health, fitness and wellbeing challenge that encourages teams to jump on a rowing machine to achieve their distance and fundraising goal.

Benton said rowing has helped him manage his own mental health issues in everyday life.

He said: “I found myself in an ambulance having what I thought was a heart attack; it was actually a panic attack.

“Rowing is a great way of reassuring myself daily. That kind of commitment has really kept me strong, in terms of copping with anxiety and in the rest of my life as well.”

He added: “The great thing about a rowing machine is that the only person you’re really racing is yourself.

“It still contributes to the overall total and you’re still helping. I encourage everyone to give it a blast.”

Bronwyn Hill, the university’s Vice-Chair of Governing Body and passionate rower, found a love for rowing after moving away for her university studies to combat her feelings of loneliness and isolation. She proudly stated she has now been rowing on the river Thames at Greenwich for more than 30 years.

Hill said: “Today I like to think I am living proof that you don’t have to be six-feet tall and under 30 years old to get the benefits of rowing.”

University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jane Harrington, and Students' Union president, Henry Setter, each rowed a mile to kick-start Team Greenwich’s tally in January.

This next event will be held on 5 March, across all three of the university’s campuses at Greenwich, Avery Hill and Medway.

Visit the website here: or follow the @UniversityofGreenwich social media channels.

Published in Rowing
Liam Gorman

About The Author

Liam Gorman

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Liam Gorman is a writer and reporter. He is the co-author of Little Lady, One Man, Big Ocean, published in the United States and Canada as Crossing the Swell. He is the rowing correspondent of the Irish Times.  

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