A Rogate rower is dreaming of making the Olympics after returning from the World Rowing Championships in Belgrade.
Juliette Perry – who grew up near Rogate and attended Dunhurst and Beadles Schools – has made rapid progress in the sport.
“I only started rowing when I went to Oxford University,” said Perry. “Before then I didn’t really consider myself to be sporty.
“Because I was going to Oxford and the boat race against Cambridge is so famous, people asked if I would give rowing a go. I decided to try it and I loved it.”
Perry raced for Oxford University Women’s Boat Club in the boat race in 2018. She competed for British Rowing in the women’s four at the 2019 under-23 European Rowing Championships, before returning home in 2020.
“Competing in the boat race was such a fantastic experience, and then getting selected for and competing in the under-23 Europeans was a big achievement.
“My parents still live near Rogate, and when lockdown hit with the Covid pandemic in 2020 I was lucky enough to spend lockdown back at home and be able to take advantage of all the great outdoor space we have for training – when it was allowed.
“I had a rowing machine at home and I was running regularly around Durleighmarsh – it is such a beautiful area.”
Perry’s career has taken some big steps forward this year. She was selected to compete for British Rowing at the 2023 World Cup III in the women’s pair alongside Leander club-mate Chloe Brew, before being selected as a women’s sweep reserve for last month’s World Rowing Championships in Belgrade, Serbia.
“The World Cup III was my first selection for British Rowing at the senior world level, so it was a big step for me,” said Perry.
“I was then selected as a women’s sweep reserve for Belgrade. Fortunately I didn’t need to compete as there weren’t any injuries or illnesses, but it was still fantastic to be part of the British team in Belgrade.
“The World Rowing Championships were also an opportunity to qualify boats for the Paris Olympics, and thankfully the British team managed to qualify a lot of boats. The earlier you can qualify for the Olympics the better, as it helps with preparations, so that bodes well for us in Paris.”
Perry is aiming to represent the British team in the Olympics – although the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics is her realistic target. Despite that, Perry hasn’t completely written off competing in the Paris Olympics next summer.
“I would never say never to Paris,” said Perry. “Los Angeles in 2028 is a realistic target for me – I’ve got plenty of time to make that Olympics – but if I can make Paris that would be great.”