Peterborough City Rowing Club star Camilla Plumb won a gold medal at the British Indoor Championships.
The 17 year-old Wisbech Grammar School pupil outclassed older competitors to win the women’s Under 23 lightweight title at the championships at the Lee Valley VeloPark.
She beat rowers from universities across the country in the two-kilometre event at the London 2012 velodrome after powering to a winning time of 7 minutes 55 seconds on the rowing machine. She finished almost 50 seconds clear of her closest rival.
Camilla, who lives in Eye, has been a member of Peterborough City Rowing Club since the age of 12, and she also plays hockey and netball and is involved in trampolining and swimming.
She follows a rigorous rowing training programme, putting in four hours on Saturday and Sunday mornings and two hours in the evening on Mondays to Thursdays.
In the winter she hones her technical skills outdoors at the weekends, and in the evenings she builds her strength and fitness on the rowing machines, as well as doing weight training.
With the benefit of added light in the summer, she spends more time on the water – on the River Nene and at the club’s rowing lake in Peterborough – together with continuing with the sessions with the weights.
After completing her A Levels in biology, chemistry and geography in the summer, she plans to devote much more time to training during a gap year in order to build her fitness and ability with the aim of trialling for the under 23 lightweight Great Britain squad and then perhaps taking part in the Tokyo Olympics and the World Rowing Cup.
She said that she had gained valuable experience from winning the gold medal, but her success as the youngest in the event had come as a surprise.
She said: “It was a really good experience, especially visiting the Olympic Park where the Great Britain athletes had been in 2012 – and I was not expecting to win.”
Headmaster at Wisbech Grammar School, Chris Staley, said: “We are all really very proud of Camilla and her rowing achievements. This is the culmination of countless hours of dedication, hard work and sacrifice, and to win the women’s under 23 lightweight two-kilometre contest is amazing. I hope this will be the start of us hearing more about her rowing successes.”