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Hunter Field |The Cancer Research UK Boat Races: Maddy Badcott – Oxford University Women's Boat Club

Hunter field boat race - Oxford University Womens Boat Club

Hunter has proudly returned as the official partner to The Cancer Research UK Boat Races for 2016. As part of the Hunter Field collection, the brand has provided limited edition boots for both the Oxford and Cambridge University crews; exclusively designed with the emblem and colour of each competing crew to celebrate the event. As part of their Everyday Pioneers campaign, Hunter Field has honoured a member of each crew that perfectly reflect the spirit of the brand and share the same dedication to performance. This week, we've sat down with Maddy Badcott from the Oxford University Women's Boat Club to gain an insight into how the team balances their academics with training and what the big race day feels like. You can also read last week's interview with Lance Tredell from Cambridge University Boat Club.


What does an average training day look like?

On average we’ll do two sessions per day and that means getting up very early in the morning, sometimes our buses leave at 5:45am. We then need to be back for academic commitments at 9am. There will then normally be a second training session after lunch.

How do you balance your training commitments with a full academic schedule?

Balancing both does involve a lot of discipline, you don’t really have time to faff, which means you have to be very capable at planning ahead and making sure you know where you have to be.

What keeps you motivated through the long months of training?

Winning. Getting faster. That’s the whole point, it’s the united goal to push the boat as fast as is possible and win the race. It’s an incredibly focused season because everything we do is leading up to one race and in that respect it’s quite unique, but it’s also very exciting.

What does it take to be a blue?

I think any kind of rowing is difficult. It involves hard work, grit, determination and discipline. To row for Oxford or Cambridge involves that times a hundred, not only because it involves balancing all the different elements of your life but also making sure that you stay focused on that one goal, which is ultimately to win.

What do you love about the sport?

I really love the opportunity it gives you to push yourself to be a better person. To get stronger, to get faster and more disciplined.

What does winning mean to you?

Winning is the fulfilment of all your goals, every single session over the course of the year that you’ve pushed yourself through, particularly difficult sessions.

What does race day feel like?

Race day feels different before and after the race. It’s a difficult feeling to put into words, everything hangs on your performance on the day so of course you want everything to be perfect. And when you cross the finish line and win the race, it feels like all your training and hard work was worth it.

How important are diet and hydration?

Diet and hydration are crucial for all  elite athletes. In order to withstand the amount of training The Boat Race demands, you need to provide your body with the  right kinds of fuel and hydration.

How essential is sleep to your training?

When you are trying to complete a degree at Oxford as well as training full-time, it often feels like there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done,  but for rowers, sleep is sacred. It is very important that we get a regular amount of sleep in order for our bodies to be able to deal with the training load and perform at our best on a daily basis.

What is your focus in the gym?

My focus, on the ergometer and  in the weights gym, is on demanding more from myself, both physically and technically.

What is your focus on the river?

Training outside means there can be many external distractions, whether in the form of other crews, people on the banks, or extreme weather conditions. Our job as a crew is to be internally consistent and disciplined, no matter what challenges we face from the outside, and we practice that every day in training.