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Graham Jump, head of rowing at the Grange School, Hartford, Cheshire, started in September 2000 on a part-time basis, picking up a programme that had been run by willing staff and volunteers.

 

At that time, the school had six boats and around 25 rowers. Today, with the help of an extensive network of parents, volunteers and staff, it now has more than 50 boats and a capped membership is 100 boys and girls and 16 volunteer coaches

 

What school(s) did you go to?

 

I went to Sir John Deane's Grammar School, Northwich, Cheshire.

 

What’s your earliest sporting memory?

 

Being allowed to stay up and listen the Muhammad Ali fights with my brothers.  

 

Who were your sporting heroes growing up?

 

My heroes were Ali, Bjorn Borg, Seve Ballesteros and Ayrton Senna.

 

What are your best sporting memories of school?

 

My best were when we did outdoor activities such as rugby, athletics, cross country and of course rowing.

 

What are your worst sporting memories of school?

 

My worst were probably around gymnastics. I was a big lad and it just didn't work for me.

 

Can you recall a memorable sporting teacher?

 

I was lucky to have inspiring and committed games teachers who were keen to encourage and get the best out of their pupils.  That made a big impact on me and my love of sport and something I recreate with the athletes I coach.

 

What sports do you play these days?

 

Rowing is my sport of choice, but I tend to find I am mostly walking or cycling along the river path rather than in a boat with the crews I coach. Being Head of The Grange Rowing Club is demanding and I have found it difficult to find another sport that is as fulfilling as watching our crews grow.

 

In what other ways do you stay healthy?

 

As a family, we go for walks and we maintain a healthy balanced diet.

 

What is your favourite sporting memory?

 

My favourite memory would probably be the 2003 Rugby World Cup final. I had to leave home (to go coaching) so listened to the last 15 minutes in the car. I remember the commentator describing the scene just prior to that drop kick and then...

 

What’s been your most embarrassing sporting moment?

 

That would have been rowing into the wooden booms whilst racing at Henley Royal Regatta and in front of hundreds of spectators, not my finest moment.

 

What’s your biggest sporting bugbear?

 

The last few years has seen a huge investment in sport across the country and we are lucky enough at The Grange to receive planning consent for a new 2500 square metre sports centre that will enable our pupils to grow and flourish within sport and improve their well-being. However, there are still the smaller local clubs across the country which still have a lack of funding which can sometimes be a restraint to some of the greatest untapped sporting talent being able to pursue their dreams.

 

When was the last time you cried at a sporting event?

 

There has been many a moment in sport where I've shed a tear including the death of Ayrton Senna. But I have to say watching local rower, and now a fellow rowing coach at The Grange, Matthew Langridge finally winning his gold medal in the Rio Olympics after training for 16 years was a very emotional moment.

 

Which three sports people would you like to have around for dinner and why?

 

Around my table would be Muhammad Ali, arguably the greatest sportsman of our time. He's been a huge influence in my love of sport so I would just love to hear his stories. Second Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, when you see what she has achieved despite everything being against her is truly inspiring. I'd love to know what drives her. Finally Peter Norman, the 200m Australian sprinter at the 1968 Olympics. I'd just really liked to have met him to hear his story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MY SPORTING LIFE