A WELSH rower’s oar-some progress at club level has sealed her spot in the national team for a high profile international tournament against some of the UK’s top competitors.
Lucy Iball, 25, who works for Hadlow Edwards Wealth Management, based at the former Wrexham Lager building in Wrexham, has been chosen to represent Wales at the annual Home International Regatta for the second year running on July 21.
The Bodelwyddan-born Chester Grosvenor Rowing Club athlete only took up the sport when she began university six years ago but has been training intensively for her club since 2016, with aspirations to makeTeam GB.
During the past 12 months Lucy, who is part of the paraplanning team at Hadlow Edwards having previously been PA to director Medwyn Edwards, participated in the Team GB trials and landed a respectable ninth place finish in her event – the lightweight women’s single – before having to withdraw from the next stage of this year’s trials due to illness.
The former Connah’s Quay High School student, who competes in lightweight single events and will also take part in the lightweight double at the Home International Regatta, is no stranger to success on the water.
She has already recorded a victory at a race meeting in Nottingham, finished second at Wallingford Regatta and been a semi-finalist at the prestigious Henley Women’s Regatta on the River Thames.
Lucy, who is currently working towards her Diploma in Financial Planning, began her love affair with the sport when she studied chemistry at Durham University.
It has now become a huge part of her life as she is required to train morning and night, but with the support of Hadlow Edwards she is making rapid progress.
“I started rowing at university. I went to Durham where it’s a very popular sport. I just fell in love with it, it’s so nice to be outdoors.
“I was a swimmer when I was younger so I was used to water and both sports are similar in the required amount of time for training.
“I train twice a day, every day. It’s very demanding and time consuming. You have to row come wind, rain or shine. Even in the snow!
“You’ve really got to dedicate yourself to it, which is especially tough in the winter months when it’s minus six and windy.
“Hadlow Edwards have always been very supportive of me and are always asking how I’m getting on. It’s a great company to work for and I really appreciate the fact that the whole company is behind me and are wishing me well.”
Hadlow Edwards Director, Medwyn Edwards, says the finance firm is delighted that Lucy has once again been chosen to represent her country.
He said: “It’s absolutely fabulous news that Lucy will compete for Wales again in the Home International Regatta.
“We’re all immensely proud of her rowing achievements here at Hadlow Edwards, and we wish her the best of luck when she travels over to Ireland for the competition.
“I’ve been following Lucy’s progress closely since she joined us and she has done brilliantly since joining Chester Grosvenor Rowing Club.
“She’s shown amazing dedication to both her job and rowing, which I know is very time consuming, and we will continue to support her in both.”
The Home International Regatta is being held in Cork, Ireland, this year and in the past the tournament has been a pathway to Team GB for the likes of Welsh rower Graeme Thomas and England’s Charlotte Taylor.
Lucy, who has been with Hadlow Edwards for two years, said: “This will be the second time I’ve represented Wales at the Home International Regatta.
“Last year I came third in the lightweight single and third in the lightweight double.
“I was really pleased with that as it was the first time I’d represented Wales.
“Hopefully I can build on it at this year’s event. It’s a huge honour to represent your country.
“You get picked based on your race performance over the year. My coach Paul Turner has brought me up to a standard where I can represent Wales.
“He runs a high performance programme and over the last two years he’s been really pleased with my progress.
“At uni I was rowing with one oar and it was a bit more casual. I trained and competed but not to the same standard that I am now.
“I’ve been sculling two oars for the last couple of years since I joined Grosvenor.
“I was rowing as part of a team at uni whereas now because I compete as a lightweight most events are single.
“It’s a lot harder because you’ve really got to motivate yourself. It’s all on you, there is no one else in the boat.”