Meet our 6for2018: Josh Armstrong (Rowing)

Josh Armstrong has been rowing since 2012 and has recently transitioned to U23 level after success at junior events

Earlier this month, Glasgow 2018 launched a new digital series which will see us focus on six exciting young athletes with aspirations for 2018.

All six of these young ambassadors are passionate about seeing more young people give their sport a go in the year of 2018 – a special year which will see Scotland host the first ever multi-sport European Championships in August. Find out more about Glasgow 2018 HERE

2018 is also Scotland’s Year of Young People where young people (8 to 26) will be given a platform to showcase their ideas and talents and help to create a more positive image of young people in society.

University of Edinburgh rower Josh Armstrong, 19, is one of our 6for2018 and was inspired into the sport back in 2012 after watching Britain’s Olympic rowers roar to medal wins in front of a passionate home support.

He hopes that by hosting the European Rowing Championships at Strathclyde Park as part of Glasgow 2018 more young people will have exposure to the sport, as he did in 2012, and be inspired to pop along at their local boat club.

We spoke to Josh about his love of the sport and any tips he had for anyone thinking of giving it a go:

Hi Josh. Tell us how you get into the sport of Rowing?

Josh: “When I was about 11 or 12 I actually competed in go-karting. I competed in the British Championships for that and I kind of seen myself going down that route for a while. I did that for a good few years.

“Then I basically got too tall and heavy for it! You see the F1 drivers and they’re all small guys. 

“So I basically outgrew that and then I was just looking about for a sport to try. It was about the time that the London 2012 Olympics were on, it was that summer that I stopped (go-karting), and I saw rowing on TV and I thought that looks pretty cool!

“I done some research on the sport itself and what you needed to be successful. My physicality linked up with that.

“So I went down and tried it with my school, because my school (Glasgow Academy) have a good programme. I gave it a bash and it turned out I was pretty good at it and I’ve stuck at it since.”

Have you always wanted to be a sportsperson?

Josh: “I’ve always been into sport and I tried a few at school, like rugby. It just took a while to find the one I wanted to do. Obviously I fell in love with rowing and I’ve done that since. Right from the start I’ve wanted to be successful at sport so that’s always been the aim.”

How are things going for you in the sport just now?

Josh: “Things are going really well. I’ve just transitioned into the under-23 age group category from the junior category. I was selected to go to the under-23 world championships in the summer (August).

“I raced the senior guys three times last year and it’s great to be able to pit yourself against the best in the world.

“I’ve got some competitions coming up in the new season and I just hope things can continue to go as well as it has been going.

“(2020 Olympics) is definitely a feasible aim and it is at the limits of what I aim to achieve in the sport. But obviously I need to take each year as it comes and try to improve as best I can along the way.”

The European Rowing Championships are coming to Scotland in August – do you think this will help to raise the profile of the sport?

Josh: “Definitely. There are so many sports out there that it is a struggle to get that exposure so I think this will help. Having the 2018 European Rowing Championships at Strathclyde Park will obviously see some improvement in facilities there and will see a lot of added media coverage for the sport. So it will certainly be beneficial. 

“It’s a venue that’s within easy reach of the two big population centres of Glasgow and Edinburgh and there is no shortage of spectator points to watch the action from. The infrastructure that’s being put into place for the Championships there will allow the loch to hold some exciting smaller events – and maybe some more rowing championships - in the future too.

“So I think it will be good for Rowing, and all six of the sports involved really, with the increased coverage in media."

What benefits can you gain from the sport of Rowing?

Josh: “I personally get a lot of enjoyment out of it and it has given me a lot of other transferable skills also.”

“It’s all about teamwork and discipline, being able to manage your time for instance. Obviously I have quite a heavy training programme, I’ve got exams at university and I’ve got coursework. So it gives me experience of being able to manage all that, crossed with all the skills that will help you later in life too."

What is the best thing you get from Rowing?

Josh: “The biggest enjoyment for me is the improvement and the motivation that comes with that. Obviously you do all this training that helps you to become better and that’s the thing that drives me and helps me to improve. It’s the thing that keeps me going throughout all the training.”

Interested in giving Rowing a go in 2018? Visit some of the website below for more information about how you can take up the sport this year.


Find your nearest Rowing club – Scottish Rowing club finder tool


Why Row? – British Rowing website


BBC Get inspired – how to get into Rowing

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