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Girl on the River

Sports & Recreation Podcasts

Patricia Carswell, aka Girl on the River, loves to row and loves to talk, so it makes sense that in her podcast she'll be chatting to guests from all around the rowing and sporting world about anything and everything to do with rowing. Always informal, occasionally silly, sometimes serious, often informative, she delves into questions such as how athletes become champions, how to promote diversity in sport, the secret to staying alive on an ocean, how to improve your erg score and what to do to keep your body and mind in one piece. Her guests include Olympians, health experts, Atlantic rowers, kit companies, indoor rowers, TV presenters - in short, anyone with something to say about rowing and its place in the world. The podcast isn't just about Girl on the River and her guests, though. Community is everything in rowing, so you, the listener, are an important part of the show. There'll be regular Q&As and listener debates, and if you have suggestions for fantastic guests, she's all ears. Patricia can be contacted at or on social media at @girlontheriver on all channels - come and have a chat .And until then... next stroke, easy oar.


United Kingdom


Patricia Carswell, aka Girl on the River, loves to row and loves to talk, so it makes sense that in her podcast she'll be chatting to guests from all around the rowing and sporting world about anything and everything to do with rowing. Always informal, occasionally silly, sometimes serious, often informative, she delves into questions such as how athletes become champions, how to promote diversity in sport, the secret to staying alive on an ocean, how to improve your erg score and what to do to keep your body and mind in one piece. Her guests include Olympians, health experts, Atlantic rowers, kit companies, indoor rowers, TV presenters - in short, anyone with something to say about rowing and its place in the world. The podcast isn't just about Girl on the River and her guests, though. Community is everything in rowing, so you, the listener, are an important part of the show. There'll be regular Q&As and listener debates, and if you have suggestions for fantastic guests, she's all ears. Patricia can be contacted at or on social media at @girlontheriver on all channels - come and have a chat .And until then... next stroke, easy oar.






Lawrence Farquarson - London Youth Rowing

S3 Ep.4 If you heard my interview with Andy Triggs Hodge last year you may remember him talking about the brilliant charity, London Youth Rowing, which does fantastic work changing young people's lives through rowing. I was keen to get one of their coaches on the podcast to talk in a bit more detail about their work. So step forward Lawrence Farquarson. Lawrence has been a coach at LYR since 2012. In this interview we talk about: You can find more about London Youth Rowing here The email for enquiries that Lawrence mentioned is If you'd like to get involved in Race the Thames (and I strongly recommend it), the link is here Find out more about NJIRC here


Napoleon Griffin on male breast cancer, diversity in rowing and the joy of sculling

S3, Ep 3. As many of you know, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018, and had a mastectomy, chemo and immunotherapy, and since then I've been on a bit of a mission to inform people about things they might need to know about the condition. Which is why I was so thrilled when Napoleon Griffin agreed to come on the show. As both a rower and a male breast cancer survivor, Napoleon and I had LOADS to talk about. You can find Napoleon on Instagram here We talked about: Resources Information about male breast cancer: NHS page re signs and symptomsBreastCancer.Org informationCoppaFeel information re breast cancer in menCoppaFeel information re how to check your chest / breastsAthletes Without Limits - encouraging people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to get involved in sport.


Charles Watson, founder of River Action UK, on the crisis in our rivers

S3, Ep.2 It would have been lovely not to need to do this interview, but sadly our rivers - and the River Wye in particular - are in crisis, and as rowers and river-lovers you ought to know what's going on. So today I'm talking to Charles Watson, founder of charity and campaigning group, River Action UK, to find out what's wrong with our rivers and what we can do about it. Resources River Action UK The Rivercide documentary The BBC Panorama documentary , The River Pollution Scandal River Action petition Petition to ban discharge of raw sewage into watercourses Find your MP here Find your local Rivers Trust here Where to report pollution incidents: In England: Environment Agency In Wales: Natural Resources Wales Find your water company here Find your water company's contact details here Groups Rowers United to Save the Planet The Rivers Trust Friends of the Lower Wye Friends of the Upper Wye Wye Valley AONB Find them on Twitter! DEFRA @DEFRAGovUK Avara Foods @AvaraToods Tesco @tesco Sainsburys @sainsburys Waitrose @waitrose Marks & Spencer @MarksandSpencer Morrisons @Morrisons Asda @asda Co-Op @coopuk Aldi @AldiUK Lidl @LidlGB River Action UK @RiverActionUK


Kate Lindgren aka the Blind Sculler

S3, Ep.1 A very warm welcome back to the podcast for season 3. I'm really delighted to introduce you to Kate Lindgren, my latest guest, who is a member of Peterborough Rowing Club and a passionate sculler. Having lost her sight as a young woman, she only came to rowing later in life but has taken to it with an enthusiasm that can't fail to be infectious. Kate and I talk about: You can find Kate on Twitter at @kathryn2503 To join my Patreon scheme, head to


Wendy Martinson, OBE, lead nutritionist for the GB Rowing Team

S2, Ep. 6 In all the excitement of the Tokyo Olympics, it's easy to forget about the team supporting the athletes. Behind every medal and record and personal best, there's a huge network of people making sure the athlete performs at their best. Which is why I was so delighted to talk to this week's guest - Wendy Martinson, OBE - who is the lead nutritionist for the GB Rowing Team. Having started her career in the NHS, Wendy soon moved into sports nutrition and has worked with athletes across a number of disciplines including gymnastics, hockey and ballet. At the time of recording, Wendy is out in Tokyo with the rowing team, where she has to make sure each athlete is properly fuelled for each race. In our interview we discuss: Wendy also asked some questions from listeners: Resources Books: Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food Anita Bean's cookery books and books on sports nutrition (including for vegetarians) Performance nutrition by Kevin Currell Food websites: BBC Food website


Camilla Hadland, rowing commentator

S2 Episode 5 Camilla Hadland has a voice that many of you will recognise. Having started rowing as a junior at a small club, she won a place in the U23 Women’s 8 and competed at the World Junior Championships in 2010, where they won Britain's first ever women’s gold medal at that event. After university, where she was President of her university boat club, she stopped rowing regularly and moved over into coaching. Camilla fell into commentating, but soon found herself in demand. In 2018 she won World Rowing’s first ever commentating competition and achieved a spot commentating at the World Cup in Serbia. Since then she’s regularly commentated at international events and is part of the commentary team at the Tokyo Olympics. Having done a couple of stints commentating at my club regatta, I was fascinated to hear all about her experiences and to glean some wisdom from her. We talked about: Let me know if you're inspired to have a go at commentating or to take your experiences of it to a new level. You can find me at @girlontheriver on all channels or by emailing me at


Robin Winkels on the joy of teaching cancer patients to row

As soon as I heard about Row to Recovery I knew I wanted to talk to Robin Winkels, who founded it. Robin is a rower who, as a result of one phone call in 2014, ended up founding a charity that provides rowing for people who are undergoing or have had treatment for cancer. It's a subject close to Robin's heart after several members of her family had cancer, and she loves seeing the positive impact that rowing has on the participants. Here's what we talked about: Resources Find out more about Row to Recovery here. Click here for their Facebook page. Go to @rowtorecoverygalway to find them on Instagram. Check out these links to find out more about the benefits of exercise following a diagnosis of cancer, at all stages of treatment and afterwards: Exercise guidelines for cancer survivors: Impact of exercise on mortality, recurrence and side effects of treatment: Guardian article about the benefits of exercise for cancer patients:


Baz Moffat, ex-GB rower and women's health coach, on women's health and sporting performance

Before I go any further, I want to say something to my male listeners. This episode is for you, too. If you're a male coach working with female athletes, it's an absolute must-listen, but even if you're not, assuming you have a wife or a mother or a daughter or a sister or a female friend, or if you belong to a club where there are female athletes, you'll learn something valuable. So please keep on listening. When I decided to invite someone on the podcast to talk about women's health, there was only one person I could possibly consider - the brilliant Baz Moffat. As a former GB rower turned women's health coach, with a huge passion and enthusiasm for her subject, she had the complete package, so I was thrilled when she agreed to join me. Baz started her career as an elite athlete, spending three years as a member of the GB rowing team and winning medals at the World Championships and World Cup. She now works as a women's health coach, with a specialism in pelvic floor, core, nutrition and women's wellness. She is one of the co-founders of The Well HQ which provides much-needed education on women's health to both individuals and businesses. We could have talked for hours, but managed to keep it to just over an hour, during which we discussed: Resources: You can find the Clue app for tracking your menstrual cycle here You can sign up for webinars with The Well on everything from understanding the pelvic floor to menstruation and menopause here. Check out and download the NHS Squeezy app here.


Angela Jones on wild swimming, Panorama and saving our rivers

This episode is one that was especially thrilling to make, as it was the first one I actually recorded face to face – out in the open, hence the background sound of the river rushing by and the birds singing. Which is really appropriate as my guest, Angela Jones, spends almost as much time in the river as on dry land. Angela is a wild swimming specialist, a fitness instructor, a traveller, an adventurer and now an author. She has swum without a wetsuit amongst icebergs in Iceland, kayaked, swum and run the length of the river Wye and from coast to coast in Scotland. She’s also won international triathlon events, though she tells me she’s never been motivated by competition, and feels at her happiest in and around the river – and in particular the beautiful river Wye. “The river Wye flows through my veins and is my office and my playground,” she says. In this episode Angela and I chat about her love of the river and wild swimming. She tells me about the worrying deterioration in the health of the river that she has noticed and logged over the years, and we talk about what we can do to make a difference and save our rivers. We discuss her appearance on a Panorama documentary about discharges of raw sewage into the river and finally she tells me about her wonderful new book, Wild Swimming the River Wye. Resources You can find out more about Angela here. To buy her fabulous book, Wild Swimming the River Wye click here. Sign the petition Angela refers to here. Watch the Panorama documentary on the river pollution scandal here. Find more resources for saving our rivers on my website, here. And watch us swimming together in the river here (and why not subscribe to my YouTube channel while you're there?!)


Adrian Ellison, Olympic coxswain, on Redgrave, Cross, the '84 Olympics and how to be a great cox

S2 Ep.1 Welcome back to Girl on the River for Season 2 – it’s so good to be back! I’m absolutely thrilled to bring you the first episode in my new season – an interview with Adrian Ellison, who coxed the 4+ to a gold medal at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles (the first of five gold medals for crew member Steve Redgrave). Adrian is a brilliant fount of knowledge, and what he doesn’t know about coxing isn’t worth knowing. We had a tremendous chat (the uncut version of which is available to Girl on the River patrons – you can sign up for the Girl Squad at Here’s what we talked about: If you fancy joining one of Adrian’s Zoom Ergos sessions you can sign up at


Boat Race Special 2021 - Sarah Winckless MBE and Judith Packer

Ep. 18 In the final episode of Season 1, I'm delighted to bring you the umpires of this year's Boat Races. It's a particularly historic year for the Boat Races, for two reasons. First of all, it's not being held on the Thames, as it usually is, but instead in Ely on the Great Ouse (partly for covid reasons and partly because Hammersmith Bridge is shut for repair). The second reason brings me to my guests - for the first time in the history of the event, there will be women umpires for both the men's and women's races - Olympian and umpire, Sarah Winckless MBE, umpiring the men's race, and World Rowing umpire Judith Packer, umpiring the women's race. I talk to Sarah and Judith about: Resources: You can read all about this year's Boat Races including more about the course, the crews and about Sarah and Judith here. If you're inspired to investigate becoming an umpire yourself, there's more information here. Find out more about London Youth Rowing here and support Judith's Race the Thames challenge here.


Ian Rivers, former SAS soldier, on seeking challenges, kidnap in Syria and navigating the Atlantic without GPS

Ep.17 Ian Rivers has spent his life seeking adventure. From a childhood he describes as "feral" right through his career in the SAS, he's always looked for the next challenge, and his life hasn't been short of incident. He's sailed oceans and climbed mountains, been kidnapped in Syria (and escaped, using just the natural world to help him navigate his way to safety). And now, as a civilian, he's found his next adventure . In May 2021 he will be setting off to row, solo and unsupported, across the North Atlantic using just a sextant and charts to find his way. I talked to Ian about: Resources: Ian's website: Row Sentinel (where you can track him on the row). You can donate to Ian's fundraising here. Read more about the SAS Regimental Association, or SASRA, here and about St Michael's Hospice here.


Cdr Pete Reed OBE on rehab, life in a wheelchair, Hodgey and Race the Thames

Ep.16 It's very apt that I should have the amazing Pete Reed on the show this week, as things are really ramping up for the Race the Thames challenge which starts on 22nd March. Pete is front and centre of the fundraising, alongside his former crewmate Andy Triggs Hodge (who I interviewed a few weeks ago here) with his Paravengers team. For those who don't know him, Pete is a three-time Olympic rowing champion (and multiple World Champion), as well as a Commander in the Royal Navy. In 2019 he suffered a spinal stroke, out of the blue, which paralysed him from the waist down, and since then he's been in rehab. He spoke extensively and candidly to Sir Matthew Pinsent about the stroke and life in the immediate aftermath in a brilliant BBC interview, which you can find on BBC Sounds, so I left that aspect of Pete's life in Matthew's capable hands. Instead, Pete and I chat about: You can support Pete and his Paravengers crew in Race the Thames here. The crowdfunder started by Andy Triggs Hodge to help Pete to afford basic adaptations and equipment is here.


Tara and Rachel of Steady State Network, shooting the breeze about rowing

Ep 15. One of the things I miss most about rowing is the post-rowing chat over coffee, where we just shoot the breeze about rowing, interspersed with plenty of gossip, a bit of serious discussion and a lot of silliness. Which is exactly what this episode is all about. Rachel Freedman and Tara Morgan are passionate rowers and rowing coaches. They're also the founders of Steady State Network - a superb rowing podcast as well as a movement, a magazine-in-waiting and a network. "Rowing for the rest of us" is how they describe it, and it's just as brilliantly blazer-free as they promise. In our chat (it's really a chat not an interview) the conversation lets loose, covering: Seize the Oar Foundation I hope you found this a little slice of rowing heaven to tide you over until you can get back on the water. In the meantime, do check out Steady State, and look out for Rachel and Tara on ZoomErgos on a Sunday (and me on a Wednesday morning!)


Girl on the River bite-sized - WEHoRR special 2021

This year is a year like no other, and for the first time in its history, the Women's Head of the River Race, or WEHoRR, is being held over Zoom, on rowing machines, spin bikes and other variations on the theme. In this bite-sized episode I explain everything you need to know about how it's going to work and how to get involved #NotWehorr2021 If you're inspired to sign up yourself (do!), you can do that here.


Dr Carolyn Plateau on eating disorders in athletes

Ep. 14 This week is Eating Disorders Awareness Week, so I was absolutely thrilled that Dr Carolyn Plateau was able to join me on the podcast. Carolyn is a senior lecturer in sport psychology at Loughborough University. She has a particular specialism in eating disorders and disordered eating in the athlete population and has developed an online training programme to educate coaches about eating disorders and help them to react appropriately if they have concerns about an athlete. Carolyn and I had a fascinating (and, I think, really important) chat, covering topics such as: Resources You can find out more about the online CPD course here: Discounts on the individual price (£50) are available for groups and organisations - just encourage them to get in touch with Carolyn directly: Twitter: @CarolynPlateau University webpage Other useful resources: TrainBrave website (focuses on RED-S and eating concerns in athletes) B-eat First Steps ED (general eating disorder support): Around the Dinner Table - an excellent online forum for parents and carers: Books: Eating Disorders in Sport by Thompson & Sherman Sport Psychiatry Handbook (Currie and Owen) – gives a nice overview of mental health issues in athletes, including eating disorders.


Andrew Triggs Hodge OBE on being the last to be picked for the team, life after rowing and Race the Thames

Ep.13 I'm still pinching myself that yet another rowing legend has come on the podcast. This time it was my honour to welcome Andrew Triggs Hodge - three-time Olympic champion, multiple World Champion and Boat Race winner. Despite his incredible rowing prowess, Andy is ridiculously modest (and really good fun) and we had a great chat. We talked about: Resources Andy's interview with Martin Cross's on his YouTube podcast, Crossy's Corner, is here. You can find him on the Broken Oars podcast here. You can find out more about London Youth Rowing here. Details for Race the Thames are here. You can read more about the Tideway Tunnel Project here. And if anyone has a photo of Andy dressed as Snow White, I think we all should see it! Other episodes you may enjoy: Sir Matthew Pinsent, 4 X Olympic champion, on being an Olympian, life after rowing, the Boat Race, the rowing community and Celebrity Masterchef Zoe de Toledo - cox, Olympic silver medalist, World Champion, medic, mince pie expert Frances Houghton MBE on being a five-time Olympian and other life lessons


Eira Parry on how to help young athletes to thrive

Ep.12 What a joy it was to have Eira Parry on the podcast! A former GB Rowing coach, teacher, founder of High Performance Parenting and stepmother to an Olympic athlete, Eira has seen the life of young athletes from all sides and has so much wisdom to share with anyone involved in the lives of young athletes, whether as coaches or as parents. She has also, excitingly, just been appointed as one of GB Rowing's seven new selectors, a role for which she will be brilliantly suited. Eira and I had a wonderful chat about: Eira also answered questions from listeners about: RESOURCES You can find out all about High Performance Parenting and what Eira does here. You can buy Frances' Houghton's book here. It gets a mention in so many of my interviews - and rightly so - it's brilliant! The Women's Sport Network Mojo manuals that Eira referred to can be found here. And looking ahead to next week, you can read all about Race the Thames here.


Rui De Sousa Stayton on the mental health crisis in young men and how rowing helped him through a family tragedy

*Trigger warning * this episode contains discussion of mental health problems and suicide. This is by far the most significant episode I've broadcast to date. Not because my guest is a household name - in fact you probably haven't heard of him. Nor because he's had a stellar career - he's a 17-year-old school student (although he has wisdom and insight way beyond his years). No, the reason why this episode matters is because it addresses one of the most worrying problems facing our society - mental health problems amongst young people and teenage suicide. In April 2019, Rui's brother, JJ, took his own life. He was 19 years old. Since then Rui has raised many thousands of pounds for the mental health charity, Mind. In this interview we talk about: Resources mentioned on the show The fundraising page set up by Rui's family in memory of JJ is here. You can find out more about Time to Talk Day here. Rowing Together for Healthy Minds is most active on Instagram, here. Check out the mental health charity, Mind, for all sorts of resources and support. The number for the Samaritans is 116 123 (it's free, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year). They also have a self-help app where you can keep track of how you're feeling, and get recommendations for things you can do to help yourself cope, feel better and stay safe in a crisis.


Steven Dowd on spinal cord injury, challenge, resilience and the Endurow Challenge

Ep.10 Steven Dowd insists he's just an ordinary guy. But once you've listened to this episode, I think you'll agree that he has shown himself capable of extraordinary resilience in the face of monumental challenges. Hit by a spinal cord injury at the age of just 37, he has used it as an opportunity for growth and connection. Oh, and he also has the most incredibly soothing voice - I seriously think he should be the Headspace narrator!!! In this episode we discuss: Sign up for Endurow Challenge here You can sponsor me here (even £1 would be SO MUCH appreciated) Find Steven's excellent podcast here. Learn more about Wings for Life here. Read about the ISCoPE clinical trial that helped Steven here. You can find out more about Steven and book him as a motivational speaker here.