Bedford Modern School Boat Club is fortunate to be staffed by a number of specific Rowing Coaches dedicated to improving the students experiences and supporting the goals and ambitions of every pupil.

Mr. M. Bavington – Director of Rowing

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“I started rowing through a summer camp at Star Club as an 11 year old and have been completely obsessed with the sport ever since. I rowed as often as was humanly possible and worked hard to push towards my goals.

As a junior athlete I competed at all the same regattas we attend today, Schools’ Head, National Schools’ and competed in my first Henley Royal Regatta aged 15. I made many National Schools’ final and also represented England.

I continued to row at Star Club as a Senior rower for a number of years winning many regatta’s including Metropolitan Regatta (a few times), Wallingford Regatta but the Henley Regatta medal remains missing from my collection.

I moved to London Rowing Club in 2008 and had three fantastic years competing in some really strong crews and made many great friends. I was fortunate enough to also race in India, Portugal, France, Germany and Spain whilst at LRC so many exciting opportunities came my way. Unfortunately a bad back injury stopped me rowing for 18 months in 2010 and I never really got back to strength.

I actually started coaching straight from school working at Oundle School for 3 years, moving onto Barn Elms in London whilst rowing at LRC and then moved back to Bedford to become Head Junior Coach at Star Club. I have coached many crews to compete at Henley Royal Regatta as well as Henley Women’s Regatta and also have several athletes go onto represent Great Britain. I was also part of the 2014 Great Britain Coupé de la Jeunesse Coaching Team with the J4x.

My ambition has always been to become a Director of Rowing at an independent school and I can honestly say that I truly love my job. I enjoy seeing young athletes work hard and achieving their goals, it really makes all the early mornings and dark nights worthwhile.”

Mr. A. Satchwill – Senior Rowing Coach

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I am rather alert of sharing, as I write this, that I actually began my rowing career at Bedford School! As a young 12 year old I was desperate to try the sport my family had long been involved with.

During my time at school I was a rather small and slight ‘athlete’, who even offered to cox once or twice before being told quite firmly to stick with it, I look back now and wonder what the coaches knew then…

I started slowly, before becoming hooked in my J16 year, winning a silver medal at the National Schools Regatta and a number of good quality events throughout the year. By lower sixth I had made the First VIII and was rowing mad! A number of very enjoyable and fruitful training camps around Europe, coupled with a few painful defeats, I had made some lifelong friends in this time. We managed to successfully win a bronze medal at National School’s in the First VIII in our final year which was a fantastic crew effort.

In my upper sixth year I competed in the GB trials process, earning a vest at the Home international regatta. A great honour to wear an England lycra, and to come away with two gold medals made it even sweeter. At this time I was beginning to develop a passion for coaching, and I returned to school the following year to head up the J14 squad. A very good year finishing 4th consistently, but I was now hooked on this side of the sport.

Still rowing and competing myself as part of the Senior Men at Star Club, I was beginning to get more involved there, and had the privilege of being offered the assistant coach role alongside Mr Bavington.

I learnt a lot, and as he moved on, I successfully took on his role as Head Coach for two very enjoyable years. Running the programme and a great number of students taught me a lot, coaching crews to race Henley Royal Regatta and Henley Women’s regatta. Working now for BMSBC as part of such a brilliant team is amazing; I’m really excited about what is to come.

Miss. J. Bruce – Senior Rowing Coach

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At the age of 13 I started rowing at Bedford High School where I managed to win a number of local head races and regattas. Nationally at J15 I won a bronze medal at the British Indoor Rowing Championships. As a Senior I won a Bronze medal at the National Sculling Head and the British Rowing Championships.

I made many National Schools finals, but was unfortunately always missing a medal!
I achieved respectful positions at Schools Head including finishing 4th in Girls Championship 8s.

I was also lucky enough to have gained experience of what is expected of an international rower by attending GB trials and camps whilst I was in sixth form.When I left school, I joined Star Club as I wanted to attempt to trial as an Under 23. I was lucky enough to have the support and coaching of Mr Bavington.

Now I row with Cantabrigian Rowing Club in Cambridge, where last year I achieved many wins and a semi final at Henley Womens Regatta

Mr. J. Grant-Jones – Rowing Coach

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I got into rowing through World Class Start, a program designed and ran by GB Rowing to talent spot potential international rowers. This gave me a great understanding of the sport right from the start.

After leaving the program I raced for Star Club for a number of years where I went onto reach three Henley Royal Regatta Semi-Finals, race for England twice but in more recent years have transferred to Lady Rohesia Boat Club where I raced at HRR once again.

I also work as a Personal Trainer, which has put me in a good position for transferring skills to the students at BMSBC, and also back the other way.

Mr. M. Ruta – Geography Teacher

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“My first experience of rowing was rather ironically on a BMS holiday activity course when I was 10 years old, by Year 9 a stranger would have described me as rowing mad (looking back I probably was a little too keen!). All I wanted to do was train and race and my love for the sport had taken hold. During my time at school I won a variety of Head races, including the School’s Head as a J15. I was lucky enough to win a bronze and silver medal in J15 and J16 8’s respectively at the National Schools Regatta; but my favourite win has to be at Bedford Regatta – there’s nothing quite like winning in front of a home crowd (rowing through Abingdon to take the win was pretty epic!). After trialling for the GB junior team as a J17, I was selected to row at the Coupe de la Jeunesse in the 8 where I went on to win a gold medal. After taking some time away from competing during my time at university to focus on academic work and coaching, I came back into the sport to row at Star Club. I had a great year getting back into the swing of competitive racing and was selected into the club’s top coxless 4. The single aim of my return was to win at Henley Royal Regatta; unfortunately we were edged out by half a length to the eventual winners on the Friday. Being a full-time Geography teacher and coach has kept me on the rowing side-lines ever since; however a return to the sport that I love is always on the cards.”

Mr. D. Honnor – Head of Physics

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“I started rowing at University as a keen but mostly useless sportsman. Over the next three years I successfully crashed multiple boats into each other as a rower and coach whilst holding a variety of positions on the St Hugh’s Boat Club committee. The highlights of my rowing career were 2 blades winning campaigns as a rower and the many friends forged through the blood, sweat and tears. I applied to work at BMS for the chance to be involved in rowing around the demands of teaching. Having joined the School in 2012 I mostly work to nurture the future members of the 1st VIII as an assistant with the younger age groups, building enthusiasm and relatively sound technique. In my spare time I teach Physics, introducing copious rowing-related examples into the classroom. A good understanding of rowing is a good understanding of physics and rowers are frequently forced to endure discussions of forces, moments and power. I hope to bore BMS rowers for generations to come.”

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