Coaching for the 2018/19 season

Thames RC is delighted to unveil its coaching structure for the 2018/19 season. We are excited to announce that Sander Smulders will now be leading the women’s programme for the coming season as women’s head coach.

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In two successful years as the men’s coach working with Ben Lewis, Sander helped Thames secure back-to-back victories in the Thames Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta, as well as the club’s first-ever win in the Britannia Challenge Cup.

Sander has extensive experience in women’s rowing. Prior to joining Thames in the 2016/17 season Sander led the senior women’s programme at ASR Nereus in the Netherlands as women’s head coach. In 2016 he coached the Dutch U23 women’s 4- to a bronze medal at the U23 world championships. From 2009 to 2011 as junior head coach at KARZV de Hoop he coached junior women to three consecutive junior world championship finals, winning a silver medal in 2011.

Ben Lewis, as men’s head coach, will continue to oversee the senior men’s programme. Ben has transformed the Thames programme since taking charge in 2014, coaching crews to three Vernon Trophy wins at the Head of the River Race and overseeing the club’s run of Henley success which has seen Thames win trophies every year since 2015 including the Visitors in 2016.

Both Ben and Sander will be supported by a team of experienced volunteer coaches.

The club would like to thank Dave Loveday for his work with the women’s squad in the 2017/18 season, culminating in three crews reaching finals at Henley Women’s Regatta and a crew racing in the Princess Grace Challenge Cup on the Friday of HRR.

Thames RC captain Ellie Fielding said: “This is a very exciting time for Thames RC. Ben and Sander are proven coaches and have demonstrated they are a formidable combination. To have them working together leading their respective squads puts us in a very strong place for the season ahead.”