Thames appoints Sander Smulders as head coach

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Thames Rowing Club is delighted to announce that Sander Smulders has been appointed as head coach for the 2019/20 season.

Sander joined Thames in 2016 as men’s coach to support Ben Lewis, who is leaving after six years. He played a key role in the club’s 2017 and 2018 Thames Challenge Cup and 2018 Britannia Challenge Cup wins at Henley Royal Regatta.

In the current season Sander has taken over the women’s squad, with positive results so far including winning the pennant for the fastest women’s club crew at Quintin Head and finishing first and second in Women’s Challenge 8+ and Women’s Challenge 4- at Wallingford Regatta in early May. At the Ghent May Regatta the women won one gold, six silvers and a bronze medal over the two days of racing.

In his expanded role next season Sander will continue to ensure that the women’s squad develops, while also leading Thames’s wider coaching team to maintain the club’s current levels of success and culture across all squads.

“I’m delighted to take on the challenge of lead coach at Thames Rowing Club and am looking forward to taking the squad to the next level,” Sander said.

Prior to joining Thames, Sander coached both men and women at ASR Nereus in Amsterdam. Among other achievements, he coached the Dutch U23 W4- to bronze in at the U23 World Championships in 2016.

Sander previously rowed for the Netherlands at international level as a junior and senior.

Thames will soon launch a recruitment campaign for coaches to assist Sander in the coming season. The right individual will buy into the club’s strong culture of supporting athletes to achieve their potential as rowers while also succeeding in a full-time career.