YOUNG rowers have been making their mark after being selected to represent the north of England.
Students from Bede Academy in Blyth have taken up their oars for the first time and are believed to be only the fourth state secondary school squad in England.
They are already showing their talent in both doubles and quad events.
They won by two lengths in the first competition they entered at the Durham Regatta and followed it up with victory at the prestigious York Head meeting.
Fifteen-year-olds Charley Gourley and Lauren Spence did so well at the recent junior inter-regional trials that they were selected for the Northern squad to compete in Nottingham.
The competitors will be watched by scouts for Team GB.
“We had never done it before and were encouraged by the academy to have a go – and we love it,” said Charley.
“After 2,000m you can really feel the burn, but it is great fun and an excellent feeling just gliding along with no noise.”
Lauren added: “We are really surprised how well we have done so far and I think my dad would now like to see me competing in the Olympics, which would be great.”
Head of sport at Bede Academy, Simon McAree, said: “It is incredible just how much raw talent our students have shown.
“They have the right mental attitude, passion and commitment and with some expert coaching they could do really well in the future.
“And they have really benefited from our excellent links with Cambois Rowing Club.”