Winning Students


RGU rower McCue pleased with results in Olympic selection trials

31 March 2016
Lewis McCue will use his GB trial experience to help him in the World Rowing U23 Championships

Lewis McCue will use his GB trial experience to help him in the World Rowing U23 Championships

Robert Gordon University rower Lewis McCue is pleased with his above-expectation results in last week’s Olympic trials, although his thirteenth place means he is out of the frame for a place in the team bound for Rio this summer.

“We went in to the event eighteenth from the last trials, so I was quite happy with thirteenth,” said the Braemar 21 year old who competed in the coxless pair with England’s James Rudkin.

“We put in a really good race to come thirteenth and we had a good run up as well, stepping up since the last trials.

“The top eight pairs get a chance to go to the Olympics.  Admittedly we are a little bit outside that but, being much younger than all the rest of the guys, it was good to get to race them.”

McCue, a final year Applied Sport and Exercise Science student, hopes to be at his peak in four years time when he enters the selection process for the 2020 Tokyo Games.  And he has plenty to work towards before then.

“This year my main aim is the World Rowing under 23 Championships in mid August,” he continued.  “I won a silver last year so I want to win a medal this time again, and hopefully it will be gold.

“Last weekend’s trials will help with building up information on how we race as a crew and it will also help with building up a case to get us selected.”

Lewis has overcome the challenge of being just 5’11, which is short for a rower.  But he is well known for his determination and mental strength and has a pragmatic approach: “I try and make the most of what I’ve got.

“I’m basically self-coached and believe my training programme is well suited to me; everything I’m doing has worked to get me up to where I was last year and where I am now.

“I realise my strength and power is weaker than my opponents. But I’ve got two months now where I can get down to some hard, long, steady training and build up to the main competitions of the season.”

Lewis is one of 148 students supported by Winning Students, Scotland’s national sports scholarships programme for student athletes. Through the programme he receives funding support and the academic flexibility required to perform at the highest level in sport and studies. 

Seventeen Scottish universities and 14 colleges form the Winning Students network. Students at network colleges and universities benefit from a dedicated co-ordinator to ensure they can balance their studies and sport effectively.

“RGU are incredibly helpful, and have always been really good supporting me, particularly every time I need to go away for training or competitions,” he added.

“And Winning Students is really important. As a student it’s difficult to manage money so they have been really helpful.  Their funding allowed me to go and train with my partner who’s based in Newcastle for two weeks in January, which was critical to the trials process.”