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Digital Subscriptions > Row360 > Issue 011 - April | May 2016 > Here or There?

Here or There?

Alex Henshilwood explores the choice faced by many talented juniors; to stay at home or cross the pond.

This topic is a hot potato. Before agreeing to write about it, I wondered if it would be a good idea to tackle a subject that has created lively debate and split opinion. So what is all the fuss about?

The first rower that I coached who was recruited to a university in the United States was Charlie Smith from Pangbourne College. Charlie went to Cal Berkely, stroked their freshman crew and then their Varsity to IRA titles in ‘05 and ‘06 respectively. Cal wanted him because he was a fantastic stroke with a junior world championship title to boot. I wasn’t aware how badly Cal wanted him, and wasn’t part of the recruitment process in 2003. But from then on I became aware that rowing could get you places. Since 2003, I have been involved in coaching a number of boys that have joined some very serious programs at Harvard, Yale, Washington, Stanford, Columbia and Princeton to name but a few high profile universities. Some people might argue that I have contributed to a talent drain, helping Great Britain and Australia’s emerging rowers to leave home shores, perhaps never to return.

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About Row360

Welcome to Row360, the world’s only global, independent rowing magazine. Row360 brings you features from around the world, profiling the best athletes, coaches, and others from the whole rowing community – Olympic, Paralympic, college, club, ocean, and more.