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Rowing Rehab

Getting out of international rowing can be just as hard as getting in

As Martin Cross wrote in his article Crossing the Line in Issue 014 of Row360, rowers moving on from their careers in high performance programs are often faced with a large hole to fill in their lives. With elite teams prioritising performances over people, it can make for a challenging transition back to regular civilian life when that journey ends.

In 2017 German international oarsman Bjoern Birkner and colleagues formed the Exit8, to help fill this void. Birkner says that rowing with other former elite rowers, without the pressure of his national team experiences, has been vital for his own mental health. Rowing in the Exit8, says Birkner, has “helped a lot, which is exactly the point of it.”

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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, adaptive, college, club, ocean, and more.