Lockdown 2.0 came as a real blow to Kingsley Ijomah, not only was Henley regatta cancelled but Kingsley is having to apply for authorisation just to be able to train on the water. “Missing two weeks on the water is equivalent to six weeks of missed training, it makes areal difference to me not being able to get out there.” While Kingsley fully supports the reasons for lockdown, the frustration of losing yet more time with his coach and training team is very real. Despite training in a single scull boat and his girlfriend a certified launch driver, Kingsley still needs his club to be open to access equipment, so he is currently applying through British Rowing for permission to get back to socially distanced training. With Tokyo under a year away, every day of training counts, however Kingsley, appreciates there should be no special treatment and we all have to make sacrifices at this time. British Rowing provide the regulations to all rowing clubs when it comes to lockdown limitations for rowing clubs and professional rowers; currently only the GB rowers based at The National Training Centre are authorised to be out on the water, all others rowers are banned from the water.
“Missing two weeks on the water is equivalent to six weeks of missed training, it makes areal difference to me not being able to get out there.”
To compensate for limited training capabilities Kingsley, like many of us, has turned to Zoom to continue his coaching sessions, and, while it may not make up for being separated from his training team, he is at least able to work with them via video to ensure he keeps up an edited version of his regime. “In some countries, professional athletes are able to create a bubble with their training team, some even live together at their sports centres, to continue training at elite level. It takes dedication but that’s what athletes and their team have; they are all working towards a common goal.”
Despite being restricted to his Concept2 rower at home Kingsley is still looking forward to taking part in the World Indoor Rowing Championships over Zoom later this month. Kingsley will form part of a relay team with other members of his Marlow based club, where they will compete over5k distances. “Right now having a short term goal to focus on and work towards really helps. It’s tough times for everyone so being able to take part and focus on what we can do is a distraction from thinking about what we can’t.”
"It’s tough times for everyone so being able to take part and focus on what we can do is a distraction from thinking about what we can’t.”
For Kingsley the hope is that he will be authorised to be out, in his single scull boat soon, but until then he is putting in the hours at home and, in true Kingsley style staying as positive as ever.