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Rising rowing talent Joshua Brangan pulling towards success after second place in GB Rowing Team trials and securing spot at Harvard University

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CHRISTCHURCH Rowing Club’s rising talent Joshua Brangan has come second in his age group (U19) at the GB Rowing Team trials.

After posting some of the best times for his age group at both 2K and 5K, he was given the chance to shine at the GB trials in Boston, Lincolnshire – coming second.

He was subsequently invited to a GB rowing camp just before Christmas at the National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham.

Joshua Brangan in action for Christchurch Rowing Club
Joshua Brangan in action for Christchurch Rowing Club

While at Highcliffe School in 2017, Brangan learned to row at Christchurch Rowing Club and subsequently joined the junior squad. Under the coaching of John Dodsworth, he grew into the sport and had success in various races for Christchurch in singles, double and the coxed quad.

In 2019, he qualified for the Junior Inter-Regional Championships, but poor weather scuppered his chance to compete.

Further disappointments in early 2020 due to the lockdown denied him the opportunity to compete again at the inter-regionals or enter the GB junior water trials.

Determined to keep his fitness up during lockdown, he followed a strict training regime – even building a squat rack from scrap wood from his dad’s shed and using loaded plastic bags as the weights.

At the end of June 2020, Brangan entered the GB Junior Virtual Indoor Rowing championships, where he raced against boys from all around the country. After linking a laptop to his rowing machines at home, he qualified for two finals, achieving bronze and silver.

Joshua will attend Harvard University in 2022
Joshua will attend Harvard University in 2022

On the same weekend, St Edward’s School Oxford’s head of rowing contacted the family and offered him a scholarship.

This year’s first opportunity to race came at the Henley Royal Regatta, and Brangan did not disappoint, reaching the quad semi-finals.

In response to his impressive performances, multiple Ivy League universities reached out to offer him a place rowing in the US.

After many Zoom meetings and a successful academic assessment with his predicted A-level grades, Brangan will attend Harvard University in 2022.

Brangan still has plenty of targets on the horizon, representing GB at the junior world championships in Italy next summer at the top of the list.

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