Northumberland teen rows to success

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A rower from Northumberland moved schools to compete for one of the oldest boat clubs in the North East while studying towards a future in Law thanks to a transformational scholarship.

Ed Dando, from Hexham, is now coached alongside some of the strongest competitive rowers at Durham School Boat Club (DSBC) having been awarded a Sixth Form place at the independent school through its Burkitt Scholarship programme.

The teenager, who travels most days by school bus from Corbridge and also makes use of the flexible boarding facilities when training before school, said the move gave him the confidence to row at a more senior level. He now trains up to six days a week, both on the river and in the school’s fitness suite.

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“I started rowing about three years ago, but I knew I wanted to take it more competitively and at Durham the coaching is really good,” said Ed, 17. “When I first joined, I thought I wouldn’t be able to keep up with other rowers at such a high level, but the coaching staff are constantly encouraging me and have given me confidence in my ability. While I’m not physically the strongest person, they’ve taught me to focus on the strengths I have to improve.”

Sixth Form Burkitt Scholar Ed Dando, from Hexham.Sixth Form Burkitt Scholar Ed Dando, from Hexham.
Sixth Form Burkitt Scholar Ed Dando, from Hexham.

Eddie Bryant, Durham School’s Director of Rowing, said: “He has grasped the opportunity to further his rowing and is training up to six days a week in preparation for a busy fixture list of regattas and competitions. His commitment to the sport is truly admirable.”

Ed is taking A Levels in Geography, Business and Economics and aspires to be a lawyer. He is also a trained Peer Mentor.

“It’s nice to give something back to the school by helping others,” said Ed. “The school has really developed me as a person… it’s a community here.”

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Ed is one of more than 200 young people who have been given the chance to study at Durham School Sixth Form on a Burkitt Scholarship.

His mum, Lisa Dando, said: “He is thoroughly embracing the school ethos and values, and getting involved in many aspects of the school life.

“Everyone that Edward has contact with has treated him with respect and kindness making sure he works hard to get the very best experience of this wonderful opportunity.”