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Scillonian teen wins Gold at School Games Finals

An islands teen has won two Gold medals in indoor rowing at the School Games National Finals.

Jack Austin won the Year 11 boys indoor rowing category at the Cornwall School Games in December, resulting in him being selected by British Rowing to be part of the team representing South England for the School Games National Finals.

Jack, from St Mary's, was one of four Year 11 boys representing South England at the finals, which took place at Loughborough University between August 30th and September 2nd. Indoor rowing was one of five new additions to the Games this year.

Teams also represented North England and Northern Ireland.

The Individual races saw rowers take part in a seeding time trial, after which they were placed in an appropriate final. The competitor who rowed the furthest distance over the set timed period won. The Year 11 races were over six minutes.

Jack, 16, was the fastest in the category in his heat and qualified for the Tier 1 final and a chance at a medal. He then came first in the final, winning the Gold.

"His performance was really excellent, I was so proud," said his mum Helen Pearce.

"The top performing rowers from South England were then selected to row in the tier 1 Relay, and they were brilliant! There were two Cornish rowers in the team so Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly did us proud - winning Gold!"

Six out of the 22 rowers selected to represent the South of England came from Cornwall or Scilly, four of whom were gig rowers. Jack rows with St Mary's Pilot Gig Club, while other Cornish competitors row with Rame, Fowey and Pendeen.

The School Games National Finals, which is supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England, saw more than 1,400 young athletes compete across 11 sports, five of which included a disability competition.

Rowing ability clearly runs in Jack's family as Helen herself won two Gold medals at the World Indoor Rowing Championships in February.

Watch Jack win his Year 11 heat below:


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