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Angelo makes a splash - Newcastle University rowing coach receives top award


Newcastle University’s rowing coach has become the first person to be honoured with a prestigious new award from the sport’s governing body.

Angelo Savarino was presented with the British Rowing Special Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the sport and the development of young rowing talent in the North East and UK. 

Angelo, who began his career at the University in 2005, said: “I was surprised and honoured when I heard I was to be presented with this award. A coach is only as good as his athletes and the support that he has. This award wouldn’t be possible without the commitment and dedication from my athletes and colleagues alike. In fact, I feel I am being rewarded for other people believing in me.”

Since his arrival at Newcastle University in 2005, Angelo’s efforts have seen the boat club go from strength to strength. The club has grown from a small team of nine senior men and five senior women, to one of 30 and 20 seniors respectively. Importantly, Angelo has also developed a strong coaching team to support the rowers in their ambitions.

The club has rowed to gold, silver and multiple bronze medals in the World University Championships.  The men’s eight have won the championship’s eights race three years in a row at BUCS Regatta, the University Rowing Championships. Several students have gone on to represent their country, with six taking part in last year’s U23 World Championships  in Linz, Austria - the most of any boat club or university in the country. Two rowers went on to scoop medals. Nicole Lamb won a silver medal in the women’s eight and Gemma Hall won a bronze medal in the lightweight women’s quad. Angelo also coached the men’s coxed four at the event.

Peter Sheppard, GB Rowing’s Chief Coach for Under 23s, said: “We felt Angelo was absolutely the right person to receive the first British Rowing Special Award because of his dedication to bringing out the very best in his crews, who have a unique loyalty to his programme. He and his athletes work incredibly hard and their results speak for themselves. The way he develops promising young rowers is inspirational and his work in developing the women’s squad has seen it grow into one of the best in the country alongside their men’s programme.”

 The GB Rowing honour is not the only award Angelo has received recently. His achievements in last year’s Under 23 World Championships were recognised by the Italian National Association of Rowing Coaches, which has given him their ‘Italians in the World’ honour. The award is given to those who achieve ‘prestigious results on the international stage’.

Colin Blackburn, Newcastle University’s Director of Sport said: “Angelo fully deserves the accolades he has received.  His hard work has helped the University Boat Club become one of the best in the country and he inspires our rowers to do their very best every time.

“We‘re incredibly proud of him and the teams he coaches.”

published on: 13 March 2014