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  • Writer's picturePhil Packer

Olympian and World and European Rowing Champion, Ollie Cook, supports the BRIT Ambassador family

We are delighted that Ollie is part of our BRIT Ambassador family to support and improve young adult mental health and fitness throughout the UK.

Ollie has been part of the British Rowing squad since 2012 and has competed in the Coxed Pair, Coxless Four and Eight events. He is a World and European Rowing Champion and in 2021, won his second European gold medal and represented Great Britain at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Ollie Cook - Olympian and World & European Champion

“As a former student at University of Oxford, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and University of London, and having trained and competed with young elite athletes at British Rowing for almost a decade, I understand the mental health challenges that many young adults and students face. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted on the lives of so many young adults; particularly those with existing mental health conditions. Preventing and supporting the mental health of young adults and students is vital to avoid long-term consequences on their health and wellbeing.

The annual BRIT Challenge is exciting, innovative and aims to support and improve the mental health and fitness of young adults and students throughout the UK. Every university, college, specialist college and Students’ Union are invited to enter teams and encourage their students and staff to participate. I’m thrilled to see that the BRIT Challenge has been designed to be inclusive and enables students and staff of all abilities to take part in many different ways including hand-cycling, cycling, wheelchair pushing, swimming, walking, jogging, running, rowing or paddling (canoeing, kayaking or paddle-boarding).

I am delighted to be uniting with Olympians, Paralympians, elite athletes from all sports, adventurers and explorers, and, as a BRIT Ambassador family, promoting the BRIT Challenge at universities and colleges of our choice, destigmatising mental health and championing equality, diversity and inclusion.

I urge every current and former Olympic and Paralympic Rower to join our BRIT Ambassador family and help support and improve young adult and student mental health and fitness throughout the UK. I wish students and staff at the University of Oxford, LSE and the University of London, the very best of luck as they take on the BRIT Challenge and hope all of Oxford’s 39 colleges enter teams.”

Ollie Cook

Olympian and World & European Champion

Oxford University, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and University of London Alumna

Between 2009 and 2012, Ollie completed his BSc in International Relations and History at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). During that time, he was Captain of the University of London Boat Club (ULBC), represented the Great Britain U23 rowing team, was awarded LSE Athlete of The Year and played for the LSE 1st XV rugby team.

In 2011, Ollie was part of the Row Zambezi Expedition that rowed 1,000km down the upper part of the Zambezi River in Zambia. The expedition was the first time anyone had rowed that part of the river. The expedition raised more than £25,000 for Village Water. Ollie was awarded the Russell King Scholarship for his fundraising efforts.

Ollie represented his country as a junior and at U23 level before becoming part of the senior squad in 2012.

He won gold in the men’s coxed pair at the 2016 World Rowing Championships.

Between 2016 and 2017, Ollie completed his Master's degree in History at Oxford University and whilst there, also completed the initial two term intensive beginners course in MS Arabic.

In 2017, Ollie and his brother, Jamie, were part of the winning Oxford University Blue Boat crew in the 2017 men’s Boat Race before Ollie returned to full time training with the Great Britain Rowing Team.

Ollie rowed in the bow seat of the men’s eight at World Cup III in Lucerne and also the World Rowing Championships in Sarasota-Bradenton.

In 2018, Ollie finished second at the Great Britain Rowing Team Senior, U23 and FISU Trials in an impressive performance with teenage partner and World Junior Champion, Felix Drinkall.

In 2021, Ollie won a second gold medal at the European Championships in the Coxless Fours and represented Great Britain at the 202O Olympic Games in Tokyo where the squad came 4th in the Coxless Fours event.

Ollie is a Mentor on The True Athlete Project.

You can follow Ollie on Twitter and Instagram.


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