World and European medallist, Joshua Bugajski, joins the BRIT Ambassador family
We are delighted that Josh has joined our BRIT Ambassador family.
Josh made his debut for Great Britain in 2018, when he won silver in his first race with the men’s eight at the World Cup II. In 2019, Josh won silver in the men’s eight at the European Rowing Championships and bronze at the World Rowing Championships. Josh recently competed at the 2021 European Championships and is hoping to be selected to represent Great Britain at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
“As a former student at Cardiff University and Keble College, Oxford, and having experienced mental health difficulties first-hand, I know that many young adults and students suffer with mental health challenges. COVID-19 has impacted on all our lives, however I am mindful that the pandemic has compounding existing mental health difficulties faced by many young people.
One in four young people were unable to access the mental health support they needed during the 2020 lockdown. Mental health services have become stretched throughout the past year, and this means more young people are struggling to access the help they need. It is vital that they receive timely support to look after their wellbeing in order to avoid long-term effects.
Charities have a vital role in supporting young adult mental health and so many charities have struggled to fundraise during the COVID-19 pandemic; I am delighted that BRIT has partnered with PAPYRUS – Prevention of Young Suicide, Nightline Association, Student Minds and the Charlie Waller Trust. This means that all donations raised by the BRIT 2021 Challenge will be shared equally between five mental health charities who support students and young adults.
The British Inspiration Trust’s BRIT 2021 Challenge is an exciting UK-wide opportunity for students and young adults to unite wherever they are (at home or on campus) and take part in a fun and feel-good challenge to raise vital funds for charities who support young adult mental health. It is an inclusive challenge with many different ways to take part.
I am delighted to be joining the BRIT Ambassador family and look forward to encouraging Olympians, Paralympians and fellow athletes to join me; by uniting, we can support young adult mental health in universities and colleges throughout the UK.
Every UK university, college and students’ union have been invited to embrace the BRIT 2021 Challenge, enter teams and encourage their students and staff to participate. I look forward to supporting students and staff at Cardiff University and the University of Oxford as they take on the BRIT 2021 Challenge, complete their 2,021 miles and fundraise. I would be thrilled if all of Oxford’s 33 colleges enter teams and challenge each other to see who can complete the most miles, encourage the most amount of students to take part and raise the most for BRIT and their partner charities.”
Josh was both in Stockport and raised by his Mum after his Dad left them in a very tough financial situation. He suffered from severe asthma and was also bullied at school in his childhood. Josh started to get into sport in his teenage years and went on to study Pharmacy at Cardiff University, between 2009 and 2013, where he joined the rowing team at 20 years old.
After graduating from Cardiff University, Josh then went on to study Oncology at Keble College, Oxford, where he joined the University of Oxford Boat Club. He was selected for the Oxford reserve crew for the 2015 Boat Race, which he won, before stepping up to the Blue Boat in 2016 and 2017.
Josh’s resilience, ability and success led him to be selected to join the GB squad in 2018. He made his senior GB debut in the first World Cup of the 2018 season, winning a silver medal in the men’s eight in his first race and going on to race the pair at World Cup II. He was selected as a spare for the Glasgow 2018 European Championships in August and again for the World Championships in Plovdiv in September.
Josh won a silver medal in the eight at the 2019 European Rowing Championships. He then went on to win a bronze medal at the 2019 World Rowing Championships in Ottensheim, Austria, as part of the eight with Thomas George, James Rudkin, Moe Sbihi, Jacob Dawson, Oliver Wynne-Griffith, Matthew Tarrant, Thomas Ford and Henry Fieldman.
Despite suffering a nerve injury in 2020, Josh was determined to make it to the 2020 Olympic Games. Following the postponement of the Games to 2021, his Olympic dream is now back on.
For more information on Josh and British Rowing, please visit the British Rowing website.