Autumn Mantell - assistant coach

Autumn Mantell says losing was a motivation to work even harder


Autumn joined CUBC as Women’s Assistant Coach in November of 2021. She came from Oxford Brookes where, along with coxing, she worked to prepare Brookes’ women’s crews for their successful 2021 campaign. Before her time at Brookes, Autumn successfully coached at Bedford Modern School whilst coxing at Molesey Boat Club. She represented GB at the U23 World Championships in 2018 and 2019. Read her interview to find out about her career and the opportunities offered by the Development Squad.

How did you first get involved in the rowing scene? 

“I first started coxing at Bedford Modern School as a J14. After 5 years of watching my brother cox from the river bank I couldn’t resist giving it a go myself.”

What would you say have been the best moments of your career?

“As a coach it would have to be the CUBC women’s clean sweep of the 2022 Races (the Blue Boat, Blondie, Lightweights & Spares).

As a Cox it would be winning a Silver Medal at the 2019 U23 World Championships.”

And what would you say was one of the more challenging moments, and what did you learn from it?

“Placing 4th at the U23 World Championships in 2018 meant I missed out on a medal by a very tight margin. It taught me that you learn more from your losses in rowing than you learn from winning. It forced me to reflect on what we needed to do differently the following year and I certainly used the loss as motivation to work even harder towards our goal of being on the podium.”

What would your advice be to students who have never rowed before but are keen to try? 

“Give it a go! If you enjoy working hard and operating as a part of a team, rowing can be an incredibly rewarding sport.”

Can you tell us a little bit more about the development squad?

“The Development Squad for the CUBC women provides an introduction to the programme with a specific focus on developing their understanding of our stroke profile. The Development Squad also offers an opportunity to gain external racing experience which is especially useful for novices who have only rowed on the Cam so far. We also provide educational sessions from experts about important topics for female student athletes (last year’s sessions included subjects such as nutrition and ‘The Importance of a Good Sports Bra – by Hannah Scott OLY’, among others). The idea is to identify talented athletes from the college system and best prepare them for the experience of trialling come September.

If you haven’t already rowed with your college boat club, you first need to reach out to the relevant college captain and get involved that way.”

How time consuming is trialling for CUBC? What would be your advice about finding time to fit in rowing alongside your studies?

“It is definitely time consuming, but I’ve typically found that rowers are better at managing their time than non-rowers, because being organised is the only way to fit everything in! The schedule ensures there is time in the middle of the day to do academic work as sessions run before 8:30am and after 4pm.”

What are the best things about being a coach at CUBC? 

“For me, working with inspiring, strong and motivated women everyday, and dedicating myself to making boats go fast.”

Did you know? With a contribution of £20/month you will provide critical transport for one student to and from Ely and London for training, providing critical training experience for members of our development squad. Support ’Pulling Together,’ CUBC’s annual month of support and giving, by donating today