International Women’s Day

CUWBC’s Inspirational Women for International Women’s Day


Strong women embolden strong women.



International Women’s Day is a fantastic opportunity to recognise the women who have inspired the 2019 squad. Below are a small selection of suggestions including athletes, academics and writers.  There and some recent CUW alumni, who have contributed to creating a club culture of hard work, consistency and enjoyment. These women will continue to be inspiring role models for current and future CUW squads.

Nicola Adams

A British Boxer, she won the first ever women’s gold medal in Olympic boxing. Boxing was illegal for women until the early 90s and was in the Olympics for the first time in London 2012. – Suggested by Lucy Harris, who has competed in Boxing Varsity for both Oxford and Cambridge.

Holly Hill

Holly inspires me to be resilient and maintain a positive attitude. Having spent a large portion of her 2018 season suffering from illness and injury, Holly kept a unbelievably positive and motivated mindset throughout, and later went on to win silver at the European Championships and an A-final spot in her second Senior World Championships. – Suggest by Sally O’Brien

Jennifer Pharr Davis

A hiker, author, speaker and National Geographic Adventurer of the Year. In 2011 she set the fastest known time on the 2000+ mile Appalachian Trial beating all previous records set by a man or woman! – Suggested by Laura Foster

Olivia Coffey

Liv Coffey was a champ (World Champ!) to train with because she was always high-energy, fun-loving, and no-nonsense. She has uncompromising intensity but also a pervading sense of joy.- Suggested by Abba Parker

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

A Nigerian author and activist, squad members recommend her books ‘Americanah’, and ‘We should all be feminists’. Her Ted talk on the subject encourages us to dream and plan for a fairer world of happier men and women who are truer to themselves. – Suggested by Ida Jacobsen


Imogen Grant

Imogen defines hard work and dedication, she managed to juggle a medicine degree, rowing in all three Boat Races, and still made time to look after her friends. She is an inspiration to all the college rowers about what can be achieved, having learnt to row at Trinity four years before getting a Bronze at Senior Worlds! – Suggested by Emma Andrews

Mary Beard

Cambridge Classicist and feminist as Newnham College. She is well known for breaking through gender-based barriers in academia and bringing issues of feminism and power in the ancient world to the fore with more traditional scholarship. Her book “Women in Power” is also recommended. – Suggested by Laura Foster

Melissa Wilson

Melissa is the queen of balance. In addition to full-time on the GB Women’s Sculling Team, Melissa has an enormous passion and drive to create positive change in society, and has just recently won a national environmental law competition. Melissa’s work ethic emphasises to me the importance of finding a healthy and productive work-life balance that you can enjoy. – Suggested by Sally O’Brien

Virginia Woolf

An English writer, considered one of the most important 20th century authors. One of her essays, ‘A Room of One’s Own’, includes the famous quote “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” – Suggested by Ida Jacobsen, with the reasoning “Because a woman must have a boat of her own if she is to row”

The Squad –

We as a squad value the contributions of every member, and seek to learn and be inspired by each other. On International Women’s Day we want to celebrate how lucky we are to train with strong and intelligent women every day.