Congratulations to our very own Laurence Whiteley and Kat Copeland, who have been chosen to represent Team GB at this summer's Olympics in Rio. (Photo Credit: British Rowing)

On Thursday 30th June we were delighted to announce that Laurence Whiteley had been selected to row for Team GB at this year's Paralympic Games in Rio, in the Trunks and Arms Mixed Double Sculls (TA.Mix.2x) event, the first time Tees RC will be represented at a Paralympic Games.

This long-awaited achievement comes after a two-year search to find him a suitable female rowing partner, during which time Laurence competed for GB in a non-Paralympic-class boat, the Trunks and Arms Single Scull ( TA1x ), winning several international medals. His Paralympic crewmate Lauren Rowles transitioned from athletics where she was a successful wheelchair racer, with the new duo taking an incredible silver at their first international competition at the World Rowing Championships in 2015.

Laurence and Lauren

Laurence himself initially came from a para-swimming background, learning to row here at Tees just a few years ago under Greg Beswick and continuing to train with the club until 2014, when he was invited to join the national squad at their base in Caversham, Berkshire. He regularly returns to the boathouse in Stockton when on holiday from his now full-time role.

This news comes hot on the heels of the June 9th announcement, that fellow Tees RC rower Kat Copeland will represent Team GB in the Lightweight Women's Double Sculls at the Rio Olympics. All of us here at Tees would like to wish both Laurence and Kat the very best of luck this coming summer.

Credit: Lucy Radley