LILY ABBOTT ON HER LOVE FOR THE OLYMPICS AND ANALYSING PAST RACES

Olympic obsessive Lily Abbott hopes endless hours spent analysing rowing clips on YouTube can steer her to the Games herself. The Teddington talent currently trains at Tideway Scullers School and secured a seat in the Great British boat at the prestigious Coupe de la Jeunesse in Italy before lockdown. Lily attended Kingston Grammar School and is making the most of a gap year before embarking on an American odyssey at Duke University in August this year.
18 January, 2021

Olympic obsessive Lily Abbott hopes endless hours spent analysing rowing clips on YouTube can steer her to the Games herself.

The Teddington talent currently trains at Tideway Scullers School and secured a seat in the Great British boat at the prestigious Coupe de la Jeunesse in Italy before lockdown.

Lily attended Kingston Grammar School and is making the most of a gap year before embarking on an American odyssey at Duke University in August this year.

The 18-year-old has loved the Olympics for as long as she remembers and reckons diligent analysis of past races, coupled with watching the action from Tokyo in just under 200 days’ time, can help her scale the dizzy Games heights she has always dreamed of.

Asked what it would mean to represent her country at a future Olympic Games, Lily, who is financially supported by Entain and SportsAid through the Pitching In initiative, said: “That would be insane.

“I watch Olympic highlights on YouTube and I think it’s so cool. Even if I haven’t been rowing my whole life, I’ve always been interested in the Olympics.

“I think to be in that position would be insane to me. You work so hard and getting a reward like that would just be crazy.

“We watch some races at the club, look at how different people race and at school, we used to watch different countries and their different racing styles.

“We watched all the well-known races while events like Henley Regatta you can watch live – it’s really high-quality, international racing. I really enjoy watching it and it’s pretty cool.

“When the 2012 Olympics were here, I didn’t do rowing so had no idea and didn’t really know much about it.

“But then 2016 was really cool, because that was when I was at the beginning of my rowing journey. It was great to watch everyone.”

Entain announced a three-year partnership with SportsAid in 2019 to help talented young athletes, just like Lily, realise their potential and pursue their sporting ambitions.

The investment is helping Lily realise her potential and provides crucial funding for training, travel, equipment and mentoring as she ramps up preparations for her scholarship at Duke in North Carolina.

Tokyo will come too soon for Lily but the London-based ace is targeting an Olympic spot at either Paris 2024 or Los Angeles 2028.

Her training has seen her brush shoulders with some of Great Britain’s brightest stars and Lily hopes learning from the best can propel her on a similar Olympic pathway.

“It’s pretty cool now, because I’m training with people who have gone to Olympic trials,” added Lily, who is following in the same SportsAid footsteps of Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, Sir Mo Farah and Dina Asher-Smith.

“It’s nice to see people further down that pathway. I think 2021 should be pretty cool – I now know a lot about the sport and I know people in the sport, so it will be good.

“They’re obviously training to such a high level – it’s nice to have a clear goal, see people further along the line, learn from their insight and know where I need to be next.”

Entain, owner of Ladbrokes and Coral, is proud to be championing the next generation of British sporting heroes by providing talented young athletes with financial support and personal development opportunities in partnership with SportsAid. As part of this three-year partnership, Entain are supporting a diverse group 50 of UK athletes per year from a variety of sports and para sports. Visit entaingroup.com to find out more.