James Johnston (2012G)
OD International Sportsman
Henley Royal Regatta Prince of Wales Challenge Cup winners 2013. James is 2nd from the left.
James Johnston (2012G) reports on his rowing achievemnets:
I matriculated from Bishops in 2012 . As a dual - citizen of both South Africa and the UK, I had the opportunity to move abroad and pursue my rowing at Leander Club in the UK, one of the most successful rowing clubs in the world. In my first year at Leander, I was fortunate enough to be apart of the Prince of Wales Challenge Cup Crew (Men’s Quad Scull) where we won the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta and broke all 3 course records in the process. This was, and still remains, one of the fondest memories of my rowing career.
In September 2013 I began my tertiary education at Harvard University in the USA. Adapting to a new country, academic environment and rowing program was significantly challenging but through the demands that Bishops places of a high academic and sporting standards, I was well equipped for the challenge. At Harvard I graduated with a degree in Economics and a secondary in Global Health and Healthy Policy. I was fortunate enough to represent the 1st Varsity Boat during all 4 of years of my degree.
Whilst at Harvard, I competed for the Great Britain U23 Rowing Team in 2014, 2015 and 2016, winning a silver medal in the Men’s Coxless 4 at the U23 World Champs in both 2015 and 2016. Following my graduation from Harvard in May 2017, I returned to the UK to pursue my greatest ambition of representing Great Britain at the 2020 Olympic Games. This past year I’ve been included in the Great Britain Senior squad. Whilst a huge honour, the workload has been immense and the level of competition extremely high. After final trials in April this year, I was selected for the Great Britain Men’s coxless 4 to compete at 1st and 2nd World Cup events of the season, taking place in Belgrade, Serbia and in Linz, Austria respectively. In Belgrade we finished 5th whilst in Linz we took a close 4th. Racing at the international level has been incredibly tough but it’s an exhilarating environment and one that I thoroughly enjoy. Pending further internal trials and selection, the focus for the rest of the season will be the European Championships in Glasgow, Scotland in early August and the World Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria in September.
I am very grateful to Bishops and Bishops Rowing for enabling me to take up the sport professionally and for the support I received throughout school. I learnt many important lessons, both in and outside the classroom, that have played a significant part in my career thus far, particularly those concerning hard work, mental fortitude and positivity.
I strongly encourage all ambitious students looking to pursue their sporting or academic passions to take full advantage of the opportunities at Bishops. Whether it be as an extracurricular or as a full - time commitment, Bishops can provide you with the best possible resources in which to help you realise your dreams.
For some more pictures, please see 'OD Updates' under 'Photos'.