Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Amber Harwood’s journey from Great Britain to Texas

Courtesy of Texas Athletics

After sparking an interest in the sport at age 12, senior Amber Harwood has grown a deep connection with rowing. 

Harwood gravitated to the sport following the 2012 Olympic Games. Seeing the success Great Britain had, Harwood drew much inspiration from those games to begin her own journey in the sport. 

“It was a huge thing for our country; the fact we did it at home, I was like, ‘Whoa, I’ll give rowing a go,’” Harwood said.

Harwood began her journey in England at Kingston Rowing Club. She found great success winning gold for Great Britain at the women’s coxless in France in the 2018 Junior International J16 match.

Once Harwood’s tenure at Kingston was up, the next move was heading across the pond to Austin, Texas, and joining the Texas rowing team. 

The major difference Harwood noticed when arriving to Texas was the size of the team. Coming previously from a small program there was an initial shock once Harwood saw her new team. 

“Seeing 30 girls doing this sport together, I think it was just incredible and that was one reason why I really wanted to come here,” Harwood said. 

Additionally, Harwood learned a lot about her capabilities while at Kingston that helped with her transition to the forty acres. She noticed that the training regimen “wasn’t too dissimilar” than what she saw at a young age.

Harwood’s first three years have been nothing short of a success. Contributing to three Big 12 championships, back-to-back NCAA titles in 2021 as a freshman and in 2022  as a sophomore and a top four finish last season. 

Harwood describes the two title-winning teams as “absolutely relentless, perfectionists,” and were composed of very strong senior leaders and friends.

“Some of them are still my best friends and I lean on them for so many different things in life,” Harwood said.

Harwood and the rest of Texas Rowing are set to begin their season at the Waco Regatta on Nov. 12. Texas will be looking to continue their recent string of success and open the season strong. 

Harwood describes a new mindset for Texas going into the new season. 

“Going back to our roots, just kind of having that underdog mentality,” Harwood said. “Going in with the mindset of like we’ve never done anything before and we just have to go from step one again.”

For Harwood, she will look to set a stamp on her senior season and accomplish a personal goal of making her boat the fastest Texas has ever seen, reclaiming their seat at the top of the NCAA. 

“You have to then make that boat as fast as you can,” Harwood said. “Which is something that we lost in between when we won and coming fourth last year.” 

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story stated Harwood won gold at the “2019 World Junior Rowing Championships in Tokyo,” which has now been removed. Harwood was also misspelled as “Hardwood.” The Texan regrets these errors. 

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