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Schools Case Studies

Rudi Cole

Date Added: Thu, 26 Mar 2009

Related tags: Success Story

You may recognise Rudi. He is the star of the 2006 Concept2 Schools Indoor Rowing League poster-all gritted teeth and determination.

Since that picture was taken at the British Indoor Rowing Championships in 2004 we had lost contact with him at Concept2, but a chance meeting pointed us in the right direction and we were able to track him down and find out what he is up to these days.

It turns out that Rudi, having been enthused into an active lifestyle at school, has taken his energies and directed them in a slightly unusual direction.

After leaving Holyhead School in Birmingham, he is now studying full time for a degree in contemporary dance at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds.

I asked him how he had got into indoor rowing.

"Our school was part of a Steve Redgrave Trust project which meant we were given a few indoor rowers for our school.

"I was just really keen in trying something new but one teacher, Mr Knox, was a P.E. teacher there who I liked to challenge every so often. Not that I ever beat him but it was fun to race people who seemed out of my league."

"Sir Steve visited our school and that really motivated me to do more rowing and got me into competitions. It was something I could do that I really enjoyed and was good at."

And as for the indoor rowing these days?

"Unfortunately I haven't been able to get on a machine for a while now" says Rudi, "my studies involve dance training for around 6 hours every day, so in the evenings there is not much energy left to go to the gym.

"But I definitely remember the 2005 British Indoor Rowing Champs at the Birmingham NIA. Before racing I remember just closing my eyes and picturing the race before it happened and then as soon as I heard the starting siren I put so much energy in that one race, there was around 5 staff standing around me, egging me on which made me push myself that much more."

As for his dancing, Rudi is hoping to graduate with his degree and kick start a career as a professional dancer.

Rudi's example just goes to show that getting kids turned on to active lifestyles at school can positively shape the way they live their adult lives.

If you want to find out more about the Northern School of Contemporary Dance or keep tabs on Rudi's progress call 0113 219 3000 or visit

December 2006

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