Oundle School’s newly appointed Head of Rowing, Marcus Walker, is no stranger to the discipline of rowing at the School, having been a pupil there from 1971-76
Rowing was Marcus’s passion from the outset and upon arrival at Oundle in 1971, he immediately enjoyed inter-House rowing in the Glennie and Beasley races, joined the 1974 Colts VIII, the 2nd IV the following year and was in the 1st VIII in 1976. He was appointed Hon. Sec of the Boat Club for that season and then captained the Henley VIII which he describes as ‘a memorable experience despite losing in the first round to the eventual winners, Shrewsbury’.
The passion for rowing clearly runs in the Walker family as Marcus’s father, Alastair, also captained the Oundle School Boat Club 1st IV in 1937. It is Marcus however, who is able to recall a royal rowing connection: “The Queen Mother came to the School in 1976 and Bill Linnell and I were asked to demonstrate in a coxless pair in boats we had only just acquired.”
Moving on from Oundle to Sandhurst, Marcus didn’t pick up an oar again until 1989 when he went to Long Beach as part of a University exchange and found himself as the Varsity Women’s coach. That team went on to win the Pacific Coast championships and become the 6th fastest varsity women’s boat in the USA.
Marcus arrived at Oundle in September, having previously taught at The Dragon School, Oxford. Prior to that he ran a coaching consultancy business.
Marcus commented, “It’s great to be back at Oundle – it’s like putting on a favourite coat. I’ve thought about this role since I started coaching seriously in 1989 and it is an ambition come true.
‘My vision for the club is to support the principles of offering sculling and rowing to all, competition for the majority and excellence for as many as aspire to it. My aim is for the School to be recognised for its sculling and rowing prowess.”