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Women takes up solo rowing after losing her sight

Kate Lindgren took up rowing after losing her sight. Credit: ITV News Anglia

A woman from Peterborough who started to go blind in her teens has now learned to row solo, more than 30 years later.

Kate Lindgren only took up the sport two years ago, but is now regularly seen in a single scull on the city's rowing lake, guided by her coach Peter on his bike.

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Kate's vision started to deteriorate in her late teens and she was diagnosed as having Retinitis Pigmentosa.

Kate Lindgren, 51, said: "Being out there is like a sense of freedom and independence.

"I explain it a bit like going down a road with a guide dog as opposed to a human being.

"With the guide dog I’m independent and in control and the same with a boat - I’m out by myself, I’m the person who’s independent, I don’t have to rely on anybody else."

Kate says rowing gives her independence. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Rowing is known as a sport which suits people who are blind or visually impaired. Sighted rowers sometimes practice what is known as 'eyes closed rowing' to help hone their technique without visual distractions.

Kate said: "It’s a case of constantly improving. I always want to be better.

"When I first started I said I want to be as technically good as I can be at it. I don’t want to do it half-heartedly. I want to do it with all of my heart and soul."

She is guided along the lake by her coach Peter on his bike - who is able to give instructions via a phone link to Kate on the water.