Dream debut for Bromsgrove teenager who picks up silver at World Championships

Lauren Rowles with rowing partner Laurence Whiteley Credit: British Rowing

Bromsgrove teenager Lauren Rowles has enjoyed a dream start to her Great Britain Rowing Team debut, after winning a medal at the World Championships.

Lauren, who was partnering Laurence Whiteley in the trunk-arms mixed double scull, picked up silver in the competition, just six months after taking up the sport.

It also means that Lauren has now qualified her boat for the 2016 Paralympic Games that will take place in Rio, Brazil.

Rowles and Whiteley have only been training together for three months but pushed Australia all the way, missing out on gold by half a second.

Lauren lost the use of her legs in February 2012 when she was diagnosed with a rare paralysing condition that developed overnight.

However, she was determined to maintain an active lifestyle and, after leaving hospital in July of that year, started searching for a para-sport.

She became a wheelchair track athlete and competed for England at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. She was also crowned England under-16s champion at 100m, 200m and 1,500m during 2014 and captained the Midlands at the UK School Games before turning to rowing.

The duo’s success was part of an outstanding World Championships for the GB Rowing Team, who topped the medal table with 15 in total.