Coaching and Support Team

Chief Coach – Robert Weber

Robert, a coach of multiple US Senior and Under 23 medal winning crews, joins Cambridge University from Hamilton College, New York, where he has been Head Rowing Coach and Associate Professor of Physical Education for the past four years. 

In that time Robert has coached three “All Americans” – considered by US College Coaches to be the best rowers in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and numerous Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) Scholar Athletes. In 2015 Hamilton Varsity Eight achieved 3rd place in the NCAA Division 3 Championships, with the overall team placing 4th.

Robert has experience of working within an academic environment with both men and women alongside his US Rowing National Team role as Assistant Coach to the U.S. Women’s Senior and Under 23 Team for the last 5 years.  Robert coached 2019 CUWBC Blue Boat Stroke, Olivia Coffey, to her first World Championship Gold medal in 2013.

Assistant Coach Patrick Ryan

Paddy’s wealth of Tideway experience and know-how is a huge asset to the team. He spent six years at London Youth Rowing (LYR), during which he helped to grow the organisation from a small charity to a London-wide group which worked with over 9,000 teenagers last year.

While there, he won multiple medals at the British Championships and guided many athletes through the GB Junior Trials. Before that, on moving to the UK in 2000, Paddy joined Thames Rowing Club and remains a member to this day. His time there saw TRC earn many Blue Ribbon wins including the Wyfold Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta in 2006 (which he won as an athlete in 2003). Paddy began rowing at National Level began in his native Australia, going on to medal as an Under-23 sculler.

Although intimidatingly tall, Paddy’s kindness is unparalleled. His care and devotion to his athletes brings a special warmth to the club. On top of this, Paddy’s ability to adapt to any rower with patience and commitment, to bring out the best in each rower he works with, is striking.

“I am continually excited to have the opportunity to work with female athletes who are incredibly bright and it is exciting to think that I might help influence them as they help to shape the future of this country and the world.”

Assistant Coach – Katy Knowles

Katy has considerable coaching experience, beginning her career in 2008 with a clear focus on enabling athletes to improve and reach their personal goals.   

Katy gained a position as a Henley Stewards Charitable Trust coach in Surrey, coaching in local clubs before progressing to Club Head coach in 2011. It was under Katy’s leadership that the club grew in size, doubling the junior membership.  Within the thriving club culture, five junior rowers gained representation for Great Britain.

Developing talent has always been a passion for Katy, so the move to British Rowing as a Talent Development coach was exciting.  Katy has enjoyed working with athletes who are complete beginners and taking them through to winning national medals within a few years.  Many of those she has coached have progressed to represent England at Home International Regatta or Great Britain at Junior, U23 and Senior World Championships.

Katy says,

‘I’m looking forwards to joining the team and learning more about the exciting world of The Boat Race.  I look forward to living and working in Cambridge, with athletes that want to excel in academia as well as pursue excellence in Rowing.’ 

Club Accountant – Sam Rickaby

Sam manages the accounts and finances for all of the Cambridge University Boat Club teams, having joined us following ten years working for the NHS.

Initially she worked as a therapy radiographer having gained her degree in Sheffield and spent a large amount of her career in Cambridge at Addenbrookes hospital. Five years ago she made the big decision to switch career paths into the world of finance but still continued to work for the NHS in St Ives.

Sam is one of the only members of the team not to have been a rower at university but this means she has a fresh pair of eyes and has already made an impact since joining in March 2018. Her NHS background also means she is very good at managing every penny of the CUWBC budget!

Sam is originally from Durham and a big Newcastle United fan! She loves a wide variety of music and more than anything loves her family, which includes a 2-year old son and a very lazy Dachshund called Jack. She also always has a smile on her face no matter what the numbers look like!

S&C Coach – Milosz Wrobel

Milosz has over 6 years of experience in delivering Strength and Conditioning coaching to all type of athletes.

Milosz has a wealth of experience working with student, national and international athletes. He is currently leading a successful rowing S&C programme at the CUBC, CUWBC and CULRC.

He has been involved with the Boat Races and the Varsity Matches since 2012 with a countless light blue success. He has a degree from Anglia Ruskin University in Sports Coaching and Physical Education as well as Osteopathy from Staffordshire University. In addition, Milosz is an Accredited Strength & Conditioning Coach with the UKSCA (UK Strength & Conditioning Association, no 24431) and a Registered Osteopath with the GOsC (General Osteopathic Council, no 10204).

Milosz’s interests lie within an injury prevention, physiology and performance field, predominantly in competitive rowing, cycling and running.

Together with his partner – Gosia Bieniek, Milosz is running his own practice – Light Blue Clinic (www.lighblue.clinic) and their aim is to decrease the injury rate as well as making athletes strong and powerful. Apart from coaching and treating athletes Milosz is an associate lecturer in S&C at Anglia Ruskin University at the School of Psychology and Sport Science.  

In his spare time, he likes to travel with Gosia and their little son – Arthur.

Sports Psychologist – Helen Davis

Helen Davis (PGCE, MSc, CPsychol and HCPC registered) is a chartered sport psychologist who works with athletes, teams and coaches from a range of different sports developing mental skills to enhance performance. Helen has worked with Cambridge rowers since 2017 supporting athletes throughout the year leading up to the boat race.

She has experience of working with athletes competing at varying levels of competition: fitness enthusiasts, club, elite, regional, national, Commonwealth, World and Paralympic champions.

Helen has over 25 years of experience in education as a teacher, is a sport psychologist for Swim England and runs her own sport psychology consultancy think.believe.perform. She is a regular presenter around Cambridge and East Anglia at sports clubs, schools and athletic networks. She is also an active, competitive Masters and Open Water swimmer. Helen loves to compete and races regularly on the national and international swimming circuit.

Physiotherapist – Tom Quantrell

Tom holds a Bachelor’s Degree is Physiotherapy and a Master’s Degree in Sports and Exercise Rehabilitation.

Tom has worked in the NHS, private sector and with numerous sports to an elite level. Tom runs the physiotherapy and sports injury clinic at the University of Cambridge sports centre, Physioteq.

Tom shares his time at the clinic and with the rowers with national and international teaching on the subject of children & adolescents with musculoskeletal and sporting injuries and working with the England Hockey age group program.

Nutritionist – Oliver Whiteman

Oliver Whiteman (MSc, BSc) is a performance nutrition consultant who is accredited with the Sport & Exercise Nutrition Register (SENr).

Oliver is currently working with elite athletes and clubs in the East of England, providing bespoke support for individual athletes.

He has combined his education and experience to help support some of the most talented athletes in the UK.  Oliver works to educate athletes, empowering them to continue applying effective sports nutrition strategies, even after he has finished working alongside them.