Steve O'Connor - CEO
Steve has been involved with FRBC from its very beginnings in 2013. He was responsible for delivery of the original development plan, submitted to the local council, which led to the creation of FRBC. Following this Steve now works with the Board to ensure that charitable aims of FRBC are delivered on an annual basis as well as planning and fundraising for the long-term future of the club. Steve spent a number of years competing with the prestigious London Rowing Club where he was elected Captain in 2011 and also went on to win three National Championships.
Yolande Joubert - Chief Operating Officer
Yolande joined the team in 2018 after numerous years working in large international sporting events. She is also a qualified accountant but likes to keep that very quiet.
Yolande is new to rowing after spending a lifetime of going forwards in boats rather than backwards.
Joel Cassells - Membership Manager
Joel began rowing from the age of 12, being dropped down against his wishes at Bann Rowing Club in Coleraine, Northern Ireland. He strongly believes that day changed his life for the better, and he fell in love with the sport from day one.
Progressing through the ranks at his rowing club, Joel won multiple Irish Championships along with Coupe de la Jeunesse and World Junior Championship vests.
Moving to England in 2012, Joel studied at Oxford Brookes University, where he won the Temple Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta in 2014 along with multiple U23 GB Silver medals at the world championships from 2013-2015.
He spent 4 years in the GB Rowing Senior Squad as a lightweight, with the highlight of winning the World Championships in 2015 in the Lightweight Men’s Pair. In this time, he was elected as a Senior Representative in the squad, as well as being elected into the British Athletes Commission as an athlete advisor.
Currently, Joel spreads his time between the important work at FRBC and also at Molesey Boat Club where he was elected Captain in July 2019. His work represents a passion of passing on the life-changing aspect of sport for all. He believes that without rowing he wouldn’t have had the opportunities to excel, nor would he have gained the same level of self-confidence and competitiveness, and confident that others can have the same opportunities given the chance.
Outside of work and rowing, Joel has a strong interest in politics, regularly doing media for Northern Irish political affairs.
Imogen Walsh - Prisons Manager
Imogen took up rowing at university, a hobby that, after finishing her degree and working for a Scottish based development charity, then became a full-time occupation, as a member of the GB Rowing Team from 2011-2016. What followed was various coaching roles around the world, before deciding to use her coaching skills for a broader social and physical well-being objective. In 2019, Imogen joined FRBC to head up our prisons rowing project "Boats Not Bars”.
Julia Philipson - Fundraising Manager
Julia has spent many days and early mornings along the riverbank watching her children row. Seeing both great state school and club rowing in action and experiencing first-hand the difference rowing can make, she jumped at the achance to join FRBC! With a background in fundraising and a passion for communities, Julia is our newest recruit and eager to make a difference to our charitable reach.
Georgia Francis - Head Adult Coach
Georgia started rowing in 2011 at Pangbourne College having come from a multi sport background. After she complete school in 2013, Georgia joined Imperial College Boat Club, along side studying nutrition at St Mary's University. After moving to London it was onwards and upwards for Georgia including a sliver medal at U23's British Championships in 2014, winning Women's Henley in W2x and joining the GB national team in 2016. She has also competed in many events on the Tideway such as WeHORR and the Wingfield Sculls. Georgia joined the Fulham Reach Boat Club team in March 2018 and has been loving it ever since!
Deryn Esterhuyse - Head Adult Coach
Deryn was recently awarded the 2019 Fulham Reach Coach of the Year - well deserved recognition of her enthusiasm and dedication to coaching the next generation of rowers.
John Clay - Head Junior Coach
After playing rugby to a high level at school John started rowing at Bath University where he was selected to be on the World Class Start Scheme. On leaving Bath he carried on rowing at Cambridge University and then at Leander Club. Whilst John was at Leander he started coaching at Eton Excelsior with Alastair Horn for 5 years. He left Eton Excelsior to work at Lady Eleanor Holles School. During his time at both clubs John coached crews to national medals at every age group including winning championship VIIIs. He also had 14 juniors selected to represent Great Britain and numerous selected to represent England.
Sean Blake - Head Schools Coach - Sacred Heart & Fulham Boys School
Sean began rowing in 2001 as a junior alongside numerous other sports. Over time rowing became the sole sporting focus which led to joining the Welsh performance team in Cardiff from 2009. Alongside university studies and training, Sean began coaching as a means to help out the junior squads in local clubs. In 2012 Sean relocated to London and continued both rowing and coaching at a number of clubs and schools on the Tideway. Following a two year role as a trainee patent attorney in the city, Sean found himself back in the coaching world and has been at Fulham Reach since February 2018.
As an athlete, results have included medals of each colour at the British Universities regatta, Ghent International regatta, Metropolitan regatta, Pairs head, and numerous representations for Wales and Scotland at the Home International Regatta which includes wins in the lightweight double and mens eight, to name but a few. Top tier finishes at the Scullers, Pairs, Fours and eights heads have developed Seans knowledge of the stream - or 'racing line' - famous for its advantage when racing on the Tideway.
As a coach, Sean has coached across the spectrum from complete beginners to those who have attained International selection for England at the Home International regatta and for the junior mens Great Britain team at the Junior World Championships. Sean has coached juniors from age 12 right up to adults in their 70s. Athletes coached by Sean have picked up medals of each colour at the Schools Head, National Schools regatta, the Scullery, Wallingford regatta, Metropolitan regatta, Marlow regatta, British National Championships and the Munich international junior regatta to name but a few. Sean enjoys developing the technical aspects of the rowing stroke in those that he coaches, ensuring that they are competent and able to develop onto racing should they choose to do so.
Alastair Horn - Coach
Alastair first took up rowing in 1999 as a member of Staines BC. In 2003 his eldest, Matilda joined Eton Excelsior RC it was at this point he started coaching. Matilda is the current GB womens 8+ coxswain. Since 2012 he has been the DoR and Junior Head Coach at Eton Excelsior RC. He has coached junior crews to wins at the Fullers Fours Head, Pairs Head, Home International Regatta, National Schools Regatta, British Rowing Championships as well as Coupe de la Jeunesse and GB France match. For fourteen years he has seen how the sport transforms children’s lives and in many cases paves the way for their career choices. Having gone through the state school system in the North East, he has immediately bought into the FRBC’s mission statement.
Allan Munro-Faure - Coach
Allan has been rowing since the age of 12, firstly coxing at Eton Excelsior Rowing Club with his first tideway coxing experience at the mens eight head. Shortly after he rowed and was club captain at Windsor Boys School and Oxford Brooks. After university he joined London RC and represented them at Henley a number of times. Now a life member there, he mainly sculls but has also branched out into a fixed seat Thames cutter for the annual 26 mile Great River Race with the Tallow Chandlers for the last few years. He is an active sailor and sailing instructor as well as a powerboat 2 instructor. He started coaching 4 years ago with a strong desire to encourage and bring this sport to the reach of all.
Ally French - Coach
Ally started rowing in 2007 at Eton Excelsior Rowing Club in Windsor. After school she joined the University of London Boat Club and commenced training fulltime alongside university study at Birkbeck College London. Winnning Henley Womens Regatta, making history at BUCS Regatta and competining in the U23 World Championships were a few of the highlights whilst part of ULBC.
Alongside training, Ally also coached at the American School in London, helping students gain both national and international recognition, plus aiding admission into top Ivy League schools.
Fran Rawlins - Coach
Fran has had a very successful international rowing career which started during her time at Cambridge in the womens lightweight crew. She then joined Leander and later Tideway Scullers while competing for Great Britain.
In her spare time Fran studies the science of bee keeping and also enjoys stamp collecting.
Leo Malim - Coach
Leo has been rowing from the age of 13 and enjoyed considerable success winning the Schools Head, National Schools Regatta and the Princess Elizabeth Cup at Henley. He also represented England at the Anglo French match and GB at the Coupe de la Jeunesse. Leo has a real passion for sharing his love of rowing and coaches across the spectrum at FRBC.
Lizzy Fuller - Coach
Lizzy started rowing at the age of 10 at Tyne Amateur Rowing Club where she competed in events such as National Schools Regatta, British Junior Championships and won Women’s Eights Head of the River. During her Art Foundation year she rowed for Newcastle University Boat Club. Lizzy now studies Fine Art at Chelsea College of Arts, where during her first year she became the University’s first BUCS Gold medalist, whilst rowing as a part of the Thames Rowing Club women’s squad.
Patrick Beeley - Coach
Patrick started competing in rugby and sprinting at school and reached county level in both, with his home rugby club winning the Surrey League for three consecutive years. After changing schools, he became involved with rowing and became fully hooked making it his sole sport ever since.
Patrick has won medals at National Schools, The Metropolitan and Ghent regattas.
For the past 6 years he has been coaching with universities, schools and clubs.
Patrick also enjoys calligraphy and water colour painting.
Saami Tajeddin - Coach
Saami attended Latymer Upper School where he started rowing in 2014 and this quickly became his first and only passion. He continued for five years and competed in many races, with victories including Burway Head and Hammersmith Regatta. While he has retired from racing at the moment, he can still be occasionally seen flying up the Tideway in The Coaches Quad.
Saami has a keen interest in finance and interior design and has big plans for the FRBC Christmas decorations this year!
Tim Koch - Coach
Tim has spent much of the last thirty years on the Thames, either rowing, sculling, coxing or coaching. Off the water, he is a rowing historian, writer, and photographer, covering events such as the University Boat Race and Henley. He is a former Captain of Auriol Kensington Rowing Club and he organised Hammersmith Regatta for over ten years. In his time at Auriol Kensington, Tim safely taught a very large number of people to row on the demanding waters of the tidal Thames, something that he now does as part of the Fulham Reach team.
Tom Roberts - Coach
Tom has been rowing on Thames for many years and has enjoyed competing in local and national events. He now focusses on coaching alongside his photography studies.
Tom also enjoys origami and collecting antique coins.
Tracy Corbett - Coach
Tracy is passionate about all sport, and represented Wales as a Junior and Senior in lightweight rowing. In 2006 Tracy achieved a Commonwealth bronze medal in the ltw 2- , followed by 3 times gold medals at Henley Regatta and numerous National Champion and International wins in the ltw coxless 4-. In 2008 Tracy decided to switch her focus from rowing and concentrate more on road racing. In 2009, Tracy was lucky enough to join the first Rapha Condor Women’s race cycling team in London. The team of 8 competed Nationally and Internationally and 2 of the team went on to represent Great Britain alongside Olympic medalist Nicole Cooke’s Team in Belgium. Tracy is a qualified Level 3 REPS personal trainer / sports massage therapist / cycling / rowing coach with over 25 years of experience in the fitness world. A First-Aider and CRB approved.
Mel Brown - Coach
Mel has been heavily involved in sports from before she could walk. Wanting a break from martial arts and wanting to do something on the water as a part of a team, Mel entered the world of rowing as an adult in 2015 looking for a new sporting adventure in a team environment.
Diving head first in to the Sons of the Thames Senior Squad, Mel has been lucky enough to race at Henley Womens Regatta every year in a variety of boats with some very inspiring ladies.
Previously coaching in kickboxing, boxing and horse riding, it was a natural step to coach rowing. Having seen FRBC develop and grow over the last few years, it was obvious to Mel that she needed to be involved, so that was the place to go.
Learning as an adult has been instrumental in Mel’s development as a coach giving her a different perspective, especially when teaching other adults new to the sport.
FRBC gave Mel an opportunity to develop as a coach and a rower and she is passionate about providing that opportunity to everyone who stands still for long enough. She whole heartedly supports the work that the club and coaches do, providing opportunities to tomorrow’s world, not only on the water, but helping them see the opportunities to take, and skills to learn that are everywhere and in every day.