• Phil Packer

Para-rower, Sophie Harris, joins Row Britannia

Two years ago, Sophie Harris was recovering from the amputation of her left leg. A year ago, the Plymouth rower was preparing to travel on her first training camp with the GB Rowing Team Para-rowing squad.


Following years of battling with talipes (commonly known as Club Foot), arthritis and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), Sophie decided that amputation was the best option. A month before her surgery she realised a long-term ambition by joining a rowing club.


She got her first taste of the sport at Mayflower Offshore Rowing Club in Plymouth and later contacted British Rowing about Para-rowing. That led to her being invited onto the development squad.


Sophie was interviewed by British Rowing and said that;


“Rowing was something I always wanted to do, but I never had enough time to see if it was something that was going to become something. I spent four weeks rowing with Mayflower Offshore Rowing Club in Plymouth, who took me on board knowing I would become an amputee and I got the rowing bug. I emailed British Rowing to say that I was about to become an amputee and wanted to pursue my new love of rowing. All of a sudden I’ve got Hannah Lawton emailing me to invite me for talent ID.”


Following her surgery, Sophie raised money through grants and sponsorship to enable her to purchase a rowing-specific prosthetic leg, which has seen her times continually improving under the guidance of coach Simon Gifford-Mead at Dart Totnes ARC and Ella Willott, British Rowing’s England Talent Pathway coach for Para-rowing.


Sophie currently attends Plymouth City College on a course affiliated with Plymouth University. She is studying a Degree in Sports Injury and Rehabilitation - something Sophie considers she does on a daily basis. 


We are delighted that Sophie has joined Row Britannia and will visit the University of Plymouth on the 8th January 2020 between 9am and 1030am.



Para-rower Sophie Harris joins Row Britannia - "I can, You can, We can"