Coxing

BROOKES|Rowing has a track record of producing Henley-winning and Olympic-standard coxes, from nurturing experienced coxes to finding new talent within the university. The role of a cox is crucial to the program at Brookes – being the ‘coach in the boat’, coxes work closely with the coaches to ensure training sessions and race profiles go to plan. As a cox, you are the key to the Brookes engine.

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Harry Brightmore is in his eighth season of coxing at Brookes. He has represented Great Britain at three U23 World Championships, and in 2017 raced in the coxed pair at the Senior World Rowing Championships. He won the Temple Challenge Cup in 2016 and has won the Ladies’ Plate at Henley Royal Regatta three times in a row.

Caroline O’Connor started coxing at Brookes as a complete novice. Having developed her skills during her time at the university, she went on to cox the GB Rowing Team women’s 8+ for seven years, going to two Olympic Games in the process.

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Charlie joined Oxford Brookes in 2014 from Shrewsbury School. In the four years he was part of BROOKES|Rowing, he was selected for the GB U23 team where he won a silver medal, and also won the Temple Challenge Cup in 2017.

Rowley Douglas came to Brookes from Monkton Combe School. He went on to cox the Great Britain men’s 8+ from 1997-2001. His greatest achievement was winning the blue-riband 8+ event at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney – the first time a British crew had won since 1912.



“I left school with a real hunger to push my coxing as far as it could possibly go. Immediately after starting at Brookes, I realised how much I could get out of it: every session I was fighting for my seat in the 3rd VIII and I loved it! It taught me to always be on my game, and with that constant competition I ended up coxing at a level I never would have achieved elsewhere.
Without Brookes, I wouldn’t have come close to winning the Temple Challenge Cup, Ladies Plate, or winning Eights Head and earning multiple GB vests”

Harry Brightmore

Previous club: King’s School, Chester

Scott Cockle


“Heading back to university after my undergrad degree was a big step. One that wasn’t taken lightly, but one I most certainly don’t regret.
Stepping up to the competitive nature at Brookes has developed my coxing skills, and has reinforced my desire to cox at a high level. Brookes has given me the opportunity to learn from the best through intense training with a high standard of athletes and support from the coaches”



“Having learned to cox at Durham ARC, coming from a club rowing background Brookes was a huge step up. I can honestly say I have enjoyed every second of it, from the fixtures in the cold winter months, to BUCS in the spring, to the reward of Henley Women’s and Henley Royal Regatta in the summer. Being pushed every session to do the best you can is vital in improving, and Brookes allows you to thrive from this. It is an incredible feeling to be able to look back on the progress you’ve made, and to be able to look forward to what you can push yourself to do next!

Elise Sanderson


Charlie Clarke

Shrewsbury School

“I chose Brookes knowing this was the place for me – not only to develop my coxing skills to the next level, but to be part of the best university boat club. The squad determination and support has helped me to achieve results I thought were beyond my potential.
OBUBC has given me fantastic opportunities – travelling to Croatia for the EUSA Games, competing in Boat Race fixtures and winning the Temple Challenge Cup. The training fits well alongside my degree, and every time I compete for OBUBC, the training gives me confidence to win”



“The 3 years I spent at Brookes were better than I could have ever imagined. The atmosphere and competitiveness at the club pushed me further and enabled me to achieve goals that I didn’t know were possible, earning an U23 GB vest and winning the Temple Challenge Cup are particular highlights. But the Boat Club gave me much more than that, it helped develop personal skills that employers value incredibly highly and allowed me to land a highly competitive grad scheme role directly out of university, something I doubt would have been possible without my time at the Boat Club.

Gavin McWilliams

Bedford Modern School

Aisling Humphries-Griffiths

Reading Blue Coat School

“Coming to Brookes made me realise that I had so much more to give – at school, I didn’t reach my full potential and was keen to develop my coxing at university; I developed so fast in my first year and continue to learn more every week about training, racing and importantly getting the best out of our athletes.
I believe the group mentality and work ethic toward goals are testament to this, and Brookes will help me develop as a cox more than any other university boat club in the country”



“I came to Brookes as it was the only university that would provide me with the best rowing and career opportunities. Managing my placement at Harley-Davidson alongside full-time training, I know I wouldn’t have been able to do that at any other university. The fiercely competitive nature of the squad is really something special, and I look forward to more experiences that will help me achieve my goals”

Alexandra Wenyon

King’s School, Worcester

Alice McWilliam

City of Cambridge RC

“Within my rowing career, I had a setback in which I had to quickly switch from rowing to coxing. The Boat Club with its high standard of athletes and coaches allowed me to regain full confidence and to fully develop my coxing ability. Throughout the 3 years I have been coxing at Brookes, I have always been excited to train with greater intensity in order to strive for continuous improvements. Coxing at Brookes has provided me with incredible experiences no other boat club could have ever made”


Rory-Copus

“I joined Brookes’ rowing program back in 2010, finishing at Abingdon School. Committing 4 years to the project, I won the Temple Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta in 2014. I have represented GB at J16, Junior and U23 level, and am double World University champion in the Men’s 8+.

Rory Copus


Katy Ward

Shiplake College

“Coxing at Brookes has provided me with some invaluable experiences. It has given me insights into how to get the best out of my crew, yet also how to work with different characters – a skill not only useful within the boat, but hopefully in a professional environment in the future”