The rowing star who's inspired by her great-grandfather

When top international rower Jess Eddie won her first race, her prize was a chocolate bar. Now she’s clinched a bigger reward for her sporting efforts – being appointed a Crewroom Ambassador.

Jess started rowing as an eight-year-old schoolgirl on the River Wear in her native County Durham. And today, she gains some of her inspiration from following a family tradition, in the footsteps of her great grandfather, who was a rower in the late 19th century.

“His name was Watson and I was always told about him when I was a child by my Nana (my grandmother on my mother’s side). It must have been tough for them back then. He used to row on the Tyne and do races there.

"They would race against the gentry. The North-East was one of the places where professional rowing began. Now it's nice to think about him lots of generations later,” says Jess. “Maybe deep down, rowing is in my genes.”

As a top athlete, Jess constantly pushes herself to the limit - and she’s excited to become a Crewroom Ambassador because, she says, the company also “pushes the boundaries” in the sportskit world.

“The brand is a really exciting one to be associated with,” says Jess, 30. “The kit has come on leaps and bounds, it's innovative, high quality, cutting-edge stuff, and people in the rowing world are starting to pick their heads up and take a look.

“Crewroom is not just stuck in one area, it's part of the community and it likes to see what's out there, whether it's paddleboarding or core exercise classes. “It's more than a brand, it's recognised as an exciting sporting entity. The team are very enthusiastic, and the company want to push the boundaries.”

Jess is just back from a training camp in Majorca, where she cycled in mountain ranges for up to seven hours a day, however rowing remains her number one passion.

“I started rowing when I was eight. Me and my twin sister Alex went down to the rowing club in Durham. I was quite sporty but I also quite liked that you were out there on the water, able to see bits of the city that no one else could.

“Aged nine or ten, I took part in my first rowing race and I beat a boy. My prize was a chocolate bar. I discovered I liked the competitive edge. Rowing hooks you in, it's really satisfying, so I carried on doing it.”

Jess, who has a degree in psychology from the University of London, is already a firm favourite with Crewroom’s award-winning design team as, no matter how busy she gets in training, she’s always on hand to help our designers when they need a model for product development.