In memory of Sumaya, ISL Alumna, Photojournalist
I went to ISL from 2013-2015 after moving from London. I loved ISL and the amazing people there creates such a close community.
I learned to row at 10 years old at a club called Tideway Scullers School in London and I was lucky enough to continue rowing at one of Switzerland’s top clubs, Lausanne Sport L’aviron, which was such a great experience and pushed me to be the rower I am today. I went on to study at UCLA for 4 years after getting a sports scholarship in rowing.
Like most people last year, it was a rollercoaster year. I contracted coronavirus in January, then Holly Nixon and I had the high of getting a bronze medal at the European Championships and then we unfortunately just missed out on qualifying the double at the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta. I was then selected as the women’s reserve for the Olympic Games.
I’m so grateful to have been part of Team GB at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics as the spare. Although it was quite a challenging position at times, I feel honoured to have had the opportunity. My highlights were probably racing down the course in the spares race and staying in the Olympic Village. Each building was decked out with flags and it really felt like athletes from all over the world were coming together to celebrate each other.
Ending the year with the Olympic experience was incredible and it definitely fuels me for more in 2024!!