New national champion uncovered talent in PE lesson

Mark Banham beat 982 students across the UK to become national champion in Indoor Rowing.

Mark Banham beat 982 students across the UK to become national champion in Indoor Rowing. - Credit: Claydon High School

A Suffolk high school student has defeated almost 1,000 competitors to become an indoor rowing national champion.

Claydon High School's Mark Banham and his teachers discovered his talent for indoor rowing earlier in the year during a PE lesson, when he set a new school record.

The year eight pupil entered the National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships 2022 and beat 982 students from around the UK to become champion, winning with his final attempt.

Mark Banham set a score of 859m in three minutes

Mark Banham set a score of 859m in three minutes - Credit: Claydon High School

He rowed 859m in three minutes in order to become the national champion.

PE teacher Andy Wilshaw said: "During lessons, we found that Mark had a natural talent for indoor rowing and, combined with his high level of fitness, we knew that he would be able to set a challenging score in the competition.

"His dedication to improve was a real credit to Mark as he would turn up most lunchtimes looking at improving his technique and score.

"It wasn’t until his final attempt that he scored the 859m and we are extremely proud of him becoming national champion.”