This time of year the banks of the River Thames in London are always filled with thousands of people. They line up to watch one of the oldest, hardest and most iconic rowing races in the world. The University Boat race. Crews representing the dark blue of Oxford take on the light blue of Cambridge in men's and women's races. So what does it take to win this gruelling event? Sophie Shapter knows, she was the cox of the winning Cambridge boat in 2018
Carol Waller played in goal for New Zealand in their inaugural match in 1975, but the real challenge was just getting the game. Carol tells Sportshour's Katie Smith about the barriers the women's team had to overcome to be recognised, and the important role she played on and off the pitch to grow the game in New Zealand. It's been a long journey for Carol and the Football Ferns, but now New Zealand is co-hosting the World Cup in July and she can't wait!
Marcus Smith II was a first round pick when he joined the Philadelphia Eagles in 2014. His NFL career continued to rise when he signed a lucrative contract with the Seattle Seahawks. It seemed Marcus had everything any footballer ever dreams of. But Marcus also had crippling anxiety, something he had suffered with since he was just 8 years old. Eventually it became too much for him to bear. After seeking help he was able to take a different path and is now helping others struggling with their mental health.
Photo: Cox Sophie Shapter (cap) celebrates race victory for Cambridge University Women's Boat Club in the The Cancer Research UK Women's Boat Race 2018 (CREDIT: Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)
"Everyone dies, but not everyone lives. I want to really live after surviving."
Jerry Schemmel is the voice of baseball’s Colorado Rockies. As a renowned play by play radio announcer for the MLB, Jerry is warming up for a new season that will see him travel all over the USA. Travelling was part of his role when he was working for the Continental Basketball Association back in July 1989 when he got on United Airlines Flight 232 to Chicago… But the plane never arrived, in fact it crashed killing over 100 people. Jerry tells Caroline Barker his remarkable story of survival, loss and heroism. After escaping the plane, Jerry returned to the wreckage to rescue an 11-month-old baby, but could do nothing to help his best friend Jay Ramsdell, who he had been traveling with.
Shaunagh Brown recently hung up her boots having been part of the hugely successful England rugby team. Now retired she tells us she’s never been so busy! Not only is she coaching in the Cayman Islands but offering her views on the England men’s team, previewing the Women’s 6 Nations and why now is the right time for the creation of a Women's Lions team. Shaunagh also has a great story of resilience, and overcoming harsh environments. She grew up as a mixed-race child from a single-parent family in Peckham in South London and rugby was not a sport she even considered. She only started playing professionally after representing England in athletics at the Commonwealth Games
When Marie-Claude Molnar headed out on her bike one sunny morning in 2005, she had no idea her life would change forever. She was hit by a lorry doing over 100 km per hour and was lucky to be alive, her goal of representing Canada on the international stage over. Marie-Claude not only recovered, but realised her dream by winning a medal at the Paracycling in London 2012. What followed that was a glittering career which only ended recently, and only after multiple world titles. Now Marie-Claude is turning her energy to another of her passions. The environment. She tells us about her new career, and why everyone should think about getting on their bike!!
Photo: An engine and debris sit in a corn field after United Airlines Flight 232 crashed and broke into pieces July 19, 1989, while attempting to make an emergency landing at the Sioux City Gateway Airport. Of the 296 people on board, 111 were killed in the crash leaving 185 survivors. The flight was going from Denver to Chicago. Credit: Bettmann/Getty Images
Victory out of the darkness
Some of the best male golfers in the world are tackling the iconic Sawgrass course this week in the prestigious Players Championship. One man who knows better than most how to conquer the course is Jeremy Poincenot. The Florida course is regarded as one of the most challenging in the sport and more so for Jeremy, who is blind. Last year the two time Blind World Champion played in the blind version of the Ryder Cup, "The Vision Cup" which was played at Sawgrass including the infamous 17th hole.
Did you know that obstacle courses are not just for bachelor and bachelorette parties and the military?! There is in fact a whole world of professional obstacle course racing, and it's even being incorporated into the next Olympics as part of the revamped Modern Pentathlon. So who better to find out a little more about the sport than multiple Obstacle Course Racing World Champion Nicole Mericle.
Jasmyne Spencer has played in every season the NWSL, the top flight of professional soccer in the USA, since it started. She now plays for Los Angeles based Angel City FC. The franchise is in just it's second year of existence but the team isn't short of publicity. It's owned by some of the biggest names in Hollywood including Natalie Portman and Eva Longoria, but it's not the glamour that attracted Jasmyne to sign, it's what the club does off the field. Jasmyne is not only a pro footballer, she's an activist, and environmentalist and an entrepreneur, running "Jas It Up" a successful, sustainable clothing brand. Ahead of the new season she's been talking football, fashion and famous film stars.
Photo: Jeremy Poincenot being guided ahead of a shot by his caddy, guide and dad (Credit: Jeremy Poincenot)
Lesley Paterson: Winning triathlons and Oscar nominations
World Champion triathlete and movie screenwriter, Lesley Paterson, tells us how her athletic career has helped fund dreams of winning an Oscar. Her film “All Quiet on the Western Front” is nominated for best picture at the Academy Awards later in March. She spent 16 years battling to get it made and believes the opening scene of the film is “Oscar worthy”. Paterson also tells us she’s already been working on her speech as she worked as a waitress at the Oscars 17 years ago.
South Africa’s Sinalo Jafta explains how issues with alcohol abuse led to her spending time in a rehab facility ahead of the Women’s T20 World Cup. Jafta discusses how alcohol became something she used to block out the noise in her head when she wasn’t getting selected to play, how an intervention by team management led her to seek help and how at the time she thought her career was over. Since returning to the national side, she played in their World Cup final defeat against Australia.
Plus, Jenny Nguyen tells us all about the “Sports Bra”, her sports bar in Oregon that only shows women’s sport. Nguyen says supporting women is at the heart of everything the venue does and tells us some customers get emotional on visiting for the first time.
Photo: Lesley Paterson celebrates winning the triathlon world title. (Credit: Lesley Paterson)
The FIFA Women's World Cup line-up is complete
The line-up is complete for the women's football World Cup taking place later this year in Australia and New Zealand. Haiti have joined Portugal and Panama in making the World Cup for the first time. We will be joined by former New Zealand captain Rebecca Smith who will give her thoughts on these teams and how significant it will be for Australia and New Zealand to host the tournament.
Over the next couple of weekend the top leagues in Australia and New Zealand are staging their first ever pride round in their A-Leagues. We will be joined by James Lolicato who is one of the people behind the venture.
We are also joined by an Olympian, a World Cup winner and a prince!
Panama celebrate their victory and qualification for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup during the 2023 FIFA World Cup Play Off Tournament match between Paraguay and Panama at Waikato Stadium on February 23, 2023 in Hamilton, New Zealand. (Photo by Joe Allison - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)