Academic Triumph for Winter Olympics Hopeful

A promising bobsledder hoping to debut at the 2026 Winter Olympics is celebrating the completion of her undergraduate studies in Egyptology and Classical Civilisation at Swansea University.

Éire Rowland-Evans’ journey into the world of bobsleigh began as a teenager when her parents gifted her a taster day at the prestigious Great Britain (GB) bobsleigh training ground at Bath University.

Excelling in the sport, she soon found herself representing Team GB at the OMEGA Youth Series Competition in 2019/2020, marking the beginning of an extraordinary athletic career.

When choosing a university, Éire looked for somewhere that would allow her to continue building on her sporting ambitions.
“With exceptional sports facilities and the added bonus of a highly ranked course, both in student satisfaction and teaching, I knew Swansea was the right fit,” said 21-year-old Éire, from Gloucester.

But juggling her training alongside her academic commitments was no small feat.

Under her coach, Rob Jones, Éire trained diligently four times a week, focusing on sprint work, strength training, and plyometrics. She also attended extra gym sessions and occasionally travelled to Bath for push training.

“It wasn’t easy managing my training, academic commitments, and deadlines. Another difficulty was bobsleigh being an unfunded sport, meaning I needed a part-time job to support my training alongside my studies,” said Éire.
“I had to be harsh on myself to make sure I could thrive in all arcs, which often meant making sacrifices such as spending less time than I would have liked with friends.”

As a dyslexic student, Éire faced further obstacles, such as adapting to online learning, introduced during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“My family and friends were my biggest support network during this difficult time and were there for me every step of the way.

“At first, I felt embarrassed to ask for help, and I didn’t do so until late into my studies, but now I know there is nothing to be ashamed of. For anyone in a similar situation, make sure you use the help and facilities provided by the University to get the support you’re entitled to because it really can make a difference.”

The Covid-19 pandemic also posed considerable challenges to Éire’s sporting journey.

Éire said: “For two years, I couldn’t train fully. Being able to travel again for competitions and get on the ice was huge for me.”

Her recent top rankings and accomplishments are a testament to her unwavering drive and love for the sport.
Last year Éire secured third place at the Inter Services Ice Sports Championships, where she was also named Army Senior Champion.

Only halfway through 2023, Éire has already proved herself the fastest female starter at the British and International Monobob Championships, earning second place in the women’s race and third in the mixed category.

Looking towards the future, Éire said: “I would like to complete a master’s in museology or archaeology, but I also hope to represent Team GB in the 2026 Winter Olympics.

“This will hugely depend on sponsorship, but if the last few years have taught me anything, it’s the power of perseverance and a strong support network.”

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