Great Britain’s double world rowing champion and Rio Olympic Games competitor, Paul Bennett, has been appointed as a part-time intern at SAS, the Official Analytics Partner for British Rowing and the GB Rowing Team, where he will combine his academically proven analytical mind with his experience of elite rowing. Paul will be helping SAS to analyse British Rowing data to help put insights into action.
The London-born rower is a Mathematics graduate from Kings College, London and later completed a Masters in Computer Science at Oxford University. He has first-hand experience of SAS’ expertise in analytics after visiting its UK headquarters in Marlow and helping launch the SAS Perfect Rowing Programme in December 2015.
Mark Wilkinson, SAS Regional Vice President – Northern Europe, said: “We have been working closely with British Rowing and the GB Rowing Team since 2014, analysing every facet of the squad’s training regime to help identify where marginal gains can be made to help the boats go faster.
“We are delighted to have Paul on board to help with our work, as no one at SAS has his expertise when it comes to rowing. His knowledge about the sport can make a real difference too when it comes to interrogating the data and interpreting insights from it, ultimately leading to better decision-making.
“We are acutely aware of Paul’s intense training schedule ahead of Rio, and consequently our agreement with him is flexible before the Olympic regatta, so any work he does undertake is with the full support of his coaches, teammates and GB Rowing Team staff.”
Standing at 6’10”, the tallest member of the GB Rowing Team is an Oxford Blue and won the 2013 Boat Race while studying for his Masters degree, before joining the national squad where he has enjoyed further success in the Men’s Eight.
The 27-year-old has already claimed gold medals at the 2014 and 2015 World Rowing Championships, silver at the 2015 European Rowing Championships and bronze at the 2016 European Rowing Championships, and will soon head to Rio hoping to add another medal to the tally at his first Olympic Games.
Paul Bennett said: “The relationship between SAS and British Rowing has the potential to be an exceptional partnership. With my mathematical background I have a naturally critical approach to training and it has become increasingly clear to me and British Rowing that we can gain a competitive advantage with a rigorous application of data analysis.
“The squad can benefit significantly from the advanced analytics SAS provides and I’ve already started supporting their work by combining my experiences as elite rower with my university studies. I am looking forward to developing methods that gain insight into rowing and ultimately help make the boats go faster.”
For more information about SAS’s partnership with British Rowing.