Coaching Team and Support Staff
Chris O’Hara – Head Coach
Chris began coaching in Australia while competing as an elite lightweight oarsman. Over a period of eight years, he successfully guided crews from Sydney University Boat Club, The Scot’s College Sydney and Mosman Rowing Club. After relocating to the UK to pursue a career in finance law, he has coached at University College London (RUMS Boat Club), until taking over as Head Coach of OUWLRC in September 2009.
Chris’ crews have won four of the last six Women’s Lightweight Boat Races, won British University Championships, progressed as far as the finals of Henley Women’s Regatta, qualified for the Remenham Cup at Henley Royal Regatta and won the European Universities Championships.
Chris’ coaching philosophy emphasises the importance of excellent technique, with all squad athletes actively encouraged to develop their skills in both rowing and sculling. Of equal importance is thorough physiological preparation pursued in a competitive, but enjoyable environment. As a specialist lightweight club, the necessity of progressing athletes while maintaining a healthy and sensible approach to weight management is a core strategy. Expert advice from external consultants in sports science, sports medicine and nutrition are utilised wherever possible.
Chris has displayed over his career an aptitude for developing athletes of all ages and levels, and a number have gone on to represent Australia and Great Britain internationally.
If you have any questions about rowing for OUWLRC, feel free to contact Chris by email: christopher.ohara[at]sport.ox.ac.uk
Jill Betts – Assistant Coach
Jill joined the coaching team in 2012 having raced in two Boat Races, captaining the winning OUWLRC crew in 2012 as well as successfully competing both nationally and internationally for Oxford. She has also enjoyed racing with Wallingford RC, roles as Captain and Club President at Wolfson College BC, Oxford, and coaching at several Oxford colleges.
Jill takes a keen interest in talent identification and long-term athlete development, and has been a key driver in re-establishing the OUWLRC reserve crew, Tethys. She strives to make high-performance rowing accessible to all those with the will and drive to succeed, regardless of rowing background. Jill also specialises in athlete welfare and has held pastoral roles on the team since 2011.
Outside rowing, Jill is a Neuroscientist at the University of Oxford where she researches the neurobiological effects of exercise and physical activity on the human brain.
Andrew Scott – Assistant Coach
Andrew learnt to row at St Edwards School where he returned to coach whilst studying at Oxford Brookes University. He currently works full time at Dorney Lake in corporate team building and community/youth rowing.
He joins the club with coaching experience from the UK and Ontario, Canada. Andrew brings with him a background in performance analytics and technical scouting at Reading Football Club and Wasps Ladies Rugby Club. With this skill set he hopes to add a different dimension to the OUWLRC programme.
Rianne Costello – Nutritionist
Rianne graduated from the University of Chichester in 2014 with a BSc (Hons) in Sport and Exercise Science. She then went on to complete a MSc in Applied Sport and Exercise Nutrition at Oxford Brookes University in 2015 and become a registered sports nutritionist with the Sport and Exercise Nutrition Register (SENr). Rianne has taught on Sport and Exercise science and Nutrition BSc programmes here at Oxford Brookes as an Associate Lecturer. Rianne is the sports nutritionist to the Oxford University Women’s Lightweight Rowing Club (OUWLRC) and many other age group GB triathletes with her consultancy business, Invictus Performance Nutrition. Rianne is also one of the Nutrition Reps for the BASES magazine ‘Sport and Exercise Scientist’ Editorial Board.
Rianne works within the Department of Sport and Health Sciences as a Laboratory Technician, helping run class practicals, demonstrations, out-reach days and open days in the Human Performance Laboratory, Nutrition Teaching Laboratory and Movement Science Laboratory.
Memberships of Professional Bodies:
Sport and Exercise Nutrition Register
International Society for the Advancement of Kinanthropometry (ISAK)
British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES)
British Dietetic Association (BDA)
Andrea Bachand, The Bosworth Clinic – Squad Physio
Briony Ryles/Clare Ludlowuk/Charlie Cook – Massage Therapists
Dr Matthew Easdale – Squad Doctor
28 Beaumont Street
Oxford OX1 2NP
01865 311 811 (to register or to make appointments)