Coaching at Lea R.C.

We have a dedicated and experienced team of coaches at the Lea R.C. The top performance senior and junior squads have designated professional coaches, with other squads being supported by experienced volunteer coaches. Other squads are supported by both experienced coaches and club volunteers.

At Lea R.C. we adhere to British Rowing Best Practice standards and Code of Conduct.


We have a commitment to supporting development opportunities for coaches at Lea R.C., through seminars, mentorship and other learning opportunities. In particular we recognise the lack of women in coaching positions across the sport of rowing, and are encouraging female members, in particular, to consider coaching with the club.


Subsidies are available for club members wishing to pursue their Level 2 coaching qualification. The Eastern Region Rowing Council provides two positions that are matched by Lea R.C. The subsidy contributes towards one third of the cost of a British Rowing Level 2 sessional, fixed or sliding seat coaching course.

Meet the Coaching Team

Richard Ellis

Head Men’s Coach

The Head Men’s Coach works closely with the Director of Rowing, and has oversight of the senior Men’s squads including coaching the performance level athletes as well as looking at pathways for athlete development and guiding coaches of men’s squads across the whole club. Richard has raced at 17 Henley Royal Regattas and coached at a further 12. He has been Men’s Head Coach at Lea R.C. since 2009. He is a past President of Oxford Polytechnic Boat Club (now Oxford Brookes University Boat Club) – he knows this dates him – and a former Captain of Lea R.C.

Mark Cushway

Interim Director of Junior Rowing and Head Boys’ Coach

The interim Director of Junior Rowing, and Head Boys’ coach and oversees all aspects of junior rowing at Lea R.C., working closely with the Head Girls’ coach and the Boys’ coaches, as well as the Head of the Schools Programme and Coordinator of Junior Rowing.


As Head Boys’ Coach, Mark has oversight of junior boys rowing at the club, including coaching the performance level athletes as well as looking at pathways for athlete development from the club and schools’ programme.

Sara Cinamon

Head of Schools’ Programme

The Coordinator of Junior Rowing ensures the Club fulfils its responsibilities towards junior members, including child protection and child welfare arrangements, liaison with the Club Welfare Officer, and reporting to the Board of Trustees.


The Head of Schools’ Programme manages, coaches, liaises with schools, and fundraises for rowing sessions for disadvantaged young people. See our Schools’ Rowing page for more information.

To Be Appointed

Head Women’s Coach

The Head Women’s Coach position is currently vacant. If you are interested in the role please contact the captain.

Tom Johnson

Head Girls’ Coach

The Head Girls’ Coach works closely with the Director of Junior Rowing, and has oversight of junior girls rowing at the club, including coaching the performance level athletes as well as looking at pathways for athlete development from the club and schools programme.

Gill Parker

Head Coach of Schools’ Programme and Senior Men’s Coach

Gill Parker (nee Webb) joined Stuart Ladies Rowing Club (a predecessor of Lea R.C.) in the early 1970s. She rowed in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, and World Championships in 1975 and 1979. Gill is now a senior men’s coach at Lea R.C. and is the lead coach of the Schools’ programme. For more about Gill’s rowing and coaching career you can read an article about her on Rowing Story

To find out more about coaching at Lea R.C.


Lea Rowing Club

The Boathouse,
Spring Hill,
Hackney, London E5 9BL


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Particular thanks to
Paul Vernall, Nick Mather, Nicky Barneby, Steve Rowe, Philpp Lammers, Kuba Nowak, Leah Band Photography, Yolande De Vries Photography and Stephen Furner (Tottenham Photography Club).

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