Proud to be a member of the
Lincolnshire Gateway Academies Trust
Proud to be a member of the
Lincolnshire Gateway Academies Trust

Steve strikes silver

Technology teacher and Great British rafter Steve Butterfield struck silver in a top European event.

His national masters’ team came second in the annual Euro Cup at the weekend, held in Bulgaria.

They battled against strong opposition and fierce river conditions to post two second places and two thirds across four disciplines against 10 other men’s teams. Two women’s teams also competed.

Steve, with the support of the Academy, travels to Nottingham every Wednesday to train. His dedication is paying off.

“We went to the same event last year but made a huge improvement this time,” he said. “The water was a lot bigger this time.

“It was that big – and dangerous – the events team decided not to run the last feature.

“We went to look at it and said if that’s what we have to do then so be it but were pleased they changed it.

“We were overwhelmed to get silver behind Bosnia. It all came together over the two days.”

The disciplines were sprint, head-to-head, slalom and endurance.

“You get different points depending on the discipline and we went into the last race only three points above third.

“But we held our nerve and came second in the last race, ahead of the second team from Bulgaria.

“Beating the hosts was a nice feeling. We are gelling as a team. The more we spend time in the boat together the more we get to know each other and pick up when somebody’s struggling and needs extra support.”

Steve’s been rowing in the team for just over 18 months and has competed in various competitions across Europe.

His love of the sport began when his Geography teacher took students kayaking off Cleethorpes beach after school.

Steve, who is self-funded, trains with his teammates at Holme Pierrepoint Country Park, the home of the National Water Sports Centre at Nottingham.

He thanked Principal Nigel Whittle and colleagues at the Academy for their support.

“I would not be able to compete if I didn’t have their backing. I do appreciate it,” he said.

Injury to a teammate when he slipped getting out of the boat put paid to a trip to Austria this weekend.

“He was advised to rest ahead of the World Championships that are coming up in Bosnia next month.

“That’s now our focus. Bosnia, getting gold in the Euros and being the hosts, will be the favourites.

“But we will go into the event confident. The Bosnians even commented in Bulgaria how much stronger we have got. We shall see.”

Mr Whittle congratulated Steve on his silver.

“He brought it into school and I was delighted for him and his teammates,” said Mr Whittle.

“What he does takes a huge amount of commitment as well as bravery. I think it’s inspiring for students to hear about his hobby and success on some of the world’s most dangerous rivers.

“We wish him well in the World Championships.”