Leonard Jenkins

Nationality: NZL/GBR Height: 201cm Age: 26
Course MSc Sustainability, Enterprise, and the Environment
College Mansfield College
University Oxford
Status Postgraduate
Role Rower

About Leonard:

Why did you choose MSc Sustainability, Enterprise, and the Environment?

The Sustainability, Enterprise, and the Environment course brings into focus the mutlitude of issues we have to address around the world through the lens of climate change and environmental degradation, particularly with regard to the private sector’s impact on ESG. We are looking at ways to address the needs of the world from a development perspective while simultaneously not overreaching beyond planetary boundaries and damaging quality of life for future generations. It’s a fascinating area to work in which offers a jumping off point into so many of the problems we’re facing today as a global society: rising emissions, worsening environmental degradation, and huge inequality. I’m super excited to learn more about the ways the private sector can work with government to solve complex problems across all shareholder groups and hopefully have an impact after finishing at Oxford.

Why did you first try rowing?

I was an extremely tall and uncoordinated kid with next to no natural talent in sports. Rowing was essentially the only sport I seemed to have a chance of making it in. It’s definitely not because it’s fun, although I have enjoyed being among some awesome, driven, type 2 fun enjoying individuals during my time in the sport.

Who introduced you to the sport of rowing?

Graham Watt at Whakatane Rowing Club

Where else have you rowed?

I rowed for NZ for the first 2 years internationally, competing in the Junior Mens Quad (4th Place in the 2015 Rio Junior Worlds) and the Junior Mens Double which we won gold at Rotterdam in. I flew directly from Rotterdam to Yale to start my undergrad and was subsequently ineligible for trials at Rowing NZ. Being a dual citizen, I met with the British U23 coach and signed up to row with them, competing at the U23 World Champs in 2018 and 2019 both in the M8+ (Silver and Gold respectively). Following covid-19, I returned to NZ before starting with the project Paris development squad at Oxford Brookes. While there we won the Visitors and the Ladies Plate at Henley on the same day and were sent to World Cup III with GB in the M4- (5th). I switched to Leander when based with the GB Team at Caversham and won Gold at World Cup I in the M4-. I then spent the remainder of the World Cup and Euros season as a reserve. Following my being cut from the Caversham squad, I rowed at Leander and then at Thames. If you’re still reading by this point, aren’t you bored?

What are your proudest rowing achievements?

I’m immensely proud of my time at Whakatane High School where I was fortunate enough to win several National Titles rowing in crews with my younger brothers Elliott and Finn. I will also always be incredibly grateful to Yale for reigniting my love of the sport — the first National Championship we won was something I’ll never forget.

What would winning The Boat Race mean to you?

Winning the Boat Race would be the culmination of my career in rowing — the final race that I could look to and feel proud that I achieved everything I wanted to in the sport. It would be amazing.

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