Fran is a gold medal England rowing star

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AN Uckfield-born former Ringmer swimming lifeguard has scooped an amazing hat-trick of rowing medals on debut for England – including one sensational gold.

Francesca Rawlins, 25, from Uckfield, was selected to represent her country in the Home International Regatta at Cardiff at the weekend after impressing selectors when collecting a bronze medal for Lightweight Single Sculls at the National Rowing Championships held in Nottingham the previous weekend

Fran was selected by England to row in the following disciplines: Lightweight Single and Quad Sculls. And her brother, Henry, this week told the Sussex Express the fantastic medal haul news.

He said: “The great news is that Fran triumphed representing England, winning Gold in her main lightweight event and also collecting a further two Silver medals – against heavyweight opposition.

“We’re all extremely proud of her and here’s to even more success for Fran in her chosen sport.”

The full results are: Lightweight Single Scull – Gold medal (Fran with the medal main picture, and in action near right); Heavyweight Double Scull – Silver medal; and Heavyweight Quad Scull – Silver medal.

Francesca was born in Uckfield and trained at the town’s leisure centre although she now lives in London to be close to the Thames for training purposes. Her current club is Mortlake Anglian & Alpha Boat Club, based in Chiswick.

She began rowing at Cambridge University where she captained the Women’s Lightweight (CUWBC) Eight to a historic win against Oxford in 2008.

While she was studying for her A levels, Fran worked as a lifeguard at the swimming pool on the grounds of Ringmer Community College.

You can follow Francesca on Twitter at @frrowing while we her told her very own website, called www.fr-rowing.co.uk, goes live very soon and “will be packed with photos and blog style updates”.