Lawyer-turned-rower all set for mammoth Atlantic challenge

Pic: Victoria Evans

Rowing across the entire Atlantic Ocean might seem a stretch for a lawyer who's never picked up an oar before. 

But up step Victoria Evans, a 33-year-old aiming to break the world record for a solo row by a woman across the Atlantic to raise £50,000 for the Women in Sport charity.

The sports lawyer didn’t get into sport until her 20s but a decade in the industry inspired her to help address its inequalities – even if it meant entering uncharted waters. 

“The combination of working and playing sport has allowed me to see there just aren't the same opportunities there for women,” said Evans, who will set off from Gran Canaria in early 2021.

“It also allowed me to see why we need to push for the opportunities because when sport is there, it's such a great thing to use to drive change and bring positive facets into your life and I think everyone should have access to that.

“I would hope the row offers women and girls an example that they’re capable of so much more than they think they are.

“You just need to keep moving forward and it is all achievable, it's all there for the taking if you're looking for it.”

The record for a female rower to cross the Atlantic is 49 days, seven hours and 15 minutes, but only 11 women have successfully completed the Trade Winds I route.

Pic: Victoria Evans

While there are uncertainties ahead for Evans, she is confident that the sacrifices needed to succeed in this challenge will be worth it. 

And having already used sport to overcome an eating disorder and depression, she is passionate that sport can be life-changing for everyone, especially women. 

“The key message that I'm trying to get across is, it doesn't matter what it is that you're trying to overcome,” Evans explained.

“It might be that you're not even trying to overcome anything, sport is just such a great thing to bring into your life for so many different reasons, whatever it is that you're dealing with.

“You’re putting blind faith into something that you're really passionate about and knowing that hopefully other people will come on board and support that.

“I feel so strongly about why I'm doing it that I can't see why anyone else wouldn't buy into that and see the benefits. Therefore, I've always had the faith that it will all come together.”

While inspiring individuals is incredibly important to Evans, she feels that real change also needs to come from those at the top of the tree.

“I think secondary to that is also trying to set that example, on a corporate level, to key stakeholders within sports as an industry that change is needed,” Evans added.

“On an industry level this change is starting to happen, but it needs to happen quicker.”

You can donate to Victoria’s challenge by visiting https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/atlanticunited

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