Coaches and Support Team


Rob Baker

Chief Coach

Rob’s coaching history speaks for itself, combining international and Tideway experience. Prior to his position at CUWBC, Rob lead the Irish U-23 team. Before that, he was Assistant Coach at the men’s Cambridge University Boat Club. He coached the winning Goldie crews (the men’s reserve boats) in 2006 and 2007, and acted as Head Coach in 2008 when the club won the Stewards’ Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta.


Rob’s attention to detail and endless strive for perfection permeates his squad, and he still creates an atmosphere of positive energy and collaboration. He succeeds in building squads in which his athletes simultaneously compete against each other all whilst always supporting each other. Rob is always open to chat and discuss any issues you may have. But if you go to him simply complaining, he’ll just tell you with a smile to ‘suck it up’.


“Seeing the students develop as athletes and as people is what I find so special and fun”


Paddy Ryan

Assistant Coach

Paddy’s wealth of Tideway experience and know-how is a huge asset to the team. He spent six years at London Youth Rowing (LYR), during which he helped to grow the organisation from a small charity to a London-wide group which worked with over 9,000 teenagers last year. While there, he won multiple medals at the British Championships and guided many athletes through the GB Junior Trials. Before that, on moving to the UK in 2000, Paddy joined Thames Rowing Club and remains a member to this day. His time there saw TRC earn many Blue Ribbon wins including the Wyfold Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta in 2006 (which he won as an athlete in 2003). Paddy began rowing at National Level began in his native Australia, going on to medal as an Under-23 sculler.


Although intimidatingly tall, Paddy’s kindness is unparalleled. His care and devotion to his athletes brings a special warmth to the club. On top of this, Paddy’s ability to adapt to any rower with patience and commitment, to bring out the best in each rower he works with, is striking.


“I am continually excited to have the opportunity to work with female athletes who are incredibly bright and it is exciting to think that I might help influence them as they help to shape the future of this country and the world.”

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James Lee

Club Coordinator

James works alongside the Coaching Team and the Executive Committee to ensure the smooth day-to-day running of operations for the Club. With a BA in Event Management and MSc in Sport Management, James brings a wealth of experience in sport administration having previously worked for British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) and the GB Rowing Team.


James has been involved in the sport since he was 16. He started coxing at school, and has coxed at various clubs and at varying levels since. James is also a qualified coach and has coached female students for many years. Gradually, James became indispensable in organising rowing events, including the BUCS 4s and 8s Head, BUCS Regatta, the Junior Inter-Regional Regatta and several events in Henley-On-Thames. He has also acted as GB Team Manager at the European Universities Rowing Championships since 2010.


James’ commitment, dedication and passion for CUWBC has revolutionised the club’s success. His door is always open for any chat, and his laugh and kind smile will never fail to cheer you up. Don’t try to compete with him on puns though; it’s a losing game.


“Every day I am inspired by the commitment and passion shown by the members of our Squad”

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Milosz Wrobel

S&C Coach

Milosz has over 6 years of experience in delivering Strength and Conditioning coaching to all type of athletes. He has worked for Cambridge S&C since 2012 and currently leads the University Women’s Rugby and Tennis Clubs’ S&C programmes. Milosz’s key interest lies within sport physiology, injury prevention and helping to develop young athletes.


In his spare time he throws his bar up and down performing Olympic lifts – always with a smile. He is currently juggling his Masters in Osteopathy with being a Dad to his 18-month old son and border collie!


His ruthless circuits and painful core sessions may be exhausting at the time, but Milosz knows what he’s doing and has achieved the results to prove so.

Kate Hays

Kate Hays

Sports Psychologist

Kate has been working as an applied sport psychologist for the past thirteen years and joined CUWBC for the 2015 Boat Race season. In September 2015 Kate took over as Head of Performance Psychology for the English Institute of Sport. Whilst she has experience working with several sports, her primary contracts have been with British Diving and Harlequins Rugby Union team. In her role as a sport psychologist she has travelled extensively and has supported the diving team at several National and International competitions including the Olympic Games and World Championships, and Harlequins at all domestic and international competitions. As such, she has an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the high performance sport environment, and the needs of a diverse range of elite athletes and coaches. Throughout her applied sport psychology career, Kate has continued to pursue her research interests. Her PhD thesis examined ‘The Role of Sport Confidence (SC) in World Class Sport Performance’, and was based upon the experiences of World Championship and Olympic medallists.


Kate has recently moved to a converted Barn in Edingley with her partner, Ian and her daughter, Coco. This is the first time Kate has lived in the countryside and she is  enjoying getting used to the quiet and the ducks that visit everyday for some bread.


“I never cease to be impressed by the work ethic and commitment of the group who manage an incredible university load around a demanding athletic programme.”


Dr Justin Roberts

Nutritional Therapist

With over 20 years’ experience in Sport and Exercise Physiology and Nutrition and having worked within the British Olympic Medical Centre, Dr Justin Roberts now specialises in Performance and Functional Nutrition with a central aim of exploring dietary and supplementation strategies to support performance and health related adaptations to exercise. He has worked with numerous elite athletes, and was Senior Nutrition Advisor to the England Football Team (Senior Mens Squad) and Manchester City FC (Senior Mens Squad).


Justin has a passion for two research areas in functional medicine: i) how nutritional strategies enhance metabolic efficiency (such as Green Tea and fat oxidation) and ii) the impact of nutritional aids (such as probiotics) on gut endotoxemia in athletes. Justin is also a keen athlete himself, having completed four Ironman Triathlons, as well the Marathon Des Sables (a gruelling 150 mile ultra-race across the Sahara Desert).


Dr Roberts is a Senior Lecturer and Researcher with the Sport and Exercise Science Research Group at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. He is an accredited Sport and Exercise Physiologist and Chartered Scientist with the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) and a Member of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). Dr Roberts is also a Registered Nutritional Therapist with the British Association of Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (BANT), the Nutrition Therapy Council (NTC) and the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC).


David Jakeman

Physical Therapist

David graduated in Sports Therapy in 2009 and has since worked with a variety of athletes from different sports. He has also become an integral part of the coaching team for the City of Peterborough Swimming Club, looking after their rehabilitation, injury prevention and strength and conditioning programme. The time working for COPS has seen David help to produce swimmers racing at both national and international competition as well as gaining scholarships to swim for various UK and American colleges. In the last few years David has also worked with the Amateur Swimming Association, coaching and presenting at their regional talent camps. David joins the CUWBC Team for the 2016 Boat Race Season as a physical therapist and will be working closely with the S&C coaches.


As a result of David’s own background in cycling and his experience looking after athletes, in 2014 he worked as a cycle soigneur for Rapha (for one of the biggest brands in cycling and current sponsor of Team Sky Professional Cycling), travelling round Europe supporting the riders as they took on the challenge of the Alps, Dolomites and Pyrenees.

Peter Rudge

Coxing Coach

Peter was a member of the British rowing team for four years and coxed at four World Championships. He won a bronze and silver medal in the coxed four in the 2001 and 2003 World Championships, respectively. In between, Peter also coxed the British eight at the 2002 World Championships. He is a CUBC alumni, coxing the men’s blue boat in 2005 and 2006.


These days Peter is Master in Charge of Rowing at St Edward’s School Oxford and has assisted as the coxing coach for CUWBC since 2015.


“I am passionate about the boat race and, having experienced two losing boat races myself, I am extremely committed to helping CUWBC win against Oxford.”