Eire Rowland-Evans: Young bobsledder gains GB hockey goalkeeper Rose Thomas as mentor

Image source, Eire Rowland-Evans/Ski Press

Image caption,

Eire Rowland-Evans gained a world ranking of 20th in her first season in junior bobsled

Bobsleigh athlete Eire Rowland-Evans is hoping that Great Britain and Wales hockey goalkeeper Rose Thomas can help propel her to the 2026 Winter Olympics.

Thomas, 28, who has four GB and 73 Wales caps, will mentor Swansea University student Rowland-Evans, 18, over the next year.

"I am so thankful to have been given such an amazing opportunity... by learning from the best athlete mentors in the world," Rowland-Evans said.

"I can't wait to get started."

Rowland-Evans has been taken under the wing of Thomas after being accepted by the True Athlete Project's (TAP) global athlete mentoring programme, receiving a scholarship thanks to funding from The Ellie Soutter Foundation (TESF).

The programme pairs Olympic, Paralympic and other elite senior athletes with aspiring juniors in a year-long relationship.

Image source, Getty Images

Image caption,

Rose Thomas represented Wales at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, Australia

"I am thrilled to be partnering with such a talented and driven athlete," said Thomas.

"After a challenging year, it is more important than ever that athletes have mental health and well-being support.

"The TAP programme is a safe space to share their experiences and develop their skills to become a better person and athlete."

Rowland-Evans earned selection to the British Bobsleigh youth squad after a series of trials in 2019, gaining a world ranking of 20th in her first season, but a broken collarbone saw the Gloucester native miss out on the chance to go to the 2020 Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne.

Now part of the senior GB women's development team, she is targeting the 2026 Olympics in Milan Cortina, Italy, where the former army cadet and keen swimmer is hoping to compete in monobob - which will make its debut at the 2022 Beijing Games in China.

Rowland-Evans' volunteering work and fund-raising for Gloucestershire Young Carers helped her acceptance into the TAP programme.