Athlete Profile - Jan Helmich | Sport at Cambridge skip to content

Athlete Profile - Jan Helmich

Name: Jan Helmich

College: Trinity Hall

Studying: MPhil Industrial Systems, Manufacture & Management (previously BA Computer Science)

School: Phoenix Gymnasium, Dortmund, Germany


When and how did you get into sport?

“I went to the College Rowing tasters in my 1st year (2016).  I somehow found a passion and stayed on to trial with the University Lightweights. I got in contact with the German National Para Team in mid 2017 and a year later I was racing at the World Rowing Championships.”


What are your top sporting achievements?

-2019 World Cup III - PR3* Men’s Coxless Pair: Gold

-2018 World Rowing Championships – PR3* Mixed Double Scull – 4th

*PR3 in rowing (previously known as Legs, Trunks, Arms) is for athletes who may have a visual or physical impairment, but are able to use a sliding seat in the boat and have function in their legs, trunks and arms to row.


What is your advice for balancing sport and academia?

“Schedule fixed times for both. The only way to succeed is to not let either fall behind. Particularly with a high-volume sport like rowing, good time management and planning becomes vital.”


What has the support from UCAPP meant to you?

“Being outside of Germany means I do not have access to the national support infrastructure. The UCAPP has provided me with everything I need to stay competitive and manage the sport alongside such an intense academic program.”


What is next for you?

“In the light of recent events around the Coronavirus, it is frustrating that this year’s racing season has been severely impacted, including the postponement of the Paralympic Games. All the work during winter towards the qualification opportunity and the Paralympics has suddenly become less urgent. But postponing the Olympic & Paralympic Games to next year is the right decision and provides a more level playing field for athletes from all nations.”

Photo Credit -  Detlev Seyb,

Header Image Credit - World Rowing