Invictus UK Trials: Indoor Rowing Ends The Week

The final event of the Invictus UK Trials saw Julie Hodgson make a spectacular return to competition.

The final event of the Invictus UK Trials saw a competitor return to Indoor Rowing after a 14-year absence.

Julie Hodgson has undergone 11 surgeries in the past 15 years but returned to action in style in Sheffield.

She won her race and was awarded a gold medal ahead of Sally Renard and Sasha Sloan.

The winner revealed after the race how difficult it was to keep her cool.

She said: “I had to treat it like a training session and not let the emotion of this arena to take over.

“My game plan? I always start off fast and try to keep that pace for as long as possible.”

Julie Hodgson (middle) was smiling brightly as she showed off her gold medal.

Hodgson has come through a difficult personal challenge and is determined to change her future.

She said: “I haven’t competed since 2004. I’ve had 11 surgeries over 15 years and I’ve now refused any more surgery.

“At some point, you have to say to yourself that this is my journey. I’ve got to stop that journey and start a new journey.

“Otherwise, you never put it behind you. That’s what I did this year. I focused on me and doing something I enjoy.”

The win has put Hodgson in contention for a place at the 2020 Invictus Games in The Hague, but she is not getting her hopes up yet.

“It would be a dream but I am also a realist. I know places are tight and you can only give it your all in this arena.

“If they pick me, great. If not, I’ll be back next year fighting for that place.”