Scots rower Cameron leaves golf and basketball in his wake

Cameron Buchan, from Dunipace, Commonwealth rowing silver and gold.
Cameron Buchan, from Dunipace, Commonwealth rowing silver and gold.

Commonwealth regatta gold medallist Cameron Buchan took up an oar when his dad refused to send his golf clubs to America.

Coming to the end of his basketball tenure at Kent prep school, Buchan had already been identified as a potential rower by his coaches, but was opting to switch sport to golf.

Dad Al explained: “I’ve seen him drive a golf ball 300 yards – he can play.

“But when I learned sending over his clubs would have cost more than £400 I suggested he take up another sport, like rowing, instead.”

The rest, then, is history as Buchan is now a Commonwealth gold medallist and eyeing a step up to Olympic level at Rio or Tokyo.

That’s a big jump though, as he told The Falkirk Herald.

“To make Rio I’d need to make a significant step up in standards by next April to get a trial for the Great Britain team.

“That’s an ambition, but if it doesn’t happen then I’d then look to Tokyo in 2020.”

Buchan is a former basketballer for Falkirk Fury and movedto the US on a basketball scholarship, but he moved to North Eastern University to continue his rowing.

Even sister Mairi, also a Fury player who moved stateside and was on the brink of the GB Olympic team, has begun rowing and is looking to continue now she’s studying medicine at Edinburgh University.

But Cameron has already left her in his wake in terms of


Earlier this month he won gold in the pairs with Lewis McCue at the Commonwealth regatta held at Strathclyde Park in Motherwell.

He was also within the fours and helped the mixed eightcome second for a silver medal, just 0.2 seconds behind Wales.

And all because his dad wouldn’t send over his clubs, and his coaches had identified his physique as suitable for rowing.

“It was an interesting time at the regatta comparing different styles.

“American rowing – which is how I got started – is all about power and speed. British rowing is a lot more cultured, and skill-based with a big focus on technique.

“That was something I picked up on when I was within the team – I am the only one in it from the States and I think I’m more suited to that way but would like to work towards a more technical, British style too.

“I think it was one of the best results ever for the Scottish team at a regatta.” That will obviously help the progression to Olympic standard, but the Dunipace 21-year-old added his own thanks for those who have helped him get so far, in a relatively short time.

“My parents of course, the biggest supporters I have and have been behind me the whole way and the rest of my family, sister, Gran. Scottish rowing too, they gave me the opportunity to represent Scotland this summer at the Commonwealth Regatta. GB rowing they gave me the opportunity to train and race all through the summer and attend the U23 World Rowing Chamionships in Italy, this also would not be possible without lottery funding.

“The central institute of sport helped me train while I was at home for a little bit.”

“I haven’t seen a basketball court for at least a year or so – I don’t really miss it now.”