The Boat Race remembers Dr Timothy (Tim) James Senior, Chairman of The Boat Race Company Limited (BRCL)
A tribute to a hugely popular man within The Boat Race and British rowing community.
The Boat Race Company and our wider community have been profoundly shocked and saddened by the sudden and untimely death of Company Chairman, Dr Tim Senior.
We extend our most heartfelt condolences to Tim’s wife and children, his family, many friends and crewmates at this incredibly difficult time.
Tim was appointed as Chairman in April 2021 and had an immediate impact in the role; his energy, drive and passion for rowing and business were evident immediately. He was an inspiring leader, bringing creativity and warmth that made a lasting impact on everyone he met. He was great friend and fine man to all.
Tim was uniquely placed as Chairman of The Boat Race as he had attended both Oxford and Cambridge universities and rowed at both. Tim’s enjoyment of rowing extended over decades, and like many Boat Race competitors he first learnt to row as an undergraduate. Tim studied Industrial Economics at Nottingham University where he achieved a First-Class Honour degree. On graduation, he continued his studies at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge University where he rowed for the college in the Lents and Mays in 1994 whilst studying for an MPhil in Economics.
In 1998 Tim returned to his studies, matriculating for a DPhil in Economics at Oriel College, Oxford University. Work followed at Oxford Economic Research Associates. Tim always had a focus on business and was accepted in 2004 on the MBA course at the Saïd Business School, Oxford University, remaining with Oriel College.
Throughout his time at university, he continued his rowing, enjoying the fierce competition within the college rowing communities at both Cambridge and Oxford. Whilst at Oxford he also trialled for Oxford University Boat Club. It was because Tim had a deep understanding of the demands on the student athletes competing in the Boat Race, drawn from his own experiences that enabled him to communicate to those outside the rowing community how the combination of academic and athletic excellence drew out the very best in everyone who takes part.
Tim believed that the true values of teamwork, passion and excellence were exemplified by everyone involved with the race and reflected the values of every rower across the globe. His ambition was for the event to touch the lives of more people across the UK and globally so that the competitive passion felt by Dark and Light Blue supporters along with the pride in an event could continue to inspire young people as it has since the event was founded nearly 200 years ago.
Tim was a highly competitive individual and continued to enjoy rowing and most importantly competing throughout his working life with London Rowing Club, where he was a familiar force in a crew on The Championship Course. More recently he represented Upper Thames Rowing Club, Henley on Thames. It was here at UTRC that he competed in the famous ‘Dad’s Army’ crew of master’s athletes and qualified and competed at Henley Royal Regatta, in 2021.
To see the Boat Race Chairman’s name on the competitor list, drew deep admiration from every Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race competitor. With many Light and Dark Blues ensuring they followed his races from the bank or on the live stream. With one noting, “Is that our Boat Race Chairman? Ultimate-Respect’’.
Tim was a people person, and as Chairman he was determined to know the Coaches and students at the Oxford and Cambridge teams. On a very recent visit to Cambridge University, he enjoyed sitting in the coaching launch following the crews practice, watching the sun rise over The Fens. The morning was busy with a series of eventful races against Durham University.
Rob Baker, Cambridge University Men’s Chief Coach reflects on the visit,
“Two weeks ago, Tim came to Ely to spend the morning watching the crews, getting to know us and see the training in action. The role of BRCL Chairman mostly happens behind the scenes so it was great to get to know Tim better. Tim has clearly done an amazing job for the race and the Clubs (Oxford and Cambridge ) and The Boat Race is in a great place. We are all floored by the terrible news and all our thoughts are with Tim’s family.”
Tim was an exceptional leader, and a valued friend. He rowed for over 35 years and worked to ensure the appeal and longevity of the sport, via his leadership as Chairman of The Boat Race Company Limited.
Siobhan Cassidy, at The Boat Race Company said,
“Under Tim’s leadership the event was building on its unique heritage and special place in the British sporting calendar. He was a very bright, very wise man, who was brilliant with people and had a great sense of fun. Everyone enjoyed working with Tim, he built a great crew spirit within The Boat Race company, and we remain committed to delivering a successful race on Sunday 26 March 2023 to honour his legacy.
He will be greatly missed here and by his many friends in the rowing community across the country.”
Tim accomplished a great deal in his short time as Chairman, he leaves a large puddle in the water that will remain visible for years to come.
There have already been many messages that The Boat Race will be passing onto the family, if you would like to send a message of condolence, please send to:
The Senior Family
C/O The Boat Race, Ferneberga House, Alexandra Road, Farnborough, GU14 6DQ