Chancellor Katherine Grainger watches Brookes Boat Club break records at Wallingford Head

Wednesday, 07 December 2016

Katherine Grainger at the boat club

Brookes Chancellor and Olympic rowing hero Dr Katherine Grainger CBE visited the Oxford Brookes University Boat Club on Sunday (4 December) to see the University’s athletes take 113 pots at Wallingford Head of the River.

The Boat Club won 17 of the 19 categories entered, with highlights of the weekend coming from the top Men’s and Women’s eights. Both crews won the Elite 8’s category and broke both course records in the process.

On returning to the Boat Club, Katherine met the athletes and was shown around the boat club facilities. Katherine chatted to them about training, their goals and ambitions and for two athletes in the women’s squad who are on the Olympic pathway, shared advice and stories from her own experiences.

About her visit, Katherine said: "She said: “It was wonderful to be able to spend time with the Oxford Brookes rowers. The racing was superb, the results very positive and even the sun was blindingly bright! 

Seeing the facilities first hand and speaking to Richard as well as the coaches and athletes it is clear why Brookes is having such enormous success on the water.

Dr Katherine Grainger CBE, Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University

“Seeing the facilities first hand and speaking to Richard as well as the coaches and athletes it is clear why Brookes is having such enormous success on the water. The enthusiasm and clarity of focus is impressive and the commitment of the athletes is matched by the ambition of the coaches and all of this is in a very fun and enjoyable set up. I have no doubt we'll see a lot more success from the team over the next few months.”

Richard Spratley, Director of Brookes Rowing said: “It was awe-inspiring and really motivating to for all of the athletes at the club to have Katherine visit us, especially on race day. 

“Both the men’s and women’s squads achieved some of their highest results ever at Wallingford on Sunday and it was a great pleasure to host Katherine for the day.”

Katherine with Brookes RowingLater in the day, Katherine launched her updated autobiography at Blackwell’s in Oxford. After a short talk, she signed copies of her book which includes new chapters on her journey from the London 2012 Olympic Games to Rio 2016. 

At the Olympic Games in Rio this summer, Katherine became the most decorated British female Olympian of all time after winning more Olympic medals than any other British female athlete in any sport. Last Wednesday evening (30 November), Katherine was named Team GB’s Olympians’ Olympian at the 2016 Team GB Ball.

Katherine with women's rowing crew