Sport: Rowing, Triathlon
How did you get into sport?
I discovered that I could excel at sport and used it as an outlet to improve my confidence which was low due to dyslexia.
What was the biggest challenge you overcame?
In 1998 I suffered a major career setback, suffering a prolapsed disc in my spine. I was told I would never row again. Determined to return to the sport, I pushed through rehabilitation and learned to row in a new posture to protect my back. On returning to the British team in 1999, I then contracted glandular fever, and missed that year’s World Championships. I considered retiring but motivated by my previous sporting success, I returned to the British team in time for the Sydney Olympic Games.
What are your three biggest achievements in sport?
- World Champion in 2000 & 2001
- Silver medallist in 2002 & 2003
- Becoming an Olympian in Athens in 2004.
Who most inspired you and why?
I was encouraged by subsequent sports teachers at school who motivated and inspired to be better. They saw something in me that I hadn’t.
When and why did you get involved with the Athlete Mentor programme?
I have been involved with the AM programme since about 2009 and love passing on my experiences and bringing focus, motivation and self-belief to the students that I meet.
What has been your favourite moment as a YST Athlete Mentor?
I have been an AM for such a long time I have now seen students that I have worked with go on to international competitions within their sport competing on the Olympic, European and World stage. It is fantastic to see young people from a variety of backgrounds and circumstances go on to achieve their dreams.