Medal of Honour for HWR’s Diane Graham

Former Henley Women’s Regatta (HWR) Chairman Diane Graham was presented with the British Rowing Medal of Honour on Sunday (14th April), in recognition of her incredible contribution to rowing.

Diane has been a member of Walbrook Rowing Club since 1981, and has previously been both Captain and Chairman of the Thames-based club.

Her contribution to the wider sport has included being Chief Marshall of the Women’s Eights Head of the River Race, and a 15-year stint as Chairman of HWR.

Under Diane’s stewardship, HWR has become one of the UK’s leading event for women rowers – attracting more than 1000 women to compete over three days.

“We are delighted that British Rowing has recognised [Diane’s] services to the sport in this way,” said Walbrook Club Captain Jock Wishart. “She has always worked very hard in using her ability for the benefit of others in Rowing. Without her efforts and the efforts of volunteers who selflessly give their time at clubs up and down the country, rowing would not be where it is today.”

Diane joins fellow British Rowing stalwarts Di Ellis CBE and John Ellis in receiving the prestigious Medal of Honour this year.

British Rowing Chairman Annamarie Phelps was on hand to present Diane with her award, as well as helping Walbrook RC to launch three new boats for its junior rowers.

The club has invested £40,000 – courtesy of a £20,000 donation by Junior Coach John Van Ingen which was doubled by SportsMatch – in a new octuple sculling boat, two doubles, 12 sets of sculling blades and an indoor rowing machine.

“I thoroughly enjoy my time coaching the young athletes at Walbrook,” said John, “but I recognise that while the Walbrook fleet is well maintained, they really could do with more and new equipment to match the Clubs and Schools they compete against. So, and with great personal pleasure, I have taken this opportunity to help.”

The Deputy Mayor of the London Borough of Richmond, Councillor Lisa Blakemore, helped launch Walbrook’s new fleet of boats, on what may prove to be a landmark day for the club.

For more information about rowing at Walbrook RC, visit http://www.walbrookrc.co.uk/.

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