Helen Glover MBE

Rower // Women's Squad
Date of Birth: 17th Jun 1986 (29 years old)
Club: Minerva Bath RC
Height: 178cm
Hometown: Penzance

Helen Glover profile image
Lottery Funded - UK Sport

Olympic Champion, three-times World Champion, twice European Champion and multiple world cup gold-medal winner – Helen Glover is one of the most decorated athletes in the GB Rowing Team.

A product of the GB Rowing Team Start Programme, the ground-breaking talent identification and development initiative supported by National Lottery funding, Helen only took up rowing in 2008 and won a historic gold medal at the Olympic Games in London just four years later.

Her outstanding women’s pair partnership with Heather Stanning continues to thrive under the guidance of coach Robin Williams and they won a second successive World Championship together in 2015, Helen having won her first title with Polly Swann in 2013.

Helen and Heather are unbeaten on the international stage since 2011 and will be strong contenders to defend their Olympic title at Rio 2016.

Olympic Champion, three-times World Champion, twice European Champion and multiple world cup gold-medal winner – Helen Glover is one of the most decorated athletes in the GB Rowing Team.

On The Water

Career Highlights

2015

World Champion - Women's Pair

European Champions - Women's Pair

2014

World Champion - Women's Pair

European Champions - Women's Pair

2013

World Champion - Women's Pair

2012

Olympic Champion - Women's Pair

Rio 2016 Olympiad: 2013 - 2016

Helen goes into Olympic year with confidence high after winning a third successive World Championship title in emphatic fashion.

Her victory with Heather Stanning in the 2015 women’s pair final in Aiguebelette, where they led throughout to finish two lengths clear of the field, was described by GB Rowing Team Performance Director Sir David Tanner as “one of the best GB performances of all time”.

It capped another unbeaten season for Helen and Heather, who started 2015 by setting a new championship record as they won European gold in Poznan, Poland. They also claimed the overall world cup trophy after wins in Varese and Lucerne.

Helen started the Rio 2016 Olympiad with a new partner in Polly Swann after Heather took time out to fulfill her military commitments. They quickly forged a successful partnership, winning gold medals at all three world cup regattas in 2013 before claiming a first World Championship title in Chungju, South Korea.

When the pair also won gold at the 2014 European Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, Helen became the first woman to hold the Olympic, World and European titles at the same time.

Helen and Heather resumed their partnership at the second world cup of 2014 in Aigubelette, winning gold. They repeated the feat at the world cup in Lucerne before securing a first World Championship title together in style, setting a new world’s best time as they won by clear water in Amsterdam.

London 2012 Olympiad: 2009 - 2012

Helen’s historic gold medal at London 2012 was the culmination of a rapid rise from rowing beginner to Olympic Champion.

She began the Olympiad as a fresh recruit to the GB Rowing Team Start Programme at the University of Bath, having been identified as a potential champion through UK Sport’s Sporting Giants talent scheme.

In 2009, just a year after first setting foot in a rowing boat, Helen won gold in the women’s single scull at Henley Women’s Regatta.

She began her international partnership with fellow Bath Start graduate Heather Stanning in 2010 and, after making good progress on the world cup circuit, the relative unknowns made a major breakthrough when they won a silver medal at the World Championships in New Zealand.

They went on to repeat that result at the 2011 World Championships in Bled, having won two world cup gold medals that year, to confirm their status as medal contenders for London 2012.

After winning gold at all three world cup regattas in 2012, Helen and Heather made history on an unforgettable morning at Eton Dorney as they won Team GB’s first gold of London 2012 – and a first-ever gold for a GB women’s boat at an Olympic Games. Both Helen and Heather were awarded MBEs in the 2013 New Year’s Honours list.

GB Competitive Record

Olympic Games
London 2012 W2-
Olympic Games:
London 2012
W2-

World Rowing Championships
2015 W2-
2014 W2-
2013 W2-
2011 W2-
2010 W2-
World Rowing Championships:
2015
W2-
World Rowing Championships:
2014
W2-
World Rowing Championships:
2013
W2-
World Rowing Championships:
2011
W2-
World Rowing Championships:
2010
W2-

European Rowing Championships
2015 W2-
2014 W2-
European Rowing Championships:
2015
W2-
European Rowing Championships:
2014
W2-

World Rowing Cup Regattas
2015 Lucerne W2-
2015 Varese W2-
World Rowing Cup Regattas:
2015 Lucerne
W2-
World Rowing Cup Regattas:
2015 Varese
W2-

GB Rowing Team Senior Trials
2014, 2015 1st W2-
2013 1st W1x
2011, 2012 1st W2-
GB Rowing Team Senior Trials:
2014, 2015
1st
W2-
GB Rowing Team Senior Trials:
2013
1st
W1x
GB Rowing Team Senior Trials:
2011, 2012
1st
W2-

More info...

Club: Minerva Bath RC
Boat: Women's Squad
Role: Rower
Coaches: Robin Williams

Learnt to Row: Minerva Bath RC with the GBRT Start Programme
Original Club(s): Minerva Bath
Original Coach(es): Paul Stannard

Beyond the Boat

Given her background, it is perhaps no surprise that Helen has enjoyed a career as a top-class sportswoman – although it was perhaps a surprise to her that it was in rowing.

Growing up in the Cornish town of Penzance, Helen participated in a variety of sports and ran cross-country internationally as a junior. She represented Cornwall in tennis and swimming, and was also part of the England Satellite Squad for hockey.

Her sporting prowess earned Helen a sports scholarship at Millfield School in Somerset and she went on to study a degree in Sport & Exercise Science at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff.

After graduating in 2007, Helen decided to pursue a career in teaching and was about to start a Professional Graduate Certificate in Education course in Plymouth when her mother suggested she should apply to the UK Sport Sporting Giants scheme. She was identified as a potential rowing champion and, in February 2008, was put on the GB Rowing Team Start programme at the University of Bath, where she developed under the guidance of head coach Paul Stannard.

Helen transferred her teaching placement to Oldfield School in Bath and she juggled training with teaching PE until February 2010, helped by support from TASS. Among her pupils was future London 2012 Paralympic Games sprinter Sophie Kamlish.

Despite her busy rowing commitments, Helen retains a keen interest in other sports and enjoys swimming, surfing and playing tennis. She also enjoys spending time with her family and, in September 2015, announced her engagement to TV naturalist Steve Backshall.

Personal information

Place of Birth Current Address Home Town Region(s)
Truro Caversham Penzance Cornwall
Place of Birth:
Truro
Current Address:
Caversham
Home Town:
Penzance
Region(s):
Cornwall

Date of Birth Weight Height
17th June 1986 70kg 178cm
Date of Birth:
17th June 1986
Weight:
70kg
Height:
178cm

Education
Humphry Davy School, Millfield School, UWIC University
Education:
Humphry Davy School, Millfield School, UWIC University