GB Rowing Annual Team Dinner 2009
[img_assist|nid=2670|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=200|height=413]There was a record attendance at this year’s annual dinner to celebrate the record-breaking achievements of GB’s rowers, coaches and support staff.
In her welcome speech, Di Ellis CBE, ARA Chairman, paid tribute to the team’s outstanding performances and said that the recent sucess of young rowers at the Australian Youth Olympics was extremely encouraging for London 2012 with, ‘British rowing continuing to punch above its weight’.
International Manager, David Tanner CBE, referred to the wonderful support of the families and friends who travelled far and wide to support their rowers – and thanked so many for attending. More than 400 people were at the dinner and there had been a fantastic turnout of 340 supporters who had travelled to Beijing.
David Tanner called on Sir Steve Redgrave to present the British Olympic Association’s Athlete of the Year Award for rowing which for 2008 went to the crew of Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter, who won every race of the 2008 season and are Olympic champions in the Lightweight double.
A special mention was made of the key contribution of sponsors Camelot, Siemens and the lottery funding from UK Sport, and to GB Rowing’s official suppliers and a host of other organisations and individuals who had supported the GB Rowing teams in 2008.
Sir Craig Reedie CBE, former Chairman of the British Olympic Association and serving member of the International Olympic Committee, presented the winning crews with their awards. Sir Craig said he was delighted to be in the company of ‘the best rowing team in the world’. He said that the 2012 Olympics would change the face of our capital city forever and the team were fortunate to be rowing at a most exciting time in the history of the sport. He hoped the rowers would enjoy the evening which they had all thoroughly deserved – thanks to their efforts GB Rowing was top of the rowing table for the first time in 100 years.