Helen Glover and Heather Stanning win Sports Journalists’ Association President’s Award

GB’s women’s pair, Helen Glover and Heather Stanning, pick up the President’s Award at the Sports Journalists’ Association ceremony


Helen Glover and Heather Stanning at the SJA Awards (credit: SJA)

Rowing’s fabulous 2016 was celebrated at the national Sports Journalists’ Association (SJA) Award ceremony at the Tower of London on Thursday.

Helen Glover and Heather Stanning’s five-year and 39 race unbeaten streak, during which they won two Olympic golds as well as multiple World and European titles, was recognised when they scooped the President’s Award.

They received their trophy from Patrick Collins, SJA President and a long-time columnist on the Mail on Sunday and Sunday Times and the duo were interviewed on stage by veteran broadcaster Jim Rosenthal at the special ceremony.

Stanning said of their remarkable unbeaten 39-race streak together which included two Olympic gold medals on the way: “We never felt complacent. We always respected the athletes we have raced against. It’s a fantastic honour to receive this award in Olympic year after so many great performances in Rio.”

Guest Constantine Louloudis, winner of Olympic gold in the men’s four in Rio, was interviewed by Sybil Ruscoe during the lunch on the big screens and Katherine Grainger presented an award to two of Britain’s top Paralympic medallists.

Asked about his Tokyo intentions Louloudis, also a winner of bronze at London 2012, said: “That’s something to think about in the New Year. For now I’ve been doing a bit of travelling and generally having a good time these last few months after all the hard work.”

He also joked with the audience about the pressure the Rio men’s four, comprising Louloudis, Moe Sbihi, George Nash and Alex Gregory, felt at the thought of potentially being in the first crew coached by chief coach Jurgen Grobler not to have won a gold since 1972.

At the awards, the GB men’s eight, which won such a captivating gold in Rio, was shortlisted for the Team of the Year Award, which was eventually won by the GB women’s hockey team.