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The GB Rowing Team is the high performance arm of British Rowing. Rowing is the nation’s most continuously successful Olympic sport, having won a gold medal in every Olympic Games since 1984, and has won six Paralympic golds since the sport was introduced to the Paralympic Games programme in 2008.
GB Rowing Team
Rower // Para-Rowing Squad Date of Birth: 14th Nov 1989 (30 years old)
Club: Leander Club Height: 177.00 Hometown: Aylesbury
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During six outstanding seasons with the GB Rowing Team, Pamela Relph has won two Paralympic gold medals and four World Championship titles.
Pamela Relph MBE is the only member of the LTA mixed coxed four that won Paralympic gold at London 2012 to still be competing at international level. Pamela successfully defended her title on the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas in Rio four years later.
That feat makes Pamela the only current international para-rower to be a double Paralympic Champion.
Pamela has been crowned either as Paralympic or World Champion in every season she has raced with the LTA mixed coxed four
©Peter Spurrier/Intersport Images
Rio 2016 Paralympic Champion Legs, Trunk and Arms Mixed Coxed Four
London 2012 Paralympic Champion Legs, Trunk and Arms Mixed Coxed Four
World Rowing Championships
2011-2015 Four Times World Champion Legs, Trunk and Arms Mixed Coxed Four
Pamela was once again selected in the LTA mixed coxed four along with Grace Clough, Dan Brown, James Fox and cox Oliver James for the 2016 season. A combination of illness and injury meant they did not make a competitive appearance until the heats of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games but they quickly found their rhythm to secure a convincing victory.
It was a similar story in the final as they took control of the race from the off and went on to win by a length to successfully defend GB’s title in magnificent style.
The 2015 season saw Pamela and her team-mates once again prove they are the boat to beat. During an outstanding World Cup in Varese, the four set world-best times on consecutive days as they won gold in emphatic style. The World Championships in Aiguebelette proved to be a much tighter affair but the GB crew dug deep to see off a strong challenge from the United States and retain their title.
That was a third successive World Championship gold for Pamela, who started the current Paralympiad in a four with Naomi Riches, James Fox, Oli Hester and Oliver James. They won World Cup at Eton Dorney before finishing five seconds clear of Italy at the World Championships in Chungju.
Grace Clough replaced Naomi Riches for the first race of 2014, where the four once again won World Cup gold in Varese. Dan Brown then came in for Oli Hester at the World Championships in Amsterdam and helped GB secure another impressive clear-water victory.
Pamela’s gold at the London 2012 Paralympic Games came just two years after she took up rowing.
She was introduced to the sport in August 2010 by her older sister Monica, a member of the GB Rowing Team, after arthritis cut short her ambition of a military career as an engineering officer with the Royal Engineers.
Pamela proved to be a natural and made her international debut in 2011, winning World Cup gold with the LTA mixed coxed four in Munich. She was also selected for the World Championships in Bled and enjoyed another fine victory.
Another gold followed at the final World Cup of the 2012 season, again in Munich, to send the GB four of Pamela, Naomi Riches, David Smith, James Roe and cox Lily van den Broecke into the London 2012 Paralympic Games as favourites.
The crew lived up to that status as, in front of a delighted home crowd at Eton Dorney, they finished two seconds clear of Germany to be crowned as Paralympic Champions. Pamela was awarded an MBE in the 2013 New Year Honours list.
Club: Leander Club
Boat: LTA Mixed Coxed Four
Coaches: Nick Baker
Learnt to Row: Birmingham University BC
Original Club(s): Birmingham University BC
Pamela attended the Welbeck Defence Sixth Form College on an Army scholarship before studying Physics at the University of Birmingham, where she captained the Birmingham Pussycats, an award-winning cheerleading squad.
She enjoys participating in a host of sports and loves travelling to places where she can surf or snowboard; she is a big fan of Jenny Jones, who won a bronze medal at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.
Pamela has recently started knitting again and also enjoys cooking, spending time with her family and watching TV and films. She cannot watch the final episode of Friends without crying “a lot”. Avatar is her favourite movie but she also loves anything with Denzel Washington, he would be one of three ideal dinner guests along with Marilyn Monroe and Eminem.
Eminem and Fatboy Slim soundtrack Pamela’s ergo training, while she relaxes by listening to Ben Howard and James Blake. Pamela hopes to work with animals in the future but also thinks she would make a good spy. “I have an extensive fancy dress collection and am a master of disguise.”
Pamela is Lottery funded through UK Sport.