It’s 100 days until the Rio Paralympic Games today. The GB Rowing Team’s para-rowers have taken time out to say a few thank-yous on this important day.


Just like their aspirant Olympic counterparts, Britain’s para-rowing Rio contenders have taken time out to thank the people that mean the most to them as the 100 days to the Rio Paralympics marker falls today.

Pamela Relph says a big thank-you to:

My parents Julie and Pete: You have always been so supportive of me in whatever I have wanted to achieve and helped me get back up when those aspirations have been out of my reach. Even now, you bend over backwards to lighten the load and I couldn’t do what I do without you both.


My three sisters Monica, Sophie and Eleanor: Monica – you know that I would not be here without your love and your guidance. Sophie – I look to you when I have to see the bigger picture and keep myself grounded. Eleanor – you look up to me like I am a rockstar and that pushes me to strive to be as “kick-ass” as you make me feel”.


My Nelson Girls (friends from Welbeck Defence Sixth Form College): “Before rowing, you accepted me for the person I am – crazily competitive, boisterous and a perfectionist. I believe the ‘quirks’ you accepted and embraced are what make me capable of winning gold medals. Thank you for loving me for me!” #purplepride


My first coach Mary McLachlan: “Mary you believed in me before I even believed in myself. You thought I could be great before I had even taken my first stroke and was so weak I couldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding. Thanks for teaching me a lot about rowing and a lot about myself”.


Rachel Morris adds a big thank-you to:



My family&friends for their belief in me&being there on the darker days! Sport isn’t easy which is why when you win it means so much!



Medical teams/NHS who worked so hard to try and save my legs but did save my life and taught me to be strong and that I can achieve. Prof Blake. Prof Horrocks. Judith Beredsford-Smith, Candy McCabe


Laurence Whiteley says thank-you to:


Firstly I would like to thank Greg Beswick, my first rowing coach. Thank you for putting up with me and teaching how to row. I would not be here if it wasn’t for your guidance.


Secondly my parents for always being there to support me.



Grace Clough says a big thank-you to:


Sports Fest- ParalymicsGB (Sheffield EIS) :  This event allowed me to trial out different Paralympic Sports but also put me in contact with the GB Rowing Team Para-Rowing. If events like this had not been put on after the London 2012 Paralympic Games I would not have found para-rowing and therefore would not be doing what I am now. Events like this are crucial in finding new and developing talent and I am extremely grateful I was able to attend such an event.


Nottingham Rowing Club:  The club paid a big part in the initial stage of my rowing career. The club, Dez Atkins, Helen Bloor and Mark Cooke in particular were very helpful, accommodating and understanding from the very beginning. Having never taken a stroke in a boat before it was down to Helen Bloor and her squad to teach me what they new. They went above and beyond even though I was only there for such a short period of time. But without them again I would not be in this position now.


My Auntie- Elizabeth Clough:  My auntie allowed me to stay with her during my first year and a half of living down in Henley. I am extremely grateful that she was so generous and welcoming or the transition down south would have taken me a lot longer to sort out and certainly not as easy.


James Fox says a big thank-you to:


Chris Game for encouraging me to pursue rowing and for helping me juggle sport and schoolwork and for giving me a kick up the backside. If it wasn’t for you I’d still be re-sitting upper 6th. I’ve never got chance to thank you properly but I really am very grateful. It’s no joke when I say I wouldn’t be who I am today without your help.


Ian Palmer for dragging me along, both literally and metaphorically, through training and racing as a junior. You’ve always been a shoulder and a pair of ears when I’ve needed it and equally a hand to slap me into shape when that was due. I owe my mental hardiness in training and also my awful sense of humour to you. Let’s get back out in the double after Rio.


My family. Very cliche but for good or for bad you have pushed me in the right direction. Whether you have told me I can do it or I can’t, whether I should be or I shouldn’t be rowing it has all driven me forwards. I am sorry for missing so much over the last four (10!) years but hopefully it will all be worth it. And I promise I’ll do my best to make you proud.




To mark 100 days to go the British Paralympic Association has launched a campaign with Mondelez, one of the team’s sponsors for whom Grace Clough is an ambassador.  The public will be able to buy Wini-Eggs from which a proportion of the sales will go to #Supercharge the team in Rio.


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