OLYMPIC gold medallist Katherine Grainger helped launch this year’s Sue Ryder Women of Achievement Awards.
Last year’s sportswoman of the year winner hosted the invitation-only event for past winners, sponsors and ambassadors at Hotel du Vin in Henley last Thursday.
Grainger, a 36-year-old Scot, who won gold in the double sculls with Anna Watkins at London 2012 says she has been lucky to always be surrounded by inspirational women.
“My mum was and still is an incredible inspiration for me,” she said. “She is a fantastic person who encouraged me to get into rowing.
“My grandmother was a charity shop worker in Aberdeen and the loveliest thing is the golden postbox is, by chance, exactly outside the shop.”
Grainger, an ambassador for this year’s awards, said she is pleased to use her voice as an athlete in a positive way. She said: “My personal experience has been of women inspiring and supporting each other and the world is better off for it.”
She also praised the work of the Sue Ryder hospice in Nettlebed, adding: “I’ve had a lovely day at the hospice and if you can promote it and support it - it is something you don’t regret as it adds to your life in a special way.”
The awards are sponsored by Higgs Group, publishers of the Standard, Invesco Perpetual, Charlton House and Reading 107.
Categories will include Teacher Of The Year, Young Achiever Of The Year and Lifetime Achiever.
Nominations close on Friday, August 16 with the awards being presented on Thursday, October 17 at the Madejski Millennium Hotel in Reading. Call (01491) 641070, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.sueryder.org/woaareading