Tuesday, 09 August 2022

Olympian appeals for charity supporters

AN Olympic rowing bronze medallist is helping a charity’s drive for more supporters.

Sarah Winckless has Huntington’s disease, a neurological condition which progressively worsens over time and causes a range of physical and cognitive impairments.

Despite this, she won bronze in the women’s double sculls at the 2004 Olympics in Athens and gold at the world championships in 2005 and 2006 with the GB women’s quad.

In 2016, she was became Henley Royal Regatta’s first ever female umpire.

She is patron of the Scottish Huntington’s Association and wants to triple its active supporters by 2020.

Winckless, who lives in Hurley, said: “There has been some tremendously hopeful news recently as far as progress in finding a treatment for Huntington’s disease is concerned. However, it is still a way off yet and will come too late for some of our community so it remains important that we continue to best meet the needs of the several thousand people across the country who rely on us to make their lives better.

“We have some amazingly committed support. In 2017 just 700 people raised £250,000 to help us deliver lifeline services to HD families.

“If we could recruit three times that number we could significantly improve the lives of so many more families who rely on us every day.

“We are simply asking people to spread the word about what Huntington’s disease is, the impact it has on people’s lives and ask them to become an active supporter.”

Winckless grew up in Hamilton Avenue, Henley, and attended Rupert House School. She was made an MBE in 2015 for services to sport and young people.

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