17 December 2016
Double Olympic champions Heather Stanning and Helen Glover received The President’s Award at the Sports Journalists’ Association, SJA’s event at the Tower of London on 15 December. The rowing duo received the trophy from the hands of SJA President Patrick Collins, who is a long-time columnist for the Mail on Sunday and Sunday Times. Stanning/Glover were interviewed on stage by broadcaster Jim Rosenthal.
‘We never felt complacent. We always respected the athletes we have raced against. It’s a fantastic honour to receive this award in an Olympic year after so many great performances in Rio,’ Stanning said in a comment of their unbeaten five-year and 39-race streak together which included two Olympic gold medals in the pair.
At the ceremony, Caroline Searle won the Doug Gardner Award for Services to Sports’ Journalism and to the SJA. Searle has been GB Rowing Team’s press officer/communications chief for 15 years.
‘I was totally shocked to receive such a prestigious award. Last year’s winner was Sir Michael Parkinson which makes it doubly humbling really. It was fabulous to be recognised in a room packed with great journalists and athletes that I have so enjoyed working with over the decades,’ Searle said in a statement on receiving SJA’s highest award. She is the first woman to receive the honour in the award’s 27-year history.
Among the nominees for the Sportswoman of the Year was Katherine Grainger, and among the nominees for Team of the Year were Heather Stanning and Helen Glover, the GB Men’s Eight and the GB Men’s Four.
In an entertaining article on SJA’s website, “Sheer delight to be at the SJA British Sports Awards”, among other things, Derby journalist Anton Rippon tells the story about his award dinner table companion Martin Cross, eminent rowing blogger and Olympic champion. Read Rippon’s article here.