24 January 2017
On Saturday, Annamarie Phelps CBE, chairman of British Rowing since 2013, was among seven distinguished figures to receive honorary degrees from the University of York. The University of York confers the honorary degree of Doctor of the University honoris causa on individuals who have made outstanding contributions to society. The University’s winter graduation ceremonies were held at Central Hall in Heslington.
Annamarie Phelps is married to Richard Phelps, old Cambridge Blue, Boat Race umpire and Henley Steward. Annamarie Phelps represented Great Britain at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games and in the World Rowing Championships between 1991 and 1995. She won a World Championship gold medal in 1993 in the lightweight coxless fours.
Phelps is a well-known person in the world of rowing and has played an important role in the direction of Paralympic sport, as Chairman of British Rowing and Vice-Chair of the British Paralympic Association. She was elected a Henley Steward in 2002, as the second woman in the history of the regatta.
University of York’s website mentions that Phelps is dedicated to promoting inclusivity and diversity in sport and providing better access to those coming to rowing for the first time. She also works with FISA and the Commonwealth Games Federation to strengthen the sport globally. York’s website also writes:
[Phelps] was the first female board member of the Boat Race Company Ltd, working with university sponsors and men’s clubs to bring the Women’s University Boat Race to the Tideway on the River Thames in 2015. Annamarie Phelps was awarded a CBE in the New Year’s Honours lists for 2016 in recognition of her services to rowing.