Golden tribute to rowing club from Olympic champion

By Nigel Slater Monday 31 December 2012 Updated: 31/12 10:02

AS THEY prepare to celebrate their 150th anniversary Olympic gold medallist Alex Gregory has paid tribute to Evesham Rowing Club saying he owes much of his success to the hard-working and dedicated team at the helm.

Alex, who learned the art of rowing at the Abbey Road club as a youngster, has had a year to remember after winning gold in London 2012 in the Coxless Four rowing final along with Pete Reed, Andy Triggs Hodge and Tom James at Eton Dorney.

While Alex and his team mates were racing for a life-changing gold medal, his former Evesham Rowing Club coaches Keith Rafter and David Perry were there cheering him on and had a tear in their eye when his team crossed the winning line.

A fantastic year for Alex, who is from Wormington near Broadway, was made even sweeter when he returned to his former Evesham school - Prince Henry's High School - to officially open the renamed sport pavilion in his honour.

And in an exclusive interview with the Observer, Gregory said he owes much of his sporting success and new found fame to the coaching staff at Evesham Rowing Club.

"David and Keith started my rowing off and I owe a lot to them," he said. "A lot of people ask me where it was I started rowing and I'm very proud to say Evesham Rowing Club.

"I always mention the club and the coaches' names because they provided me with a big start and have given me huge support ever since I started rowing.

"I hope the club can build from the Olympics and support those wanting to get into rowing. Evesham Rowing Club is a great place to go if you want to learn to row and have a good time on the river.

"You can progress from there as I did. It takes a lot of hard work but you can get there eventually."

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