Ellen Buttrick |

‘Their dedication to the success of our club means that individuals, like myself, can thrive’

GB Para rower Ellen Buttrick pays tribute to the volunteers who’ve supported her career

This month I’m saying a massive THANK YOU to the volunteers that keep our sport afloat as part of British Rowing’s celebration of Volunteers Week. It’s been a privilege to be supported by wonderful volunteers both in and out of rowing throughout my life. I believe that it is thanks to these individuals that today I can call myself a double world champion and world record holder, training with the GB Rowing Team with less than 90 days to go until the Paralympic Games.

From the teachers that volunteered their lunches and evenings to run extracurricular activities, the amazing women who lead the Girlguiding groups at my local church through to the volunteer coaches and boatmen who devote their evenings, weekends and retirements to their local rowing club – I bet that every member of the GB squad and each person reading this can bring to mind that dedicated volunteer who has supported them and allowed their club to thrive. 

For me, it’s the committee in charge of Leeds Rowing Club. Their dedication to the success and growth of our club means that individuals, like myself, can thrive in this sport.

I honestly don’t believe that I would have had the confidence to imagine myself in the GB Rowing Team someday, without the volunteer coaches at Leeds RC showing an interest in my training or making positive comments about my development in my first year in the sport. The time that they were willing to dedicate, and the encouragement that I was given, left a lasting impact when it came to my belief in myself and my future as an athlete. I owe them a lot. 

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