Oarsome Pam adds Herald award to gold medal and MBE

Pam Relph with her Bucks Herald Shield and Nuffield manager Richard Whitaker
Pam Relph with her Bucks Herald Shield and Nuffield manager Richard Whitaker

A Paralympic gold on your debut at a home Games, a gold painted post box and stamp in your honour, an MBE and now The Bucks Herald Sports Personality of the Year award ... 2012 was quite the year for Pam Relph.

As a result of her selection as the second winner of the SPOTY award since its reintroduction in 2011, the Weston Turville adaptive rower gets a free six-month membership at award sponsors Nuffield’s Fairford Leys gym, a free sports massage and a Bucks Herald Shield that will forever bear her name.

While the award will sit in the shadows of her gold medal and MBE, she is still grateful for local recognition.

“I am so lucky to come from such a great community who have supported me in the lead up to and since London,” she said.

“Being an elite athlete, days off come few and far between so if I get time away from training at the National Performance Center in Caversham to see family then it’s such a help having a gym to train at.

“Running and training on the rowing machine in my parents garage can get very cold!

“Off the water I do a lot of weight training and also cardio. A standard day’s training if I am not out on the water in a boat might be say 45 minutes of Pilates, two hours in the weights room doing anything from push-ups/pull-ups to full Olympic lifting such as dead lifts/snatch.

“Then 90 minutes cardio on a cross-trainer or 18km on a rowing machine.”

The gruelling regime is just a small insight into the life of a professional athlete. And she hopes the hard work will pay off again with Team GB selection for the World Championships in South Korea this September.

“This is our biggest competition of the year and all of my training is leading up to this regatta,” she said.

“I would like to say thanks to everyone who has taken an interest in Paralympic sport during and since London 2012. It makes me feel proud to hear people talk about watching the Paralympics months after it has finished.”

Busy Relph collected her award on Tuesday at Nuffield and manager Richard Whitaker said it was a pleasure.

He said: “Nuffield are proud to recognise local talent like Pamela. She is an inspiration to everyone and she’ll be looked after here.”

Follow Pamela Relph on Twitter @PamRelph2012 and Nuffield @NHAylesbury