Aylesbury Vale’s paralympic gold medallist Pam Relph capped off a ‘storybook’ 12 months as she received her MBE from Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace.
The current Bucks Herald Sports Personality of the Year’s has enjoyed a whirlwind year after she won a gold medal in the mixed coxed four at Dorney Lake last August.
She said: “This is such a special honour at the end of a year that’s straight out of a storybook.
“It was lovely to meet up with the rest of the crew, because we haven’t actually been together since the autumn, following retirements, my training abroad and our cox Lily (Van Den Broeke) going back to university.”
The 23 year old took her family along to the ceremony, including her 10-year-old sister, Eleanor Bell, and later admitted via Twitter that she shamelessly approached Olympic gold medallist and super heavyweight boxer Anthony Joshua for a photo after the ceremony.
She added: “I think Eleanor was more excited about going to the palace than I was. She was on her best behaviour and she’s been talking about it at school.”
The former Army officer became a paralympian two years ago after contracting a debilitating arthritis condition and she was quick to pay tribute to those in Aylesbury Vale.
“I’d like to thank not only my family but also the Aylesbury Vale Charitable Trust who have helped me financially and arranged membership at the Vale Pool gym for me and my sister (GB rower Monica Relph). People see the medals and this award but this doesn’t just happen by luck – it’s down to the help which GB Rowing receives.”
Relph is now hoping to be selected for the World Championships in South Korea this September.