International award for Di Ellis ‘the backbone of British Rowing’


At an Awards ceremony held in Limerick on Friday 2nd November Di Ellis, CBE received the FISA 2012 World Rowing Distinguished Service to International Rowing.
The International Federation has described British Rowing’s Chairman since 1989 as “the backbone of British Rowing.” 

Di Ellis was first introduced to FISA in 1986 when she became a delegate to the Congress at the World Championships in Nottingham, a role she continues to fill to this day. When elected Chairman of the British Federation in 1988, part of Di’s induction was to attend the FISA Coaching Conference in Limerick and she points out that the events of this weekend seem to have brought her full circle.

Di has been part of eight organising committees for world events from 1986 to 2011, an experience she describes as incredible, with the added good fortune of playing a small part towards the success of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012 – a team effort that encompassed the world of sport and beyond.

On learning that she had received the award the Chairman said “Whilst I personally feel extremely honoured to have received this award, tributes must also be paid to the outstanding team I have had the privilege to work alongside”.

Kate Burt, British Rowing’s CEO expressed her delight on hearing the news.  “For Di Ellis to receive this prestigious award from our International Federation caps a spectacular year for British Rowing. 2012 has seen the GB Team finish as top Rowing Nation at the London Games, motivating thousands of people to take up rowing and our membership has reached over 30,000 for the first time this month.

“The strapline for London 2012 was ‘Inspire a Generation’ and Di has inspired generations of rowers and supporters of our sport. The award acknowledges her immense contribution to sport both in the UK and internationally.”

Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins were named as Female Crew of the Year – and you can read more about the awards at


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