Despite terrible weather conditions, an audience of 250 gathered at Woodbridge Community Hall on Friday 11 October to hear Olympic Gold champion rower Katherine Grainger speak about her autobiography ‘Dreams Do Come True’.
Britain’s most successful female rower – winning silver at three consecutive Olympic Games before gold at London 2012 – Katherine had driven 100 miles across country to be at the event, on the invitation of local independent bookshop, Browsers.
The community-minded shop had wanted to help raise funds for a new boat to cater for the growing female membership at the town’s rowing club, and Katherine was impressed with their ambition and made room in her formidable diary of engagements to be there.
Katherine had rushed straight from her car onto stage, yet was relaxed, poised, articulate and entertaining as she told the story of her career in rowing, the Olympic ‘journey’ and her successful initiation into writing: her book, 'Dreams Do Come True' has been included in the longlist for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award.
Then, with a flourish, she revealed the new boat which was sitting on stage behind her. The Swift, Club A, lightweight double had been named the ‘Katherine Grainger’ in her honour, explained chairman of Deben Rowing Club, William Notcutt. It was paid for through funds raised from the evening and by the ladies section at the club and will be used exclusively by them.
The new boat will serve as a fitting reminder of the evening. Katherine’s humility, determination, hard work and application were an inspiration to all who heard her and the queue to have books signed stretched all around the room leading to a late journey home for the Olympic champion.
The Katherine Grainger evening was brilliant, inspiring and entertaining, thank you! You were a fabulous host and a total natural
Congratulations, you did a fantastic job, amazing that you got such a massive SCOOP!
Fantastic night, brilliantly crafted by you ... Katherine was great and made a lot of people very happy including me, I loved holding that medal and just seeing her was exciting.
I thought you did a wonderful interview and presentation. I really enjoyed the evening.
Awesome job Catherine! Thank you so much for organising everything!!!! It was a fantastic evening, Katherine was just brilliant.
The Katherine Granger event was superb. She was quite inspirational and the way you presented the evening was fantastic.
Just to say jolly well done! On every level you did a fantastic job. My friends who came and didn't know you thought you were part of KG's publishing/promotional group as you did such a slick professional job.
Everyone had a brilliant evening.
Brilliant evening Catherine. Really well done.
Many thanks for your hard work in arranging for Katherine Grainger to come to Woodbridge. I thought she was very good value and I was glad to be there.