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Olympic rower Katherine Grainger is coming to Woodbridge

PUBLISHED: 17:56 24 September 2013 | UPDATED: 17:56 24 September 2013

Britain's Women's Double Sculls of Katherine Grainger, left and Anna Watkins display their gold medals in the final at the World Rowing Championships, Lake Karapiro, Cambridge, Waikato, New Zealand, Sunday, Nov. 7, 2010. (AP Photo/NZPA, Ross Setford) **NEW ZEALAND OUT**

Britain's Women's Double Sculls of Katherine Grainger, left and Anna Watkins display their gold medals in the final at the World Rowing Championships, Lake Karapiro, Cambridge, Waikato, New Zealand, Sunday, Nov. 7, 2010. (AP Photo/NZPA, Ross Setford) **NEW ZEALAND OUT**

Catherine Larner talked to her ahead of her visit

Every story behind an Olympic Gold medal is special but hearing Katherine Grainger, the women’s double scull rowing champion, talk about the triumphs and disappointments of her 15-year journey is particularly moving and inspiring.

An articulate, humorous, open and honest speaker, it’s no wonder that Katherine is in huge demand for broadcast work and for corporate engagements. Her recently published autobiography has similarly won high acclaim.

Public appearances are rare as Katherine seeks to juggle her new commitments as well as pursuing her academic career in criminal law and deciding on whether to defend her title at Rio in 2016.

It is a huge honour, then, that she has accepted an invitation to come to Woodbridge in October.

Katherine has agreed to speak at Woodbridge Community Hall for Browsers Bookshop and will sign copies of her autobiography, called ‘Dreams Do Come True’.

Writing the book, she says “has been a wonderful time for me to stop and look back, and get a chance to share that with people.”

Browsers staff, past and present, are keen rowers and supporters of the sport and funds raised from this event will be donated to Deben Rowing Club, Woodbridge, to purchase a new women’s boat for the growing female membership at the club.

“We talk about legacy with the Olympics,” Katherine says. “A lot of people talk about it in terms of the buildings, the venues, or the new generation getting involved, but the biggest legacy was the attitude change. People had this huge pride in what we achieved as a nation. Funding makes a difference but people believing they can do things and achieve, this makes the bigger difference.”

Deben Rowing Club has a membership of around 100 rowers and scullers and is run entirely by volunteers. It battles tidal waters and difficult boating conditions yet still achieves some excellent results in competitions.

“You need that sense of belief in the first place,” Katherine says, “and then the funding makes that belief come true.”

Catherine Larner

Katherine Grainger will be speaking at Woodbridge Community Hall on Friday, October 11 at 6.30pm. Tickets are £6 each and are only available from Browsers Bookshop, 60 Thoroughfare, Woodbridge IP12 1AL. Tel 01394 388890. Katherine’s book, ‘Dreams Do Come True’ is also available from Browsers at the special event price of £16.

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