|Years||1966 (8o 6th)|
|Club||St George’s Ladies RC|
Dame Di Ellis’s life in rowing, and her many achievements in the sport – both on the water as a competitor and umpire, as well as off it as an administrator at the highest level – are well documented in her obituary from British Rowing and in The Guardian.
A favourite memory that many of us have of her was from the 2011 World Rowing Junior Championships at Dorney. That year the volunteer uniforms were a light royal blue – exactly the colour of smurfs, as it happened, and various smurf-themed in-jokes had developed during the event, including the wearing of white surf hats. In a perfect blend of leadership and joining in the fun, she signed off her ‘thank you’ email to the volunteers as “Smurf-in-Chief”. And you don’t get that from the Chairmen of all governing bodies!
Sadly, Di passed away died just a few weeks before Rowing Story was launched, but had enthusiastically supported the project, and I am hugely grateful to her or her help and encouragement. It was typical – though no less valued for that – that she was still answering emails about details of rowing history just weeks before her death.
Further photos of Di can be found in the St George’s Ladies RC album.