Heather Stanning OBE

Rowing for victory

Heather Stanning was commissioned from Sandhurst into the Royal Artillery in 2008 and served as Captain in the 32ndRegiment Royal Artillery and it was her talent for rowing that brought her many medals. Since 2016, Heather Stanning has been the world’s highest ranked female rower. She is a double Olympic champion, double World champion, quadruple World Cup champion and double European champion.

Heather discovered her talent for rowing when she was studying sports technology at the University of Bath and she started rowing in 2006 under the Team GB Start Programme. Between 2012 and 2016, Heather took a step back from rowing and went ‘back to work’ with the Army, including an operational tour of Afghanistan. She says this period gave her an insight into the challenges faced by serving and former soldiers and their families, and how the Army Benevolent Fund can support them. She adds: “I’m honoured to support the charity when I can. Its work for individuals and other military charities has created a support network that is second to none.”

After her record-breaking 2016 Rio Olympics, Heather hung up her oars for good. Today, as a Major in the Royal Artillery, she fully embraces her Army career and has no regrets about retiring from rowing. She says: “In the last few years, all the different disciplines have been opened to both women and men and there are more women getting posted into more senior jobs. It will take time, and the Army reflects the rest of society in that there’s still a way to go, but the commitment is there.”

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