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Annamarie Phelps visits University of York Boat Club

Posted on 23 February 2016

Annamarie Phelps CBE, Chairman of British Rowing, visited the University of York Boat Club (UYBC) to support both the rowing programme and the club’s recently launched Rainbow Wellies campaign.

Annamarie Phelps CBE with members of the University of York Boat ClubAnnamarie Phelps CBE with members of the University of York Boat Club

Rainbow Wellies, launched by UYBC in collaboration with LGBTQ organisation Stonewall, represents the club’s commitment to diversity and efforts to ensure all members feel welcome regardless of sexual or gender identity.

The campaign celebrates UYBC’s new LGBTQ policy, which includes provisions on gender pronouns, bullying, homophobia, changing rooms, and methods available for individuals to resolve incidents that may arise. Rowers are encouraged to wear colourful wellies to showcase their support for inclusivity.

Annamarie Phelps CBE, an international rower who represented Great Britain in the 1996 Olympic Gamesand who recently received her CBE from Prince Charles, visited the University to conduct a Leadership Forum, speaking to staff and students about her career.

Ms Phelps also toured the UYBC Boat House in Fulford, where she met current members and spoke about the Rainbow Wellies campaign.

Annamarie Phelps, said: “The University of York Boat Club’s Rainbow Wellies campaign is a great initiative that we, at British Rowing, are proud to support. Equality and diversity across rowing is something I am very passionate about and is a focus for me over the coming months. We’re currently looking at our own policies in this area and ways in which we can further support inclusive initiatives such as this in the future.

“We are delighted that our START programme and England Talent Pathway centre will be opening on 1 April 2016 which will increase the performance opportunities for young student rowers. I look forward to watching the progress of UYBC on all fronts. It’s been a pleasure to meet so many enthusiastic and dedicated students who are making a real difference; they are great ambassadors for rowing and the University of York.”

Grace Clarke, YUSU Sports President, said: "I am so proud of the University of York Boat Club for their amazing Rainbow Wellies campaign – a truly inspiring, original and unique campaign and a real demonstration that York is inclusive to all. What a fantastic showcase by one of the most welcoming and inclusive clubs on campus."

The University of York would like to take this opportunity to thank Annamarie for her time visiting and supporting both the University and the Boat Club. We welcome her back at any time.

Further information:

  • The Rainbow Wellies campaign is supported by Stonewall, BUCS (British University and Colleges Sport) and the University of York Student Union. To view the campaign video, visit:
  • For more information about UYBC, visit: From 28 February the new LQBTQ policy will be downloadable for other rowing clubs and sports teams to implement into their own clubs.
  • About British Rowing
    British Rowing, as the governing body for the sport, is responsible for the development of rowing in England and the training and selection of rowers to represent Great Britain.
    British Rowing’s mission is to lead, enable and inspire excellence in rowing at all levels. Our vision, through rowing, is to promote the positive impact of sport by providing an enjoyable experience for all participants while upholding our position as a leading rowing nation.
    For further information about British Rowing, visit:

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