The Olympians' Dinner was held last Thursday, 22nd March, with numerous Olympians - spanning Games from Tokyo (1964) to Beijing (2008) - in attendance, and Sir Matthew Pinsent, CBE, as guest speaker.
Current GB under 23 triallist Ben Crouch gives his thoughts on the evening:
Standing at the top of the stairs to Tideway Scullers greeting guests on the night of the Olympians' Dinner was a far more memorable experience than I would ever have imagined. Seeing people walk back into the club having been to the Olympics as TSS members, after in some instances decades of absence, was very special. Gentlemen from the dominant days of the sixties and seventies, who I have seen many pictures of in the club room, wearing their blazers and walking proudly back home was exciting.
There was a buzz in the club room which I hadn’t felt before: the place felt different from the times usually spent recovering on the sofa. It wasn’t until the speech of Guy Greaves that the scale of the club's past success truly hit home, and it was at this point that I felt an over whelming sense of pride to be a part of the new generation of Tideway Scullers.
I’d recently been to a training weekend at Caversham where a lad made a joke to the rest of the group that he had never seen me in any kit other than the red and yellow. He didn’t understand why I was so proud to wear the club colours and, to be honest, at that point neither did I. Sitting in my chair at the Olympians' Dinner, listening to Sir Matthew Pinsent and looking around at people like Alan Campbell was truly inspiring. As someone aiming to continue the tradition of the club and go to the Olympics, I couldn’t help feeling like a coiled spring by the end of the night. The Olympians dinner was Tideway Scullers at its best.
The club would like to thank:
Rob Allen for the initial idea and making it happen. Rosemary Thom and Rhona MacCallum for doing an amazing amount of organisation and general donkey work. Judith Behan for spending most of Thursday helping set everything up. Frances Barton and Mary Mortimer for the flower arrangements. The senior men's squad for clearing the clubroom. Tom Wheeler for organising the silent auction which raised in excess of £3000, and to all those who contributed lots - especially Alan Campbell who ended up selling himself twice! Kiel Petersen for being MC, and Guy Greaves and Sir Matthew Pinsent for their inspirational speeches. And lastly to all those who attended and made it a truely memorable evening.