Hunter ‘honoured’ by UEL award
PUBLISHED: 16:45 22 May 2015
Olympic champion receives Lifetime Achievement prize
Olympic rowing champion Mark Hunter MBE was ‘honoured’ to receive a Lifetime Achievement award from the University of East London at their annual ceremony last night.
The 36-year-old from Forest Gate, having been made an Honorary Doctorate of Science by UEL a few years ago, received the recognition at the sixth UEL Sports Awards, following a glittering career on the water.
And he urged students not to let opportunities pass them by as they pursue their own sporting dreams.
Hunter said: “It’s a great honour to receive this award and after the London 2012 Olympics, London is now such an iconic place for sport.
“I hope students enjoy the facilities and take every opportunity you have.”
Hunter had started rowing at the age of 14 at the nearby Poplar Blackwall & District club, competing in the London Youth Games for Havering while still a schoolboy and progressing through the GB junior ranks.
After moving to the lightweight category, he won bronze at the 2007 World Championships, then gold at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
More golds followed at the 2010 and 2011 World Championships, but Hunter was cruelly denied another Olympic title on home waters at Eton, when he and partner Zac Purchase were pipped on the line by a Danish duo and had to settle for silver medals.
Since retiring from the sport, Hunter has been working for London Youth Rowing, helping to inspire the next generation of rowers in his home borough of Newham.
After receiving his award from UEL vice-chancellor Dusty Amroliwala, Hunter also took to social media to show his appreciation.
He tweeted: “Honoured to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from @UELSports #UELSportsAwards2015 #amithatoldnow.”