Council member

Dame Katherine Grainger

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Katherine Grainger

Dame Katherine Grainger

Chair, UK Women in Sport


Dame Katherine Grainger is the current Chair of UK Sport. She was appointed for a term of four years in April 2017 with the approval of the Prime Minister.

Katherine is Britain’s most decorated female Olympic athlete and the first British woman to win medals at five successive Olympic Games. These include a memorable gold medal at London 2012, which followed silver medals at Sydney, Athens and Beijing. Following a two-year break from the GB Rowing Squad, Katherine returned to the team at the end of 2014. The move resulted in success when Katherine’s silver medal at Rio 2016 gave her the record breaking fifth medal from five Olympics.

In 2016, her fellow Olympians voted her Britain’s first Olympians’ Olympian. On retiring from rowing, Katherine was awarded the world of rowing’s most prestigious prize, the Thomas Keller Medal, for an Outstanding Career in Rowing. She is the Honorary President of the Scottish Amateur Rowing Association.

Katherine was born and educated in Scotland, graduating in law from Edinburgh University. She went on to achieve an MPhil in Medical Law and Medical Ethics from Glasgow University. In May 2013, she completed a PhD in the sentencing of homicide at King’s College, University of London.

She is a Fellow of King’s College and a Regent of Edinburgh University and has received honorary doctorates from nine universities. In March 2015, Katherine was inaugurated as Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University.

For services to rowing, Katherine was awarded an MBE in 2006 and a CBE in 2013. She serves as an ambassador, patron or board member of various charities and sporting bodies and this was recognised when, to round off an exceptional 20 year career in sport, she became Dame Katherine Grainger in the 2017 New Year’s Honours List for services to sport and charity.