We’re pleased to introduce Olympic and World Rowing Champion, Mark Hunter MBE, as the NEW real play ambassador!
2012: Silver medal in London Olympics
2011: Named ‘Olympic Athlete of the Year’ for the sport of rowing
2011: Gold medal at World Championships
2010: Gold medal at World Championships
2009: Awarded an MBE
2009: Awarded Freedom of the City of London
2008: Gold medal in Beijing Olympics – GB’s first ever lightweight medal
Mark’s rowing career started at the age of 14 at the Poplar Blackwall & District Rowing Club having been introduced to the sport by his father. After changing class to race as a lightweight in 2001, he was selected to compete at the Athens Olympic Games in 2004. Hopes were dashed when his crew came last in their event but, determined that his dream could become a reality, Mark began his training regime. He was appointed captain of the prestigious Leander Club, reaffirming his role in the rowing world.
Following his 2008 triumph in Beijing, Mark took a year away from competitive rowing and spent time coaching at UCLA. The lure of the sport he loved brought him back from the United States to train for the London Olympics. After picking up Gold along with his partner Zac Purchase in two successive World Championships they were just pipped at the line for the gold at Eton Dorney.
Following his retirement from rowing, Mark took on the role of Programme Director at London Youth Rowing, a charity that introduces young people to the sport and which can help change their perception and belief in what is possible for them. He currently sits as interim CEO at London Youth Rowing and is in charge of overseeing the coaching programme, increasing exposure of the charity to potential donors and introducing the Breaking Barrier programme. This brings together young people in the charity and various companies to enable them to learn from each other.
Mark is a lifelong fan of West Ham (through the good times and the bad!) and American football’s San Francisco 49ers. He always makes the effort to watch live sport whenever he can. As an Ambassador, Mark will take a very active role in driving real play forward: as a member of the steering group; increasing its exposure to schools and communities; promoting real play to reach a wider audience; finding ways to engage the media, new Partners and the wider community. Mark is as excited as we are that he will be the real play Ambassador and believes:
“This is such a great opportunity to make a difference and be part of a movement to change the lives of more and more families and change how they see physical activity. real play is such a unique way to engage and support families who just need a little help – the potential outcomes are huge.”
Mark’s journey as real play ambassador starts on Monday 22nd January at the real play course in Bucks.
Find out more by clicking here.