STAGING Sir John Major applauds GB rowers - British Rowing

Sir John Major applauds GB rowers

Sir John Major, the former Conservative Prime Minister, has joined the thousands of spectators at Eton Dorney this week to cheer on the British rowers. The architect behind the National Lottery, launched in 1994, Sir John has been thrilled to see at first hand the success of the GB Rowing Team who receive crucial Lottery funding through UK Sport.

“I’ve been absolutely riveted by it. I came one morning to see what it was like and I was hooked, it’s just utterly compelling,” he said earlier today.


Astonished and delighted at the huge numbers of people visiting the Olympic Rowing Regatta, the keen cricket and rugby supporter has found himself totally immersed in events on the water.

“Some of the races have been very tightly competitive. The trouble is that, being a Brit, you want the British boat to win so much – when it’s very close, I’m not sure you enjoy the rowing as much as you might because you’re so involved! It’s very tense.”

His favourite moment? When Helen Glover and Heather Stanning delivered Britain’s first Olympic gold on Wednesday.

“The whole country was a little down – everything was going brilliantly, the organisation was great, the Opening Ceremony was wonderful but we hadn’t won a gold – and suddenly along came that first gold and it was magical!

Praising the dedication of all the athletes, he added, “The end of the race is completely thrilling but what I enjoy enormously is the sheer scale of what lies behind the competition. Everyone who is here – whether they have won a gold medal or come last in their heat – has shown a tremendous amount of dedication before they get here. It’s all voluntary, it’s all done for the love of the sport, not done for money. And I find that totally compelling.”