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Rio Olympic medallist opens new Sir William Perkins’s School boathouse

Only the weather was miserable when, on the afternoon of Saturday 10 September, Sir William Perkins’s School welcomed Zoe De Toledo to unveil the plaque formally opening their brand new boat club, on Laleham Reach.

Zoe was the cox in the silver-medal-winning Women’s Rowing Eight, who put up such an exciting fight in the final in Rio last month. Her diminutive figure was not dwarfed by the crowds who turned up, despite heavy rain, to hear her talk about her experiences and to unveil the plaque. She said that she was envious of the boat club, and wished that she had been able to train out of such a marvellous facility. She recognised that the school now runs the largest female rowing programme in Great Britain, and hoped that they produce their own Olympic medallists in the future.

With endless patience, she posed with visitors, allowing them to wear, stroke and generally admire her silver medal. The younger children were especially excited to have their photos taken!

Hundreds of the Sir William Perkins’s School community turned out for the celebration, showing that anyone interested in rowing has to have a strong constitution and weather-proof clothing!

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