Paralympic Gold Medallist becomes RNOH Appeal Ambassador
The RNOH Appeal is delighted to announce that Paralympic rowing gold medallist and five Times world champion Naomi Riches MBE has agreed to become an official Ambassador for the charity, supporting the hospital’s efforts to raise £15 million for new state of the art equipment and facilities at the hospital site in Stanmore, Middlesex.
Naomi said of her decision to become an ambassador, ‘The RNOH has been in my life since I was young, as my dad used to be a patient and now my mum works in the Physio department. Having the opportunity to give something back to help with the fundraising efforts is very exciting for me; it was an honour to be asked.’
Naomi, 29, who is visually impaired, has achieved remarkable athletic success. She began her sporting career at the age of 12 when she became a National Disabled Swimming Champion. She was introduced to rowing whilst attending the Royal National Institute for the Blind in Worcester but did not join the Great Britain Para-rowing squad until 2004; just three months later she took her first gold medal at the World Championships competing in the Legs, Trunks and Arms Mixed Four. She raced in the same boat class at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, winning a bronze medal. Last year she went on to win a Gold Medal at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Naomi has already begun training for the Rio Paralympics in 2016.
Naomi agreed to become an Ambassador for the RNOH’s redevelopment appeal after visiting the children’s ward at the hospital in late 2012. The RNOH’s Head of Fundraising, Rosie Stolarski, said, ‘During her visit last October, Naomi inspired potential future athletes on the children’s ward by demonstrating that they can achieve great things whatever their ability. We’re thrilled that she has agreed to become an Appeal Ambassador, despite her busy schedule.’