We were introduced to Olivia Carnegie-Brown by her father way back in 2010. At the time Grovelands was a fledgling business and Olivia had just been picked up as an athlete with high potential, it was early days for both of us. Olivia was and is delightful company and even at just 19 had a steely determination to succeed. She had just returned from the Junior Olympics as a rowing medallist and had her heart set on getting to Rio 2016. As London 2012 was looming large, Rio seemed a very long way off. She described her gruelling training schedule, her diet & nutritional regime and the pure dedication to her dreams of a medal. All of this would be her life for the next 10 years plus. It was genuinely awe-inspiring.
Olivia was planning to study at Oxford Brookes but, due to a lack of funding at the junior level, she would need to take on part-time work to fund her training (and degree!) – so one or the other (or both) would suffer. We offered to support her financially, not a huge amount, but enough to help her focus on both academic and sporting endeavours.
We supported Olivia for a few years and she came to a number of Grovelands’ events as a guest speaker where she met staff, our customers and candidates. She would provide us with blogs and updates on her pursuits. A lot of athletes don’t unfortunately make it but you could tell she was on an upward trajectory. Olivia joined the senior rowing squad and so the funding and sponsorship came thick and fast and the financial support from Grovelands was no longer required. However, we kept in touch and watched as she progressed towards making the squad for Rio.
To see someone that you know compete at the Olympics is something special. We are so pleased that she has won a Silver medal in Rio in the Eight. She somehow found the time to send us some of her photos of her time there and is happy for me to share them with the wider Grovelands community. She has been an inspiration and has clearly shown what it takes to succeed at an elite level. We are delighted to have been a small part of that.
Congratulations Olivia !