Indomitable Mari takes on rowing

Indomitable Mari takes on rowing

Our wonderful DBF Ambassador, Mari Durward Akhurst, who you will have come across on this website as a very accomplished Para Dressage Rider, has added another string to her bow.. .

Please be sure to read Mari’s wonderful blog: HOME INTERNATIONAL REGATTA; SPITFIRE’S FIRST INTERNATIONAL ADVENTURE by following the link at the bottom of this post. It’s a great read with some lovely accompanying images. It gives a good feel of what it must be like to row 2Ks and to keep pushing even when your body is probably silently screaming at you to stop immediately and go and relax in a hot bath!

Mari is a true inspiration and we are so proud to have her support.

Indoitable Mari takes on rowing
It’s official!


Indomitable Mari
Mari with the Welsh Dragon!

Mari, who has cerebral palsy, found that her condition was worsening but being Mari, who is nothing if not determined, she decided to improve her core strength, so important for riding, by…rowing! She joined Marlow Rowing Club, which has a wonderfully supportive para rowing programme and it soon became clear that she had huge ability. This was acknowledged by her being recognised as the No. 1 Para Rower in her category – an extraordinary achievement after such a short time in the sport. Recent DBF Grants had helped to enable Marlow Rowing Club to acquire 2 boats, “The Lady B” and “Spitfire“, named in honour of Sir Douglas and Lady Bader (see the link at the bottom of this post for more information) in a warm hearted ceremony attended by DBF representatives, Keith Delderfield, his wife Jess and Wendy McCleave. Mari was able to practice in “Spitfire“; they made a great partnership and she was selected to row for Wales in the Senior Womens Team HIR-R (Home International Rowing Regatta) which took place on Saturday 23rd July. Mari reported that it was very windy and a slow race but that the came in 2nd. Pretty good going on her first attempt at 2K!

Indomitable Mari takes on rowing, finds she excels at it, ends up representing Wales in a Home International Rowing Regatta and comes in 2nd. All within a year…

Now excelling at 2 very different sports – what a superstar she is!

Below you can see 2 videos of Mari practicing in “Spitfire“.


Mari has written a great blog about her experience and you can read it here by clicking on the link below.

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