Pamela Relph MBE, member of the GB Paralympic Rowing Team from 2011 until 2016.

As part of the British mixed coxed four team she won gold at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. She is the only Paralympic rower in history who has won 2 Paralympic rowing gold medals.

Photo of the British mixed coxed four rowing team at the London 2012 Paralympic Games

London 2012 Games gold medal winning GB Paralympic mixed cox rowing team.
Clockwise from centre back: David Smith, James Rowe, Lily (cox), Pamela Relph and Naomi Riches.
Image courtesy of Pamela Relph.

Pam has suffered from a condition called psoriatic arthritis from the age of 7 resulting in severe and permanent damage to some of her joints. Though Pam grew up with the condition she never allowed it to dictate her life choices and played sport at a high level throughout secondary school.

Undeterred by her condition, at the age of 16 Pam made the decision to join the British Army and attended Welbeck, a military sixth form college, and then gained a scholarship to the Defence Technical Undergraduate Scheme. This saw her attend the University of Birmingham, attaining her undergraduate degree in Physics whilst continuing with her military training under the Royal Engineer Regiment. It was during this time that Pam’s condition worsened and it became clear to the Army medical board that she may not be a suitable candidate for a military career.

It was a severe blow to Pam when she had to accept that she was being medically discharged from the army career she had worked towards for over 4 years. However as one door closed another door opened and it came in the form of the GB Paralympic Rowing Team who heard about Pam and her arthritic condition from Monica, Pam’s older sister. Monica had been representing Great Britain as an able-bodied rower for a few years and knew that her sister had substantial damage to her joints and made para-rowing aware of this.

Within a week Pam had been classified to compete as a Paralympic athlete. It didn’t take long for success to come and within 9 months of taking up the sport Pam became World Champion in the Legs, Trunk and Arms Mixed Coxed 4 (now called PR3) at the 2011 World Championships in Bled, Slovenia.

The following year Pam went on to win gold at London 2012 along with her crew; James, Dave, Naomi and coxswain Lily. London was definitely a career highlight for Pam and it left no doubt in her mind that she wanted to defend her title 4 years later in Rio. Pam was the only remaining member of the gold medal winning 4 from London 2012 and used her experience to bring on fresh new talent in to the para-rowing squad. New members brought great strength to the team and in the 4 years since London 2012 Pam and the crew have been unbeatable.

Pam has won 15 consecutive international races including four consecutive World titles at the 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015 World Championships. The GB PR3 boat continued this winning streak and successfully defended the Paralympic gold medal won at London 2012. Winning gold at the Rio 2016 Paralympic games put Pam in the record books as being the only Paralympic rower in history who has won 2 Paralympic rowing gold medals.

Outside of sport Pam is involved with numerous charities and is an experienced public speaker.

Since retiring from international sport after Rio, Pam moved to the United States to live with her husband, Rob Jones - a US para-rower in the PR2 category, just outside of Washington, D.C. Pam and Rob met during the 2012 Paralympic games and they are expecting their first child in February 2020.

Medal results:


  • World Rowing Cup, Munich, Germany, June 2011 – gold medal
  • World Rowing Championships, Bled, Slovenia, September 2011 – gold medal
  • Gavirate International Regatta, Italy, April 2012 – gold medal
  • World Rowing Cup, Munich, Germany, June 2012 – gold medal
  • London 2012 Paralympic Games – gold medal
  • Gavirate International Regatta, Italy, May 2013 - gold medal
  • World Rowing Cup, Dorney Lake, UK, June 2013 - gold medal
  • World Rowing Championships, Chung Ju, South Korea, August 2013 - gold medal
  • Gavirate International Regatta, Italy, April 2014 - gold medal
  • World Rowing Cup, Aiguebelette France, June 2014 - gold medal
  • World Rowing Championships, Amsterdam, Netherlands, August 2014 - gold medal
  • Gavirate International Regatta, Italy, April 2015 - gold medal
  • World Rowing Cup, Varese, Italy, June 2015 - gold medal and world record
  • World Rowing Championships, Aiguebelette, France, August 2015 - gold medal
  • Rio 2016 Paralympic Games - gold medal.