We are thrilled to announce Erin Kennedy MBE as our first ever ambassador for Fresh Air. Erin Kennedy MBE is a coxswain with the GB Rowing Team and Great Britain’s most decorated female coxswain. She has won every event on the international circuit and to date is a Paralympic Champion, three-time World Champion, three-time European Champion, World Cup Winner, World Record Holder Breast Cancer Survivor and now Campaigner. She is the first and only cox to ever hold Paralympic, World and European golds at any one time.


Erin steered the crew to victory in the postponed 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo and was awarded an MBE for services to Rowing in the 2022 New Years’ Honours List. She returned to the GB Team to train for the 2024 Paris Games, and whilst showering on training camp in Italy in May 2022, found a lump on her left breast. A week after returning from camp, she was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer aged 29 and the following day, flew to Serbia to compete at the Rowing World Cup, where she won a Gold medal just four days after she was diagnosed


She began chemotherapy in July, continuing to train with the team and in August, she defied the odds and was selected to compete at the 2022 European Championships in Munich. She went on to win a gold medal with the Mix 4+ and the next day, flew home to receive her third round of chemotherapy. She took some time away to continue her treatment, completing 15 rounds of chemotherapy in total and in January 2023, had a double mastectomy.


Erin was selected for the 2023 European Championships in Slovenia in May and returned to the international stage exactly one year to the day after her diagnosis. She won an emphatic gold medal, thus retaining her title of European Champion. She has gone on to be selected in every GB race last season and most recently won the World Championships in September 2023 and importantly, qualified for the Games in Paris next summer.


Erin is now back to full time training with her team and preparing for Selection ahead of the Paris 2024 Games. In the first competition of the year, Erin steered a new line up at the European Championships, with Josh O’Brien making his international debut in the two seat. The crew won Gold in style, making it Erin’s fourth European title in a row. She continues manages her campaigning commitments alongside her primary focus, retaining her title at this summer’s Paralympic Games.

She is now building towards competing at the Paris 2024 Games and is selected for the first race of the season, the 2024 European Championships taking place in Hungary at the end of April.


Erin has used her platform to spread awareness of Breast Cancer in young women and the importance of checking regularly – speaking to major news outlets from Sky to the BBC in the UK to international channels such as CNN. She has shared every step of her story, from fertility preservation to chemotherapy and surgery and is a patron of the charity Coppafeel! who she credits for her early diagnosis. Erin is an experienced keynote speaker, specialising in conversations on leadership, communication, resilience and legacy and most notably, has been the keynote speaker at an event in Whitehall, speaking to 300 of the highest-ranking officers in the MOD about teamwork. We are thrilled to be supporting Erin on her mission to get selected for the Paris 2024 Olympics!

Link to Erin’s site

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