• Phil Packer

Olympian, Great Britain and Scotland rower, Katherine Douglas, joins the BRIT Ambassador family

We are delighted that Katherine has joined our BRIT Ambassador family and is championing the BRIT Challenge to support and improve young adult mental health and fitness throughout the UK.

Katherine has represented Great Britain at the Olympics, World Rowing Championships and the U23 World Championships. She is a multiple World Cup medallist, has also represented Scotland at the Commonwealth Rowing Championships and as a student, won gold at the European Universities Rowing Championships, British Universities and Colleges Sport Regatta and the Henley Women’s Regatta.

Katherine Douglas - Olympian, Great Britain and Scotland rower

“As a former student at Oxford Brookes University, and having spent over a decade training and competing with the Great Britain Rowing squad, I know that the number of young adults and students who struggle with mental health difficulties has continued to increase. The COVID-19 has further impacted the lives of students with an existing mental health condition and it’s clear that this is a critical time; we must do everything we can to support and improve student and young adult mental health and fitness throughout the UK.

I am delighted that British Inspiration Trust (BRIT) are delivering the annual BRIT Challenge as a feelgood February fundraiser for every UK university, college, specialist college and Students’ Union to enter teams and encourage student and staff participation. It’s also great to see that they have forged partnerships or special relationships with Universities Scotland (through Universities UK), Colleges Scotland, sportscotland and Scottish Student Sport to assist with the BRIT Challenge becoming a firm fixture in the Scottish Education, Sport and Charity Sector’s Calendar of Events.


I am encouraged that the annual BRIT Challenge has been designed to be an inclusive event and enables students and staff of all abilities to participate and add their miles to their team’s 2,022 mile target by hand-cycling, cycling, wheelchair pushing, swimming, walking, jogging, running, rowing or paddling (canoeing, kayaking or paddle-boarding). I hope students and staff will use the BRIT Challenge as a perfect opportunity to try out rowing; either on the water at a local club or in the gym.


I am delighted to be part of the BRIT Ambassador family to promote the BRIT Challenge, destigmatise mental health and champion equality, diversity and inclusion. I encourage my fellow Olympic, Paralympic and elite rowers to join our BRIT Ambassador family and support a university or college of their choice during the month of February in order to encourage and inspire students and staff to take on the BRIT Challenge.


I hope to visit students and staff at Oxford Brookes University, the University of Edinburgh and Heriot Watt University as they take on their BRIT Challenge and encourage every Scottish university and college to enter teams and invite their students to take part. I’ll definitely be adding some miles to my three chosen university’s distance targets if they enter teams.”

Katherine Douglas

Olympic, Great Britain and Scotland Rower

Katherine competing for Oxford Brookes University

Katherine boarded at Fettes College, Edinburgh, where she competed in athletics and competed at the Scottish School Championships as well as representing Edinburgh Athletics Club.

Katherine graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a Joint Honours in Geography and Anthropology. In 2009, while at Oxford Brookes, Katherine took up rowing to keep fit. She quickly showed herself to be a natural talent at the sport.

In 2010, Katherine won the Championship Women’s Fours at the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Regatta and the Elite Fours at The Henley Women’s Regatta. She also qualified for the European Universities Rowing Championships (EUSA) in Amsterdam where the crew won gold in the Coxless Fours.

Katherine first represented Great Britain in 2011, when she raced in the Women’s Eights at the World Rowing U23 Championships in Amsterdam where the crew finishing fifth.

In 2012, Katherine joined Leander Club to train full-time. The following year , sheraced in a Quad Scull at the second World Cup event at Dorney Lake, finishing fourth. In the same season Katherine won the Remenham Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta and was selected as Women’s Spare for the World Rowing Championships in Korea.

Katherine represented Scotland at the 2014 Commonwealth Rowing Championships.

In 2017, Katherine returned to the Great Britain squad as part of the Women’s Eight. That season, she won silver and bronze in the World Cup series and finished fifth at the World Rowing Championships in Sarasota-Bradenton.

Katherine competing for Great Britain in the Women's Eight at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo

Katherine represented Great Britain in the Women’s Eight at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.


To find out more about British Rowing, please visit their website.


You can follow Katherine on Twitter and Instagram.