Despite the falling snow and a bitter cold spell, The King’s School Chester Rowing Club were delighted to play host to Old King’s Scholar Tom James MBE earlier this month for a two-fold celebration held in his honour.
Pupils, parents, staff, alumni and friends gathered to celebrate Tom’s many achievements and his continued support of Rowing at King’s. Tom was conferred with a Leading Light Award by the school and a new boat was also named in his honour.
Our Leading Lights Awards are the highest form of recognition given by the school to our former pupils. Each recipient has made a lasting impact on society though outstanding professional, voluntary or philanthropic accomplishments.
Tom started rowing at King’s aged 13, where his talent soon became apparent. Tom won several National School’s Regatta medals at King’s and also represented Great Britain whilst in the Sixth Form.
After leaving King’s he studied Engineering at Cambridge University. Tom rowed for Cambridge in the famous Boat Race four times. However it wasn’t until his final year in 2007 when, as President, he achieved his first Boat Race victory. Tom remains on the Executive Committee for the Cambridge University Boat Club.
In the Spring of 2008, Tom was selected for the coxless four in the Beijing Olympics. He went on to participate in arguably the stand out race from the 2008 Games, making a comeback to beat the Australian four, who had led for the large majority of the race, and winning the coveted Gold Medal.
At the 2012 London Olympics, he repeated his fantastic achievements in Beijing by claiming yet another Gold Medal as part of the coxless four crew. This was a great success, made even more impressive by triumphing on home turf. Tom was honoured with his very own Royal Mail postage stamp and also had a post box in his home town of Wrexham painted gold. Tom was awarded an MBE for his services to sport in the 2009 New Year’s Honours list.
He finally retired from competitive rowing in 2013 to pursue a career as a management consultant.
“We were proud and delighted to welcome Tom back to King’s. He is a inspirational role model for all our pupils and continues to be an ambassador for Rowing at King’s.”
Vicky Titmuss, Director of External Relations.