Family voices - In conversation with Sarah Winckless MBE, Olympic medal winner and former world champion rower

Family voices - In conversation with Sarah Winckless MBE, Olympic medal winner and former world champion rower




Tuesday 21 June 2022



Hear from families across the Huntington’s disease community in this new series of talks brought to you by the Huntington’s Disease Alliance UK and Ireland. For this episode, we are joined by Sarah Winckless MBE, a British rower and former star of Team GB. 

Huntington’s disease is in Sarah’s family on her mother’s side. Sarah and her family supported her mum as she lived with the disease until she passed away in 2020. During her final year of university, just as she was reaching for global sporting success Sarah tested positive for the gene herself. 

In this talk Sarah will share her experiences of living life whilst at risk. She will share the impact of her mum’s deteriorating health and finding out, that she too had inherited the same faulty gene. whilst her three siblings did not.

Although most people start showing symptoms between ages 30 and 50, Sarah. at 48 is still not displaying any signs of the onset of Huntington’s disease. In this talk she will speak about her hope for the future and the inspiration she draws from the Huntington’s community.

As Patron of the Scottish Huntington’s Association, she avidly campaigns for Huntington’s disease charities.

About Sarah

Sarah Winckless MBE is a British rower and former star of Team GB. She has a bronze medal from the 2004 Athens Olympics and was twice world champion (2005, 2006).

 Although she retired in 2009, Sarah continues to contribute to sport – she is a Henley Royal Regatta Steward, was UK Chef de Mission for Team England at the Commonwealth Games in 2018 and serves on the Board of UKAD (UK Anti Doping). In 2020, she was the first woman to be appointed as an umpire in the Oxford-Cambridge boat race, which was delayed because of Covid-19 but went ahead in April 2021. She also works with teams and individuals as a leadership and executive coach.


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About the Huntington's Disease Alliance


The Huntington’s Disease Alliance was established to promote awareness of Huntington’s disease and improve support for families across the UK and Ireland. The Alliance consists of four independent charities, Huntington's Disease Association, Scottish Huntington's Association, Huntington's Disease Association Northern Ireland and Huntington's Disease Association of Ireland. The organisations within the Alliance share the common goal of helping people who live with Huntington’s disease to achieve the best quality of life possible. Collectively, the Huntington’s Disease Alliance also strives to universally increase understanding and raise awareness of the impact of the disease on individuals and families affected.