Henley Rowing Club President Miriam Luke awarded MBE for services to women’s rowing

Three time Olympian Miriam Luke (née Batten) has been recognised in the 2024 New Year’s Honours List for services to women’s rowing


After 40 years in the sport, Miriam Luke has been awarded an MBE in this year’s New Year’s Honours List.

Miriam started rowing in 1984 at Southampton University. In 1987 she moved to London and rowed for Thames Rowing Club, where she was later Vice President.

Miriam competed successfully and had domestic wins at Henley Women’s Regatta and Women’s Head of the River before being selected for the GB Rowing Team in 1990. She won her first World Championships medal (bronze) in the pair in 1991, going on to win silver and gold in the double in 1997 and 1998 respectively inspiring a future generation of British oarswomen to success on the world stage.

Miriam capped off her international rowing career at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games in the quad alongside Katherine Grainger, Gillian Lindsay and her sister Guin Batten. The crew brought home Britain’s first women’s Olympic rowing medal (silver) after a tense race, culminating in a photo-finish for second and third between the British and Russian crews.

“Rowing is a team sport and being part of a high performing, hard working team is why women’s rowing in our country is thriving.”

Since retiring from international competition, Miriam has played a leading role off the water. In 2012, Miriam was Village Manager for Rowing and Canoe Sprint for the London Olympics, planning and organising a village with competitors needs at the forefront and recruiting and training over 200 Gamesmakers.  Miriam took on the Chair’s role for Henley Women’s Regatta from 2012 to 2021, where she led a team of dedicated, well organised and forward thinking volunteers who transformed the event to provide women rowers with an exceptional competition on the iconic Henley course.

As a local resident in Henley, Miriam has been part of the junior girls coaching team at Henley Rowing Club encouraging a future generation of girls to enjoy the sport. She has been the Club President since 2017.  Miriam has also been a Steward of Henley Royal Regatta since 2016.

Commenting on her MBE, Miriam said: “I am very proud to have been recognised for my contribution to women’s rowing in the UK. I learnt a huge amount about the sport of rowing from those who coached me and those who created events that I could race at at the start of my career.

“It has been so rewarding to give back to the sport that I love and that has given me so much. Rowing is a team sport and being part of a high performing, hard working team is why women’s rowing in our country is thriving. Thank you to everyone who I have worked with and who have been part of the wonderful teams I have been in.”