ROWING legend Helen Glover is helping redefine perceptions of motherhood in sport, according to Dame Katherine Grainger, writes Ben Hart of Sportsbeat.

Truro star Glover, 37, became the first mother to row for Britain at Tokyo 2020 and is now targeting a fourth Olympics after coming out of retirement last year.

With two Olympic golds to her name, Glover's rowing legacy is already secured, but GB icon and chair of UK Sport Grainger suspects the supermum's latest pursuit is rewriting the status quo.

“In the past there was an element of when you had a family, it was probably time to stop your sport,” said Grainger.

“Whereas now I think it's really accepted, encouraged and supported, why would you have to choose, why couldn't you do both?

“I think that's a real shift in mentality and that's for the better. I think we're going to keep better female athletes around longer for that and that's good for everyone.”

Glover could make more history in Paris this summer. If she climbs the podium, she will be the first British mother of three children to do so at an Olympics.

Their names are Logan, Kit and Willow, and Grainger believes they are fuelling her unlikely quest for a third Olympic gold.

“It matters to have her children there supporting and recognising what she's done,” said Grainger.

“As you go through life as an athlete, your motivations can change and shift over time. She's found new motivation and new inspiration by having that family.

“Although, obviously, by doing her sport it takes her away from her family, I think she feels she can still do great things for them and with them, and that's brilliant to see.”

GB coach Andrew Randell selected Glover in the coxless four at the 2023 World and European Championships, a bold move considering her previous success in the pair.

With the likes of Heidi Long yet to experience the pressure of an Olympic Games for the first time, Grainger suspects that Glover’s know-how will prove invaluable. 

“You can't underestimate what effect having incredible role models has on the athletes around you,” added Grainger, speaking at the 2023 Youth Sport Trust Young Changemaker Awards.

“There's a standard she's used to delivering, there's a real quality to how she trains and how she competes.

“You can learn from that, if you're in that team, if you’re a first timer or you've not been around for long, you can learn that and you can feel that’s what it takes to become a champion.

“Having spoken to her, I know what this means. Every time she trains, every time she competes, she's taking time away from her family that she loves and is very proud of.

“So I think she absolutely wanted to make sure that the time she takes away creates something in its own right, that gives back as well.”

The Youth Sport Trust Young Changemaker Awards celebrate individuals and groups of young people who have made a real and impactful change to their life and the lives of others.