He hopes SportsAid and Gateley’s support can propel him to glory while races being made shorter, to maximise drama, can catapult the sport into the big time.
“It’s incredible – I’m really proud to be nominated for the support and actually get the award, and it means a lot to be recognised,” he said.
“There’s not a whole lot of money in the sport or recognition because it’s not broadcasted in the same way other sports are, so to be able to be recognised with the effort you put in is really amazing.
“To a non-rower, it’s quite a boring sport to watch. I’ve heard a lot about making events shorter which would definitely make it more exciting.
“I certainly hope rowing pivots towards that – I think if it doesn’t it could possibly die out like some sports are. If rowing goes down that path, not flourishing like some sports have in recent years, that will be really sad.
“But if it goes down the other path it can be something huge.”
Paul Hayward, partner and head of Gateley’s London office, said: “It gives us great pleasure to support Felix. He is an inspiration to so many people and we are thrilled to give him this well-deserved boost.
“At Gateley, not only do we advise clients across an extensive range of sports, we also place a great emphasis on helping our own people succeed with their physical and mental well-being. Felix has the ambition, work ethic and desire to succeed; values that align perfectly with our own business.”
SportsAid supports over 1,000 athletes each year – the vast majority aged between 12 to 18. The award they receive acts as a real motivational boost as it is often the first recognition they are given outside of their support network. These athletes are the country’s brightest sporting prospects. They are nominated to SportsAid by the governing bodies of more than 60 sports based on set criteria.
Since 1976, SportsAid has supported tens of thousands of athletes by distributing over £50 million in awards. The charity's extensive alumni stretches across the generations with Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, Sir Mo Farah, Baroness Grey-Thompson, Dame Sarah Storey, Sir Steve Redgrave, Dame Katherine Grainger, Daley Thompson CBE and Denise Lewis OBE all stand-out names.