Olympic medallist selects the Ron Pickering Memorial Fund as her chosen charity
Katharine Merry, 2000 Sydney Olympic Bronze medallist in the 400m in that spectacular race won by hometown favourite Kathy Freeman, celebrated New Years Eve in style by appearing on BBC TV’s Celebrity Mastermind and she selected the Ron Pickering Memorial Fund as her chosen charity.
Her chosen subject was her beloved Aston Villa Football Club and her competative spirit was as evident during the quiz as it was during that Olympic Final in Sydney. Katharine said on the show that she was much more nervous about appearing on the show than taking part in any athletics contest, but nevertheless she acquitted herself admirably.
Katharine herself was the recipient of one of the first ever RPMF Grant awards at the age of 17yrs in 1991/2 when she was selected as one of six Special Scholarship recipients in the initial year of the Ron Pickering Memorial Fund, established following Ron’s death in February of 1991.
An exceptional talent from a very early age, leading the UK under-13 rankings in seven events as a 12-year-old, she was an obvious choice for one of our first Special awards that first year. Katharine, pictured above with Jean Pickering, went on to receive further grants from the RPMF as she went on to win the European Junior Title at 200m in 1993, before going on to a sterling career as a senior athlete.
Following the end of her athletics career through injury in 2005, Katharine moved into the field of presenting and commentating, initiually as the infield presenter at the UKA televised domestic athletics events for Fasttrack and later as a commentator for Channel 4, where she has developed her reputation as an informed and engaging presenter.
Katharine has also acted as host for a number of the England Athletics Hall of Fame awards and it was in this role that she interviewed Jean Pickering following her induction to the England Athletics Hall of Fame. The RPMF has always been selected by England Athletics as the chosen charity for the proceeds of the raffle at the dinner and Katharine has always been a proud supporter of the RPMF, the work that it does to support young athletes and the impact that such an award as she received that first year can have on a young athlete.
The trustees of the RPMF would like to thank Katharine for all of the support that she has shown to the Fund over the years and her generosity in choosing the RPMF as the beneficiary of her endevours over the holiday period. A number of athletes will benefit from her efforts.